Top 10 Most-Read Articles of 2022

There’s no doubt about it: this was a great year for The Arts STL. We celebrated our fifth birthday this summer, and published our 1,000th article (the lucky winner: a look at short films screening at this year’s Full Frame festival) on our way to posting the most articles of any year in our history—a whopping 255! Blip Blap Video’s Live from the Boom Room series continued to loom large (you’ll note it has its own menu slot in the “STL Scene” section now), as did our film festival coverage and our music coverage, particularly at the end of the year when a slew of new writers and photographers arrived with their eyes and ears on the local metal scene. And overall page reads set a new record once again this year, up about 10% over the year before. I can’t say thank you enough to all our wonderful writers and photographers, and to all of you readers out there who keep checking out our work. Thank you for checking us out week after week!

So what articles caught the most eyeballs this year? If you’ve followed these lists year after year, #1 will probably not surprise you…

1. It was number one in 2019, it was number one in 2020, and it was number one in 2021, so I’m sure you’re shocked to find out that number one yet again this year is Sarah Boslaugh’s look at an edition of the Smithsonian’s The Real Story documentary series about Patrick O’Brian’s historical fiction novel Master and Commander. This article nearly doubled its closest competition, and will probably continue to do so as long as people keep googling “real master and commander.”

2. Michael Bay’s latest spectacle Ambulance landed in theaters last April with a whimper, and Caleb Sawyer’s review of the film for our site did the same. But then a few weeks later when the movie hit streaming, everyone must have pondered “Huh, I wonder if that’s actually worth seeing” and started googling reviews, because this review started doing numbers and kept it up the rest of the year.

3. Emily Wallace has one of the most beloved voices in the St. Louis music scene—and if you don’t believe me, ask the competition over at the RFT!—so it’s a no-brainer that Emily’s appearance for Live at the Boom Room was a huge hit. If you haven’t checked out her sultry, bluesy performance yet, click over and watch it right now…we’ll wait.

4. Sarah Boslaugh’s review of Forbidden Fruit: The Golden Age of Exploitation Pictures came in at #3 last year and #9 the year before, and slid right in at #4 this year. People must really want to know what Elysia is up to in the cinematic classic Elysia: Valley of the Nude, I guess.

5. Another Live from the Boom Room performance, this one a folky tune from Yard Eagle’s Jakob Baxter.

6. Probably the most unexpected article in this list is Sarah Boslaugh’s 2021 review of Cane Malice, an eye-opening documentary about the sugar cane industry in the Dominican Republic. The hits on this one come in waves—absolutely zero for a while, then a ton of people check it out for a few weeks, then it wanes again—though I haven’t the faintest idea what’s driving them.

7. After two years in the #5 spot, Hannah Sophia Lin’s look at the top K-pop artists of the 2010s slid down two spots to #7, which is still pretty wild.

8. The story of Caleb Sawyer’s late 2021 review of The King’s Man is basically the same as Ambulance up above: hardly anyone read it at first, then the film hit streaming a few months later and everyone wanted to know if it was worth seeing or not.

9. Another movie review making its second appearance on this list is Sarah Boslaugh’s look at Truffle Hunters, an unassuming, gorgeously shot documentary about, well, people who hunt for truffles. If the comments are any indication, it seems a lot of people hit Google after watching the film or its trailer, trying to source the film’s score.

10. And rounding out the top 10, Courtney Dowdall’s list of her favorite scents of 2021 from perfume oil house Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. She’s got a 2022 list out there too, you know.

Like every year, the list contains quite a few repeat offenders, but what about the top articles published in 2022? Here’s the list:


1. Caleb Sawyer’s review of Ambulance

2. Emily Wallace, Live from the Boom Room

3. Jakob Baxter, Live from the Boom Room

4. Courtney Dowdall’s list of her favorite scents of 2021 from perfume oil house Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

5. Melissa Powers, Live from the Boom Room

6. Jimmy Griffin, Live from the Boom Room

7. David Von Nordheim’s review of Hatebreed live at Pop’s, with photo gallery by Jen Ruff

8. David Von Nordheim’s preview of a heavy metal New Year’s Eve at The Sinkhole

9. So Grand Polka Band, Live from the Boom Room

10. Jim Ousley reviews an evening with 1980s new wave stars The Fixx

As the Fixx would say, one thing leads to another, and thus 2022 leads into a 2023 where January is already on track to be our biggest month yet! It’s looking to be a great year for The Arts STL, and I hope you enjoy it with us. | Jason Green

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