10 best albums of 2022


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dated: 2022-11-20 13:52:44 .

Acknowledgment –

A plethora of new albums in 2022 pushed the boundaries of genre, subject matter and sound. From seasoned veterans like Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar making triumphant returns with fresh records and even fresher perspectives, to exciting young artists like Saya Gray, whose debut album 19 mastersshould get every listener excited about the future of music, here are the albums we’ve had on repeat throughout the year.

10 motorcycle momRosalia

Rosalia’s conceptual masterpiece of 2018 El Mal Querer is so purposeful and powerful that it is hard to imagine that it will be surpassed. But this year, she went completely outside the box and pushed her creative abilities to the limit motorcycle mom

On this album, she collaborated with some of the best musicians in the business, from rapper/producer Pharrell Williams, who helped create “La Combi Versace” and the title track “HENTAI,” to Frank Ocean, to James Blake, whose voice you’ll hear end of the song “DIABLO”. motorcycle mom is a triumphant fusion of different genres, a mixture of jazz, reggaeton, bachata, flamenco and pop. Rosalia’s unwavering persistence has allowed her to create a work of art that fully showcases her astonishing vocal and production abilities.– Moises Mendez II

9. you can’t kill me070 is shaking

New Jersey-born rapper and R&B singer Danielle Balbuena, better known as 070 Shake, has made a name for herself in the industry for defying easy definition. With a powerful voice and hard yet tender songwriting, she transcended genres and challenged notions of identity, forging her own path, from co-signing with Kanye West, who signed her to his GOOD Music imprint in 2016, to indie rock, Darlings The 1975. with whom she toured in the early years of her career.

On their second album you can’t kill me, Shake continues to hone his skills and serves up a project that’s surprisingly measured, but no less intense. Over heavy rhythms and ambient synthesizers, Shake returns to his usual musings: the hardships and wonders of life, the ups and downs of love. Filled with smoldering desire and melancholic anguish, the result is a whimsical, sensual offering from a deeply vulnerable artist who simply cold-bloodedly refuses to exist. “I wanted your body, but it came with your soul,” she laments on “Body,” channeling the tension that feeds our universal boredom.– Cady Lang

8. Mr. Morality and big steppersKendrick Lamar

In his decade in the spotlight, Kendrick Lamar has built a reputation that borders on messianic—he’s a Pulitzer winner, a civil rights anthem writer, a Tupac-born genius destined to carry his city, if not his race, if not the world. , on his narrow shoulders. No one could live up to these unbearable and ever-increasing standards and whatnot Mr. MoraleLamar actively dismisses them: “Kendrick made you think, but he’s not your savior,” he says sharply in “Savior.”

The goal if Mr. Morale it is not an epoch-making masterpiece Good kid, crazy city gold Pimp a butterfly, it’s still a fantastically rich portrait of an artist in crisis. Lamar shrewdly and poignantly navigates family tensions, pandemic fears, hypocrisy and the shattering of public expectations, especially in “Mother | Sober” and the already mentioned “Deliverer”. And there are several deeply polarizing songs on the album — including the domestic feud “We Cry Together” and the trance anthem “Auntie Diaries” — that nonetheless show Lamar pushing the boundaries of his comfort zone and risking backlash for something that will create the art he believes in. .—Andrew R Chow

7. Large timeAngel Olsen

“Big” is the operative word for the sixth album of indie rock stalwart Angel Olsen: recorded shortly after the death of both parents, it’s about big emotions, big musical arrangements, big vocals, big themes like love, loss and depression and perseverance. And just as Olsen has thrived in a range of lineups—from acoustic soloist to scrappy electro rock band—she also excels at churning out extremely interesting songs designed to be played during escalating slow dances or during movie exits until the explosion.

The songs on “Big Time” are built patiently with a few hints about the year they were written: there are steel pedals, polished strings, zithers and harmonies. The sumptuous arrangements enhance what is arguably Olsen’s strongest vocal performance to date: she brings power and subtlety to harrowing lyrics like “I know you can’t talk long / But I can’t wait / I’m so tired of telling you / It’s a hard time again.” .-TAKE A BOW

6. currentIbibio sound machine

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more incendiary minute of pop music in 2022 than the one that begins halfway through “Protection From Evil,” the opening track of Ibibio Sound Machine’s fourth album current. Frontwoman Eno Williams delivers a raging stream-of-consciousness monologue in the Ibibio language, her syllables spilling over and between a pounding four-on-the-floor dance beat; turns into a seething chorus run through a vocoder, which then gives way to a screaming trumpet section and a powerful synth reminiscent of LCD Soundsystem’s best work. current it’s full of moments like these: breathtaking sonic highs and lows, incredible cultural exchange and absolutely addictive dance music.-TAKE A BOW

5. It’s almost dryPusha T

If rapper and impresario Pusha T is the “Martin Scorsese of street rap,” he hopes he is It’s almost dry could only be Good guys: A stunning gangster epic that is brutal yet modern, materialistic and psychologically insightful. Pusha T doesn’t stray far from his favorite subject – the crowd – but he doesn’t have to because he imbues his art of words and storytelling with attention. Its dense references will have you searching for genius comments: “Summertime, Winterfell, I’m the Night King/ Colgate hernia, the hood needs bleaching/ We fish scales like all us Fish/ Your bitch in my bladder like me Still typing ,” he raps on “Neck and Wrist”. But even if you don’t get all the ambiguity and triplicity, the music sounds fantastically luxurious. He enlisted some of hip-hop’s most respected producers, from Kanye West to Pharrell, and they delivered their A-game.-TAKE A BOW

4. Chloe and the Next 20th Century, Father John Misty

Musical polymath Josh Tillman, better known as his stage alter ego Father John Misty, has made a name for himself as the most polarizing (and arguably most talented) man on the contemporary folk-rock scene. WITH Chloe and the 20th century, On his fifth studio album as FJM, however, he made a surprising and delightful departure from his usual form for a project grandiose in ambition, theatrical in presentation and exhilarating in execution.

Drawing on elements such as big band, bossa nova and film scores from the golden age of Hollywood, the album is a lush and sublime epic that turns vintage fictional stories into songs. Through tragic vignettes that read like a fantasy script from LA, the songs detail tumultuous love affairs, premature endings and heartbreak for the titular Chloe and her motley crew, and display not only FJM’s trademark ironic cynicism and penchant for melodrama, but also an impressive sense of world building.—CL

3. rebirth, Beyonce

Before putting into circulation renaissance, her seventh solo studio album, Beyoncé shared via social media that it was a creative project born out of a need for escape, freedom and exploration during the pandemic. The spirit of the release permeates the entire album, a true celebration of dance music and its black queer history. From their first single off the album, “Break My Soul,” where Bey and Big Freedia urge us to “free your work/free your time,” to the album’s dedication to their late gay uncle Johnny, the album is a tribute to black queer pioneers of genres like disco , bounce, house, techno, funk and ballroom. There are few artists who can release an album late in the game and still win Song of the Summer along with every dance floor, but as she tells us in Alien Superstar, Beyoncé is and always will be. this girl.—CL

2. 19 mastersSaya Gray

Toronto singer-songwriter Gray’s debut album isn’t for stadium fans. It’s full of half-baked ideas, thin guitar rambles, washed-out vocal recordings and stray vocal notes. But Grey’s unusual reserve and tireless curiosity are at the heart of the matter: within its scattered and shaggy structure, there’s something compelling to be found in every melodic corner, on the second or tenth listen. In this way, the album feels like a worthy successor to Frank Ocean’s lo-fi masterpiece Blonde. Gray brings her husky voice to bear to build stunning harmonies, and the tones she pulls from the guitar and bass are flawless.-TAKE A BOW

1. And Verano Son Tinaughty bunny

No other album this year has had as much universal appeal (and, let’s be honest, adoration) as And Verano Son Ti, Bad Bunny’s acclaimed fourth solo studio album. It’s an album of heartbreak, yes, but also a true declaration of love for his native Puerto Rico and a sonic homage to the Caribbean diaspora. Inspired by the musical styles of El Caribe, which range from reggaeton and dembow to merengue and cumbia, and strengthened by elements of dance hall and techno, Benito firmly roots the album in the deeply personal and explores the universal experiences of love, loss and ultimate pleasure. to be alive for an unusual project that changes genres, generations and is revolutionary.

Never shy about getting involved in politics, Bad Bunny also uses the project to critique hot topics, from the privatization of Puerto Rico’s government to the island’s current gentrification crisis as part of a long and troubled history of colonization. Hearing this album, moving to it and being moved by it is an act of defiance, celebration and radical love.—CL


10 best albums of 2022

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