10. Lo Moon – A Modern Life
A Modern Life is slightly depressing, but little did I know that I needed to hear it. This album comes from someone who had towering expectations for themselves, and from other people, and they have now reached a place where they feel like they’ve let everyone down. Yet, the album is also a rediscovery of the passion that drove those expectations in the first place, and the final songs focus again on the prize of creation and artistry. This album helped me gain the nerve to finish a book I’ve been writing for a few years. I’m grateful for its encouragement.
9. Charlotte Wessels – Tales, Vol II
Look, I don’t know what half these songs are about, not really. What I do know is that Charlotte has a really clever and poetic way of writing, and I found myself simultaneously amused and impressed time and again. Some of the lyrics are obviously powerful and emotional, while some are more entertaining than anything.
8. Brandon Boyd
– Echoes and Cocoons
Brandon has always been a unique lyricist with Incubus, but I really connected with the lyrics on his new solo album. I love how raw and biting his writing is here, but also how flowery and quirky it can be, too. Sometimes, he says exactly what he wants to say, and other times, he says it poetically and metaphorically. It’s a great mix.
7. Tears for Fears – The Tipping Point
There have been many albums with lyrics influenced by the pandemic, but this is one of my favorites. Not only are the lyrics professionally and concisely written, but they circumvent the normal sticking points. I like the focus on love over fear.
6. Oceans of Slumber
– Starlight and Ash
This monster of an album has some of the most heartfelt lyrics of the year. I enjoy the variety, too, as some lyrics are pretty intense, while others are tender. The excellent writing is one reason why this is one of the best albums of 2022.
5. Ms Amy Birks – In Our Souls
One of Ms Amy Birks’ strengths is her lyrical prowess. She is unafraid to tackle difficult topics that would often stump other artists. Difficult situations and relationships, and a balanced view of them both, are her trademark, and I feel like she flourished even more in that regard here.
4. Nothing in Writing
– New Lives for Rent
Strong writing is the foundation for this debut record. As I see it, the overall message is that we cannot live our lives dreaming of the life we could have had, whether that would have been through being born somewhere else or maybe if we had made different decisions at various times. No, we have to live the life we have, here and now. That is the only way to find happiness. It’s a poignant record, that is for sure.
3. Hermyth – Starseeds
I love meaningful and metaphysical lyrics, and the Hermyth debut really brought the heat in that regard. Starseeds is about the universe within us, and the universe outside of us. It is about we conscious beings as the universe itself. It is about the wellspring of life flowing through all of us. It is an inspiring, enlightening, and vibrant message, one that I have heard in other albums, but never gets old for me.
2. Cosmograf – Heroic Materials
Robin takes great care in his concepts and lyrics. For Heroic Materials, he tells the story of a man who served in WWII as a pilot; as an elderly man, he looks back on the days where he felt he mattered, especially since now he feels like he doesn’t. He remembers the people he’s lost, the places he’s been, and those beautiful machines—his plane and automobile—and how much power and control he felt through them. As the world changes, humans do not, and every promise of good things to come ends up being false. This is about a man out of place, but one that may have good instincts about where the world is headed. The album is suitably sorrowful and ponderous, as a result.
1. Remina – Strata
Heike is one of my all-time favorite lyricists, as seen through ISON, Draconian, Light Field Reverie, and Lor3l3i. With the Remina debut, this continues without a hitch. This album is primarily based on different science fiction properties, but she fleshes them out and brings emotion and meaning to them. I love the use of inspired adjectives and ethereal terminology to bring life and beauty to these worlds.