A Year in Review: The Best Music of 2022


2022 saw both the resurgence of music and artists that were popular years ago, as well as a number of new faces that are sure to stick around in the music industry. It truly seemed as though there were hit albums coming out every single week. From Björk to Kendrick Lamar, 2022 was filled with albums that offered an amount of creative and aesthetic variety that is very rarely seen in the music world.

  Thanks to pop culture, especially the popular social media platform TikTok, 2022 was a year in which hit songs like Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” came back into the mainstream. Other artists that got this treatment included Fleetwood Mac, Bill Withers, The Cramps and others. Another interesting aspect of music in 2022 is all of the bands that returned to releasing music. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Spoon, Mitski, Bloc Party and Arctic Monkeys all released albums in 2022, and Metallica began teasing their new album “Lux Æterna”. Older music was also apparent in the world of physical music. Vinyl sales were through the roof, CDs made a slight comeback and the average teenager now knows exactly what a cassette tape is.

  In rap and hip-hop music, some of the biggest names put out records. Some were highly anticipated and acclaimed, such as Kendrick Lamar’s “Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers,” and others, like Drake and 21 Savage’s, “Her Loss” seemed to fall a bit short of the expectations. Drake also dipped his toes into EDM on “Honestly, Nevermind”, an album filled with experimentation from one of hip-hop’s biggest stars. Other artists like Earl Sweatshirt (“SICK!”), JID (“The Never Story”), Saba (“Few Good Things”) and Vince Staples (“Ramona Park Broke My Heart”) put out albums which helped maintain rap and hip-hop music’s hold on mainstream music culture. 

  Although 2022 was a huge year for rap music, there were moments that felt like the music industry might be heading in a different direction, or at least broadening its focus. For example, there were a number of records released by rock and alternative artists that seemed to enjoy a great amount of success. “Blue Rev” from Toronto’s Alvvays, “Ants From Up There” from Black Country, New Road, “Gemini Rights” by Steve Lacy and “Skinty Fia” by Fontaines D.C. all offered the casual listener a bit more melody while streaming music. Other notable albums include Beach House’s “Once Twice Melody”, “A Light For Attracting Attention” from Radiohead members Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood as The Smile, “Reeling” from the Mysterines and yet another fascinating record from Jack White in “Fear of the Dawn.”

  2022 also saw the birth of a massive country music star. Zach Bryan released “American Heartbreak” on May 20 and has since taken his place at the top of country music. Maren Morris, Tyler Childers, Willie Nelson, Jon Pardi and Billy Strings also put out solid records during 2022. 

  Some massive stars put out albums in 2022. Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Harry Styles, Charli XCX and The 1975 all released highly acclaimed albums that led the way for popular music in a year filled with incredible material. 

  Looking forward to 2023, fans have just as much to look forward to. With releases planned from Paramore, Metallica, Mac Demarco, Måneskin and Gorillaz just to name a few. If everything goes to plan, fans have much to look forward to in the new year, which is shaping up to be just as spectacular as its predecessor.