Another wild year gone but one that has created some truly exceptional music. Too much for even I to get through especially when my brain is so overtaken by the albums on this list.
Do you want some long winded intro explaining my decisions? I don’t want to bore you with that. My tastes aren’t any better than anyone else’s. I just love music and I love the emotional experiences I get from listening. If it sticks with me, or makes me feel something, it’s likely it’ll end up on this list. It might be the most popular album in the country (spoiler, a couple of them are) or it might be some niche thing. Whatever popularity the artist or album has achieved, I enjoyed it enough to include it here.
First up, I wanted to give a shout out to a couple of the best songs from this year. First up, Jeffrey Eli’s Ladybug. I listen to this song daily. It sums up feelings I’ve had so perfectly that it may inspire my first tattoo.
The second, Selena Gomez’s beautiful and vulnerable single featured in her documentary, My Mind & Me. It is a pitch perfect song about struggling with mental health. It just adore it. You’ll have to check it out on the streaming service of your choice as I can’t share a YouTube video because the record industry is a complete disaster.
Okay here we go! Here are my ten favorite albums of 2022.
Trixie Mattel – The Blonde & Pink Albums
Drag me if you must (pun intended) but Trixie Mattel brings me such joy that I can’t really even express it. I love her music, genuinely adore it and this album is just pure fun. And for the record, Trixie is one of the best country artists in the game right now.
Father John Misty – Chloë and the Next 20th Century
He’s been on the list before and here he is again with this tremendous album. A terrific collection of songs that feel at once out of time and completely of the moment. A shockingly underrated artist who delivers just incredible music every album cycle.
Death Cab For Cutie – Asphalt Meadows
I don’t want to say, “they’re back” because did they ever really go anywhere? I don’t subscribe to a band or artist remaining in whatever era or style that I prefer or enjoyed most but this feels as close to the Death Cab I fell in love with as ever. Can’t wait to see these songs live.
Schuyler Fisk – We Can Be Alright
I somehow did not know this album had come out until recently and I did a double take when I saw it. I absolutely adore Schuyler Fisk and was beyond excited when I saw this. I’ve been waiting ages for a new album from her and this one does not disappoint. Loaded with the emotion and that gorgeous voice, it was absolutely worth the wait.
Hikaru Utada – BADモード (Bad Mode)
You know them even if you think you don’t. Especially if you are a gamer and enjoy the Kingdom Hearts franchise because they are a staple of those games with the unforgettable songs featured in each one. Now, this with this new album, they’re delivering some amazing emotional language defying songs. I truly enjoyed every track on here and it just further cements Hikaru Utada as an icon.
Years & Years – Night Call
Years & Years may now essentially be Olly Alexander’s solo project, but they’ve still released their most infectious album to date. Just jammed with fun utterly danceable tracks letting Olly’s addictive vocals shine. One of my favorite voices out there.
Harry Styles – Harry’s House
What can I say, I love it. I love his sound, I love how he evolves his sound and yet is still quentisentially Harry. He proves time and again that he is an artist, and an exceptional one.
Beyonce – Renaissance
Her best album to date. At first, I dismissed it. I was so wrong to do so. It’s wonderful. An absolute gorgeous, deep, intense record from an artist who has yet to reach her peak. Exceptional.
Now, originally these next two albums were going to be tied at #1. My love for both of them is off the charts but one of them truly truly spoke to my heart and so I had to do what I had to do.
Taylor Swift – Midnights
I love this album, I love every track on this album. I am 100% a swiftie so if you wanna call me biased go ahead but goddamnit I love her music and I adore this album. She has been on an absolute burn of amazing albums and is showing no signs of stopping. As a fan of hers and a fan of music that touches me emotionally? This one hits every mark.
But, there was another album this year that has been on constant repeat. Even as I dive into other albums, this is one that I keep coming back to. One that I’ve shed tears to (don’t worry Taylor gets that honor as well), one that I’ve sang to, pondered life to, pondered love to, one that has resonated with me more than any I can think of in quite a while.
Greyson Chance – Palladium
As if Euterpe herself came down to inspire it, Greyson Chance’s Palladium is, for my money, a masterpiece. A raw, vulnerable collection of beautiful songs touching on love, loss, identity, getting back up and finding who you are when everything seems hopeless. I am twice his age and I haven’t connected to an album as deeply as this one from any artist of my generation. That is a testament to Greyson’s songwriting, his artistry, and his ability to craft songs that stretch across time and generation. His vocals are incredible, his lyrics heartrending and hopeful. Even as I write this I want to put the album on and in fact, I’m going to do just that.
What are your favorite albums/songs of the year? Please let me know on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok. @MyNameIsGaron everywhere! I always love hearing new music and being introduced to something I might miss.
My best movies list will drop soon, I just have to watch a few more!
Here’s to an amazing year of music and please check out these artists on your streaming service of choice or buy their records at your local record store!
Garon Cockrell is the Founder and Editor of Pop Culture Beast and host of The Pop Culture Beast Show. He founded the site over seven years ago to have a place on the internet to write about the things he loved. Since then, Garon has become a best-selling author (Demonic and Other Tales), an award winning screenwriter (Best Screenplay 2013 Motor City Nightmares Film Festival), and a cast member on the top rated podcast, Never Not Funny.