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5 Notable Albums: Summer 2022

Although life at Oklahoma Christian University paused for the past three months, the music industry never stops releasing content, giving students new music for their summer vacation.

            From rock to rap to simple pop, listed below are the five most notable albums of summer 2022.

5. Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp – “18”: released July 15, 2022

–                 Music has always been a passion for Johnny Depp. In 2012, he formed the Hollywood Vampires with Alice Cooper and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry. Other than a singing role in “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” Depp’s music has largely been reserved for live settings: until now. Along with legendary guitarist Jeff Beck, Johnny Depp created a thirteen-track album mostly made of covers from artists like The Beach Boys, The Velvet Underground and John Lennon. The two standout songs, however, are Depp’s original tracks, and more specifically, “This is a Song for Miss Hedy Lamarr.” In this acoustically based song and throughout the rest of the record, Depp shows us you don’t need a large vocal range to create an album, just a passion and love for the art. While it remains unseen if this duo has plans for other material, “18” maintains Beck’s guitar legend while proving Depp as a serious musician.  

·                Overall Rating: 7/10

4. George Ezra – “Gold Rush Kid”: Released June 10, 2022

–                 Since George Ezra’s first two albums were inspired by treks across Europe and Barcelona, quarantine left him, like many people, uninspired. In spite of this, Ezra delivers with his third studio album and arguably his most optimistic to date. The three singles prove to be the strongest tracks on the album (“Anyone for You (Tiger Lily),” “I Went Hunting” and “Green Green Grass”), but top to bottom, this record is filled with great music and positivity. In addition, Ezra puts in some more emotional numbers such as “Don’t Give Up,” which appears halfway through the album. Topping the UK charts as Ezra’s third consecutive number-one album, it’s evident Ezra isn’t giving up on music anytime soon.

·                Overall Rating: 7/10

3. The Chainsmokers – “So Far, So Good”: Released June 10, 2022

–                 With no album or single since 2019, the Chainsmokers were considered MIA until this summer.  “So Far, So Good,” the duo’s fourth full-length studio album, breaks the silence and is the duo’s first album with no features, although you shouldn’t let that deter you. With immaculate production and return of their unique songwriting, single “Riptide” steals the show, while songs like “Solo Mission” and “Something Different” reminisce the Chainsmokers’ better-known sounds. This album proves Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall don’t need collaboration to be the Chainsmokers.

·                Overall Rating: 7/10

2. Kendrick Lamar – “Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers”: Released May 13, 2022

–                 This record is the longest on our list at just under an hour and twenty, but that is thanks to Lamar’s fifth studio album being a complete experience. In addition, this is arguably his most personal album to date, as it splits into two halves of nine songs each all to reference self-accountability. We see Lamar assess his relationship with money in “United in Grief,” and ponder his relationship with his father in “Father Time.” While the album tends to drag at some points, when put together into a single body of work, it is nothing short of spectacular.

·                Overall Rating: 8/10

1. Harry Styles – “Harry’s House”: Released on May 20, 2022

–                 Closing off our list, we have another album inspired by the pandemic. Had COVID-19 not happened, Styles would most likely be continuing his tour of sophomore album “Fine Line.” In a stark contrast from his previous two ‘70s sounding albums, “Harry’s House” broadens his range to show Styles cannot be limited to a specific era. The opening track starts strong with horns and funk in “Music for a Sushi Restaurant,” returning again in another high point of the album, “Daydreaming.” “Late Night Talking” is more mid-tempo and the album’s leading single, “As It Was” is pure pop. The album refuses to conform to a single genre, but rather combines multiple influences into one cohesive body of work.

              Overall Rating: 8/10

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