Dork’s Albums of the Year 2022

We’ve worked out 10 of the best, put them in a list, and published them so you can complain.

2022 has had its fill of massive albums – be they from big names or dazzling new talent. We’ve worked out 10 of the best, put them in a list, and published them so you can complain. If you want the full rundown, pick up the December 2022 / January 2023 issue of Dork, out now. ‘Enjoy’.


If there’s any justice in the world, CMAT will go down as one of the greatest lyricists we’ve had. She’s also one of the best personalities in pop, but it’s the way she pulls it into her music that makes ‘If My Wife New I’d Be Dead’ a triumph. Often deeply self-deprecating but funny as fuck all the same, she redefines what is means to be a ‘relatable’ musician, exploring her own flaws behind punchy 70’s country pop. ABIGAIL FIRTH


Photo credit: Em Marcovecchio

‘Fixer Upper’ is a good song, isn’t it? It’s also not on Yard Act’s self-titled debut, which seems an odd choice. At least it does until you listen to the album, and realise that ‘Fixer Upper’ wasn’t a fluke, but a bar the band would consistently reach with everything they do. Spiky, snarky post-punk tracks are of course here in abundance, but the highlight for our money is ‘100% Endurance’, an introspective wander through existentialism and the meaning of life which also includes a line about wetting your pants. Oh, they also did a version with Elton John, which is Quite a Big Deal Indeed. JAKE HAWKES


Every late night spent tossing and turning, losing track of time in deeply intimate conversation, dancing until dawn – Taylor Swift remembers them all. ‘Midnights’ is a time capsule of every hazy hour, one that races with spiralling lines of thought. Her shimmering pop beats act as the flicker of lamplight cutting through the dark, her candid lyricism as comforting as the old t-shirt you still sleep in. ‘Midnights’ is a formidable return to the pop Taylor has always done best; the kind that inhabits this dreamy, synth-laden world where Taylor is free to fall apart and then pull herself together again, track by track. NEIVE MCCARTHY


Photo credit: Sarah Louise Bennett

A beautifully painted portrait of Irishness in London, Fontaines D.C’s third album ‘Skinty Fia’ is shot through with the experiences of a diaspora community that is routinely misrepresented within the UK. Tracks like opener ‘In ár gCroíthe go deo’ turn a mirror on Britain’s continued hostility to the Irish in England, while ‘I Love You’ casts a blistering gaze at the issues facing Ireland itself. It’s a perfectly-crafted and deeply poignant album which isn’t scared of facing up to weighty issues, but one which never descends into polemics or heavy-handed politicisation. JAKE HAWKES


Photo credit: Sarah Louise Bennett

Maggie Rogers’ ‘Surrender’ is such a special album. Tapping into the anxiety, loneliness, uncertainty and fear of the last few years, but coming out the other side with a determination to not be held back by the actions of others, Surrender is about ferocious joy. A happiness with its teeth bared. From the longing of ‘Horses’, the desire of ‘Want Want’ to the fearless optimism of ‘That’s Where I Am’, Rogers blends anger with hope, without a second of sugarcoating. ‘Shatter’ is a ferocious punk number while the closing ‘Different Kind Of World’ is as naked as they come, with Rogers pleading for peace.  ALI SHUTLER


Photo credit: Derek Bremner

With affirming steps already being taken, beabadoobee made her next move forward with a look back at the past. The 22-year-old drew on a world she created as a child, full of diverse ambitions that lunge out in different directions. Jam-packed with sizzling guitars (‘Talk’), sharp production (‘10:36’), and personal realisations (‘See you soon’), each corner is bound to surprise and intrigue. Led by a figurehead who boasts viral moments but could never be defined by them, ‘Beatopia’ was a dazzling reinvention of self that proved beabadoobee’s plans to be far from played out. FINLAY HOLDEN


Photo credit: Sarah Louise Bennett

The weight of hype surrounding Wet Leg’s debut would have been enough to buckle most bands. Luckily they’re very much not ‘most bands’. Their first album shrugs off any expectations and sparkles with catchy melodies, great hooks and an overwhelming sense of fun. We love a bit of nonsense here at Dork, so to see the year’s most talked-about band stick two fingers up at po-faced notions of what it means to be a ‘serious’ musician is a joy to behold. Cementing them as more than just a flash in the pan, ‘Wet Leg’ is everything it needed to be and more. JAKE HAWKES


A good pop star can reinvent themselves every time they release a new album. That’s what makes Beyonce one of the greatest of all time. Following up a double bill of cultural juggernaut records in the 2010s with yet another, ‘Renaissance’ signalled Beyoncé’s return to the charts with a homage to the ballroom scene. It’s a record that rarely takes it’s foot off the pedal, one where the peaks are higher than Madonna sniffing poppers on Tiktok and the valleys are sticky club dancefloors lit by a mirrorball.  ABIGAIL FIRTH


Photo credt: Jennifer McCord

Nobody quite knew what to expect ahead of The 1975’s fifth record. Their previous album ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’ was a dizzying odyssey across sounds and styles. The Music For Cars era was finally done. How could they possibly find a new way forward? By being the most 1975 that The 1975 could possibly be. ‘Being Funny In A Foreign Language’ is provocative and heartbreaking. It’s filled with the kind of vivid vignettes that only they can illustrate and it contains maybe the best song they’ve ever written (you know the one). The ultimate crystallization of the band of a generation. MARTYN YOUNG


Photo credit: Em Marcovecchio

When an act makes a record their ‘self-titled’, there’s an expectation that it’ll be their defining statement, right? After MUNA ditched their major label for Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory, they did exactly that. Re-emerging with ‘Silk Chiffon’, a collaboration with their new label boss, it felt like MUNA had blown the cobwebs off, ushering in a new era of breezy, carefree pop punctuated with a screechable chorus. As the singles ran on, ‘Anything But Me’ ‘Home By Now’, ‘What I Want’, it became clear that looking back and letting go was on the agenda. Pain and sadness have never been a vice for MUNA, they’ve always used their lows as a tool to craft their own brand of sadbangers; on this album they continue that legacy but in a different way. As Katie sings on ‘Loose Garment’, “Used to wear my sadness like a choker … now I’m draped in it, like a loose garment, I just let it float”. The confidence that’s permeated through their whole career is still present, if not stronger. On ‘MUNA’, the trio feel more connected than ever, less like they’re tied together by an invisible string, but rather that they’re all huddled under the same blanket of bad experiences, making light of them and waking in the morning more optimistic. ABIGAIL FIRTH

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