We recently released UTR Critics’ Panels collective picks of the Top 11 Gourmet Albums of 2022.  Now it’s time to share their picks for best individual songs of 2022.  As songs are even more subjective, we’re not combining “votes,” but sharing we are sharing ALL the songs submitted by our panel. These are not ranked, and appear in no specific order – but we gladly present the critics’ picks of Best Gourmet Songs of 2022.  [Songs qualified if released by a Christ-following artist between 12/1/21 and 12/1/22.]

“America”- Aryn Michelle (“Spot-on message needed for our culture” – Larry)
“Resurrection #9” –  Chagall Guevara (“Resurrects the energy of the band’s debut 30+ years ago” – Russ)
“Follow You” – Melanie Penn (“Describes how people can become an open door to God” – Kevin)
“Landlocked Surf Rock” – Colony House  (“A non-stop mashup of 60’s rock with modern rock” – Mick)
“Lighter from Here” – Christa Wells (“Honest with pain as it points us to a better future” – Dave)
“Healing” – Common Hymnal (“Prayers for these conflicted times” – Larry)
“How Long (Psalm 13)” – Steph Andrews  (“Captures the longing of Psalm 13” – Garret)
“Treason” – Gable Price and Friends (“Captures the juxtaposition of being both hero and martyr” – Jessica)
“Empress in Exile” – Remedy Drive (“As always challenging our compassion for the outsider and marginalized” – Larry)
“The In Between” – Aryn Michelle  (“Upbeat lament on the challenges of being an outcast like Moses” – Mick)

“Heroes” – Ben Rector (“Showcases that power pop can be deep and contemplative” – Dave)
“Fly”- Carly Taich (“A pure pop-rock love song without all the cliches and tropes” – Justus)
“Weary Traveler” – Jordan St. Cyr (“Connects to the biblical truth found in Matthew 11:28-30” – Kevin)
“Save The World” – Cindy Morgan (“Melodically warm and lyrically inspiring” – Dave)
“This is Glory” – Wild Earth, LOVKN  (“Moody synth pop worship inviting us into God’s presence” – Mick)
“Any Less Than My Best” –  John Van Deusen (“A catchy, lovely, earnest song of (re)dedication” – Justus)
 “I See a King” – The Wood Drake Sessions (ft. Liz Vice) (“Gorgeous vocals with wonderful instrumentation” – Garret)
“Honest” – Candace Coker (“It would be hard to overstate how magnificent this song is” – Larry)
“Apple Tree Lean Down” – Giants & Pilgrims (“Heartfelt love of family on full display” – Dave)
“The Goodness”  – TobyMac (“A joyful pop-gospel celebration reminiscent of the Psalms” – Russ)
“Dancing With My Shadow” – Benjamin William Hastings (“Observes the onset of depression and journey to healing” – Jessica)
“Better Days” – Leah Ashton  (“Funk, Soul, Jazz, horns, groove, and incredible vocals” – Garret)
“Made for This” – Andrew Ripp  (“Deeply encouraging, inspiring anthem calling us forward into purpose” – Mick)
“How Many Songs Does it Take to Save the World” – Elias Dummer (“Expansive melody meets deep, rich lyrics” – Dave)
“Unbelief” – Hannah Hodges (“A prayer we all need to pray with some pretty cool music” – Larry)
“Flying in a Lucid Dream” –  Andy Zipf (“This dreamscape piece is part dream, part trip, part prophecy” – Justus)
“Pariah” – Aryn Michelle  (“An amazing job of highlighting how disregarded and despised Jesus was” – Garret)
“Brother Jack” – Gable Price & Friends  (“Life advice packaged in face-melting rock” – Dave)
“Everything and More” – Citizens (“Beautiful modern song of worship and perspective” – Mick)
“Generous Mercy” – Jill Phillips  (“Prayer, theology, & therapy – I needed this one” – Dave)
“Cathedrals of the Nelder Grove” – Benjamin William Hastings  (“A  bridge for those hurt by the church” – Jessica)
“Fly” – Mary Ozaraga (“Expresses beautifully the feelings and thoughts associated with a miscarriage” – Larry)
“Knocking on the Door of Love” –  Welcome Wagon (“Dramatic production weds an exceptional melody” – Justus)
“Honey in the Rock” – Brooke Ligertwood (“A wonderfully soulful reminder of God’s provision” – Russ)
“Oh Sweetest Name” – John Van Deusen (“Believable, from-the-guts worship” – Dave)
“Thank You” – Ben Rector  (“The closest thing to a worship song you might get from Ben Rector” – Mick)
“Dust” – Hannah Hubin (ft. Ella M) (“You will feel the emotion and almost taste the grit” – Larry)
“Our Salvation Is Bound Up Together” – Paul Zach  (“A reminder that we should all feel it when others suffer” – Garret)
“I Love to Struggle” – Gable Price and Friends (“Both hilarious for its relatability and a gut punch of conviction” – Jessica)
“Left It in the Water” – We the Kingdom (“An infectiously joyful, rocking celebration of baptism” – Russ)
“Rocky Ground” – Anna Palfreeman (“A candid song questioning the depth of faith” – Larry)
“Soft American” – Warbler (“Confronts the growing political and social divide in this country” – Justus)
“Imprecatory (Psalm 140)” – Allie Crummy (“Her harmonies will give you goosebumps” – Larry)
“Secondhand Love” – Aryn Michelle (“Communicates the depths of despair, longing, and hope found in Leah” – Jessica)
“Listen to the Beat” – The Royal Foundry  (“Complex guitar and synth work with textured vocals” – Mick)
“Sunrise 2 Sunset” – Common Hymnal (“Pop-HipHop fusion overflowing with gratitude” – Dave)
“Reach For the Morning” – Miriam Jones  (“Simple, powerful, and feeling the blues” – Larry)
“This World Is Not My Home” –  Daniel Wheat  (“Stripped down music and soulful vocals pair beautifully” – Garret)
“Lucky #17” – Gable Price & Friends (“Bemoans the difficulty but ultimate blessing of waiting for something” – Mick)
“Gravity” – Kristene Dimarco  (“Beautifully poetic and powerful expressions of faith in this song” – Kevin)
“Edge of the World” – Ami Andersen (“Mournful, beautiful, and ultimately hopeful” – Larry)
“Scovia” – BJ Fisher (“Speaks to the rich young ruler in all of us ” – Justus)
“Lost Somebody Else” – Gabrielle Grace (“Gritty, deep lyrics set to 80s synth soundscape” – Dave)
“Feels Like a Blessing” – Benjamin William Hastings, Judah -(“Like a psalm of lament ” – Mick)
“No One Like You” – Colorvault featuring A.Bishai (“A floating & ethereal song of Worship” – Garret)
 “For All My Life” – TAYA (“Encourages you to see yourself the way God sees you” – Kevin)
“The Rest of Me”  – Adam Watt (“Resonates as a playful reinterpretation of Romans 7” – Russ)

We hope this helps you discover some of the best and most meaningful songs released last year!  Be watching for 2 new Gourmet Music Podcasts (Feb 2 and 22 respectively) that will feature many of these “best songs” selections.

We’d love to get your feedback.  What songs on this list won you over?  What songs would you add to the list? Tell us in the comments below.