2022 was undoubtedly a great year for music. There was a vast pool of music to choose my top 5 from, so it was difficult to narrow my options down and let alone rank them. Per usual, Drake dominated the music scene in the summer when he dropped Honestly, Nevermind, and in the fall with the release of Her Loss. Despite all the hate, I loved Honestly, Nevermind. It definitely will be the album of the summer from this point on and really showed versatility in Drake’s range. It didn’t quite make the cut in the top five, but it would definitely be an honorable mention along with Sorry 4 What by Tory Lanez. Join me as I delve into the year’s most memorable albums.
Favorite song: south to west
This 19-track album features some of the legends of the hip-hop scene like Lil Baby, Young Thug, Kodak Black, and Future. Gunna shows us some range in this album and takes a shot at slower music in “so far ahead> empire”, and I think it suits his sound well. This album really revealed Gunna’s power to drop unique catchphrases in his songs, and we really saw this in “Pushin’ P.” By the first week into the release, he had everyone saying it. In general, Gunna floats on any beat he comes on, and you can clearly see this in “south to west.” For a two-minute song, it has such a catchy melody and flow that makes you want to listen to it back to back.
4. Un Verano Sin Ti
Favorite song: Tarot
Summer just doesn’t feel complete without Bad Bunny’s music, and when this album dropped in May, it truly felt like summer. After the lockdown in 2020, Bad Bunny gifted us all a tropical soundtrack with 23 songs, and it was much needed. The most impressive thing about this album is that Bad Bunny was able to flawlessly mend different Caribbean genres into one space, and this is not easy to do. There is an equal balance of more upbeat songs with slower, romantic ones, so whatever mood you’re in, you’ll for sure find a song to match it. Bad Bunny was also the first Latin American artist to be nominated for “Album of the Year” for “Un Verano Sin Ti,” so you can see the legacy that Bad Bunny has across the globe.
Favorite song: Open Arms (ft. Travis Scott)
SOS was a long-time coming from SZA, and the wait was well worth it. There is not one bad song on this album. The production quality and lyricism in all of her songs is something impressive and important to appreciate. Despite the album having a gloomier, mellow feel to it, SZA is able to bring beauty to her sadness. You can see SZA’s progression of feelings/realizations throughout the album, and this vulnerability is what put this album on the map.
2. Her Loss
Favorite song: Hours in Silence
Having Her Loss in the top 5 felt like a given. 21 Savage and Drake make one of the greatest duos in the rap scene, and their built-in chemistry is evident in their music. We saw Drake and 21 Savage collab with each other before on Jimmy Cooks, Mr.Right Now, and Sneakin’, but this album is just something else entirely. Drake really experimented with new flows and beats on this album which is allowing him to curate a new catalog for himself. The majority of the songs delivered and will be in heavy rotation for a good while. I just wish 21 had a little more prominence on the album; it could’ve made it that much better.
1. Heroes&Villians/Dawn FM
Favorite song: Trance (ft. Travis Scott)/ Less Than Zero
I couldn’t pick one album to secure the top spot, so Heroes&Villians and Dawn FM will share this award. The cinematic feel of Heroes&Villians made it feel like it was a soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t exist. The transitions between each song are flawless and very well executed. Metro is skilled in picking the best features to bring his hard-hitting, gothic beats alive. The only thing I would say is I wish there was more variety in the features on the album, but in general, this whole album was a cinematic masterpiece.
Dawn FM also deserved the best album of 2022. His dynamic production and versatility are unlike anything been done before in the pop scene. The flawless transition between every single song makes it seem like the album is meant to be listened to without stopping. The hypnotic feel that The Weeknd tried to execute was impressive; every album he gives us seems to have a sense of grandiosity to it. His creative approach is no doubt one of the best in the music industry.
The variety of albums I mentioned really shows the breadth of talent in the industry. Every album brought something special to the table, and the creativity I saw, especially from Metro and The Weeknd, was remarkable and deserves recognition. I think that the innovation that each artist will bring into the future will determine their status and relevance as an artist. The more common a style of music becomes, the less impressive it will be in the eyes of the audience. It will just be a matter of who can push those boundaries and consistently bring something fresh to their catalog.
That’s all for now! Thanks for reading my blog, and make sure to subscribe to my email list. A new blog is dropping Monday, so stay tuned!