Top 5 albums of 2022


All five of these albums can be found on major streaming platforms such as Spotify.

As 2022 rapidly comes to a close, we can look back at this year’s music and be undoubtedly pleased. This year was filled with incredible moments, so let’s take a look back at the 5 best albums released this year, in my opinion, of course.

5. Hellfire – Black Midi
This album was pure mayhem. I had no clue what I was listening to around 90% of the time, and yet I loved every minute of it. Wild arpeggios played with perfect precision, frantic vocals accompanied by harsh drumming, and transitions from violent experimental rock to a more indie sound containing hypnotizing and beautiful vocals with an array of instruments laid in the background; it was truly an experience from start to finish. Putting this record into a specific genre is impossible, and that is what makes it so great. From the start to the end, the listener is taken through an emotional roller coaster that can only be described with one word: insane.

4. Once Twice Melody – Beach House
Beach House never fails to live up to expectations. The dream pop duo once again released a high-quality record that pleased fans. The dreamy, relaxing sound is one that vocalist and keyboardist Victoria Legrand and guitarist, keyboardist, and backup vocalist Alex Scally have perfected. This record creates a sound that makes the listener feel as if they are floating, and it is the perfect album to put on if you are feeling overwhelmed (maybe from all that schoolwork…).

3. The Forever Story – JID
Atlanta rapper JID, who is a part of the established Dreamville collective, released the 2nd best hip-hop album this year. He blew the expectations out of the water with this incredible record. With smash trap hits like “Surround Sound (feat. 21 Savage and Baby Tate)” and “Dance Now (feat. Kenny Mason)” and more soulful hip-hop such as “Kody Blu 31” and “Stars (feat. Yasiin Bey)”, this album checked every box across the board. If you are looking for an album that demonstrates impressive lyrical ability while fusing neo-soul and classic hip-hop, this record is a must-listen.

2. Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers – Kendrick Lamar
He’s back! Kendrick Lamar finally dropped a new album after his 5-year absence from the music scene. This record is nothing short of incredible, with Lamar diving into topics such as mental health, toxic relationships, and his personal growth. Highlights include songs like “N95”, which speaks on how people value material possessions over everything, “Father Time”, which speaks on the toxicity of relationships with parental figures, and “Mirror”, which closes out the album with a sense of self-love, and of choosing yourself over others. Lamar speaks on heavy topics in this record, and he manages to do it in a way that keeps listeners coming back over and over again. These tracks range from hype to heartfelt and provide a unique and emotional listening experience. This album takes you through a journey, with Lamar as the narrator. The album can be perfectly summed up with a lyric from the closing track: “I choose me, I’m sorry.”

1. Ants From Up There – Black Country, New Road
This album is a masterpiece. It is not just the best record of 2022, but it very well may be one of the best albums ever created. Lead singer Isaac Wood and his bandmates take listeners on a life-changing journey with this album. This earth-shattering record is filled with emotions of romance, heartbreak, and just pure chaos. Utilizing an incredible array of instruments, from the saxophone to the violin, the band filled this album with musical moments so beautiful and tear-jerking that the background music itself would be deserving of critically acclaimed praise. The real highlight, however, is Wood. He sings with a voice so unique that I can confidently say I have never heard of anything like it. It brings a tone of emotion that is so unbelievably raw, with frantic yet beautiful voice cracks, screams of anguish and despair, and everything in between. This combination of emotional vocals and instrumentals come together to create some of the best songs I have ever heard. As the album progresses, it gets more and more dark and emotional until you reach the final 3 tracks. The first of the three is “The Place Where He Inserted the Blade”, followed by “Snow Globes”, and then the magnum opus, “Basketball Shoes”, my personal pick for the best song of 2022. These 3 tracks alone may be the best 3 song run of all time. Every song on this record shines brightly in its own respect, and there is not a single thing that could be improved in my opinion. There are not enough words to describe the praise this album deserves. Go listen to it, and you will surely feel the same way.

This year in music was amazing. From hip-hop to indie-pop, there were so many incredible releases. This list does not even begin to cover all the albums this year that deserve a spot in the top 5. With more time, I am sure opinions will change about 2022, but for now, this is what I believe to be the five best. Whether anyone agrees or not is what makes music such a beautiful thing.