The algorithm has no soul

I think it’s time for a post about music! There will be a lot of these…

The beginning of December is Spotify Wrapped time and, as someone who loves a chart and loves a statistic I’m pretty much target audience for this feature. And, as expected, when this year’s rundown was released last week there was a stream of messages on the family WhatsApp between me and my eldest son comparing stats and trying to prove who has the best taste (he’s racked up more minutes than me this year, I’ve covered more genres, there’s no Taylor Swift in his Top 5… I think I win!)

Here’s my headline stats for 2022:

The main output is the list of my 100 top songs of 2022, which is really interesting and I will bookmark for future reference but I feel may be skewed somewhat (as are the overall stats above) by things like the fact that I listened to The Overload by Yard Act (great song as it is) about 20 times one day trying to learn the words. And there are a lot of Porridge Radio and Everything Everything songs, mostly because they had new albums out in the first half of the year (cue repeated plays) and then we went to see them live later in the year (cue more repeated plays). The same thing happened with Gorillaz last year. It’s because of the algorithm. And the algorithm has no soul.

So I thought I’d share my REAL Top 100 songs of 2022. It’s a playlist I’ve spent the year compiling. There’s one song per artist (and no, it’s not cheating to have both Thom Yorke and The Smile on) and the only other rule is that they come from 2022 (although a couple are 2021 singles that appeared on 2022 albums, sue me). It features all the bands mentioned above, plus at least one you’ve never heard of (if you genuinely know all of these bands then please can we be friends? I need you to recommend music to me!) The order of the tracks should suggest no hierarchy, it’s just the order in which I added them to the playlist. And there were 100 of them, but it appears that (at the time of writing) Woodcutter by Pale Stranger isn’t available on Spotify any more so click the link to play it on YouTube instead…

Here’s the playlist:

Check it out – it’s not definitive but all the tracks are great. I hope your next favourite song is on here…


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