PopMatters' 50 Best Albums of 2022 So Far

PopMatters' 50 Best Albums of 2022 So Far

Original Source →

700 Bliss - Nothing To Declare
May 27, 2022
Critic Score
76
6 reviews

alt-J - The Dream
February 11, 2022
Critic Score
78
26 reviews

Alt-J may have tempered their eccentricities on The Dream but there’s still plenty of death and genre-bending to satisfy veteran votaries.

Bartees Strange - Farm to Table
June 17, 2022
Critic Score
75
18 reviews

Continuing to blend hip-hop and indie rock, Bartees Strange charts a musically agile, emotionally-charged journey through his psyche on Farm to Table.

Beach House - Once Twice Melody
February 18, 2022
Critic Score
80
30 reviews

Beach House are always tinkering around the edges of their sonic universe, getting darker, weirder, subtler, and more expansive. They do that on Once Twice Melody, and the payoff is enormous.

Big Thief - Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You
February 11, 2022
Critic Score
85
32 reviews

Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You collates everything Big Thief are now known for – pristine arrangements, tight performances, urgent emotionality – into a behemoth of stellar songs. Though it clocks in at about 80 minutes, somehow it all flies by like a breeze.

Black Country, New Road - Ants From Up There
February 4, 2022
Critic Score
89
30 reviews
The bold sophomore album from the London experimentalists is a singular work rife with ambitious songwriting and sincere, sharply-observed emotions.

Congotronics International - Where’s The One
April 29, 2022
Critic Score
83
6 reviews

Congotronics International, a supergroup of Konono Nº1 and Kasai Allstars members and guests, make their recorded debut with Where’s the One? It’s phenomenal.

Destroyer - LABYRINTHITIS
March 25, 2022
Critic Score
76
18 reviews

On LABYRINTHITIS, indie rock’s Destroyer address North American anxiousness while successfully tackling styles hitherto untouched by the project.

Drug Church - Hygiene
March 11, 2022
Critic Score
80
7 reviews

Drug Church have bent the aging punk and hardcore genre into new shapes on Hygiene whilst also becoming tighter, sharper, and more accessible.

Earl Sweatshirt - SICK!
January 14, 2022
Critic Score
80
21 reviews

Emeli Sandé - Let’s Say For Instance
May 6, 2022
Critic Score
63
4 reviews

Fanclubwallet - You Have Got to Be Kidding Me
May 20, 2022
Critic Score
71
4 reviews

Father John Misty - Chloë and the Next 20th Century
April 8, 2022
Critic Score
77
31 reviews

Father John Misty’s Chloë and the Next 20th Century is filled with deeply imaginative arrangements and sophisticated, textured songwriting.

Fontaines D.C. - Skinty Fia
April 22, 2022
Critic Score
86
30 reviews

With Skinty Fia Fontaines D.C. deliver a brooding post-punk sensual feast with a distinctly Irish flavor. Longing, alienation, and malice simmer under the surface.

Gang of Youths - angel in realtime.
February 25, 2022
Critic Score
79
15 reviews

With Angel in Realtime, Gang of Youths have elevated their work to new echelons of arena rock potential. Listening to it from start to finish is something genuinely satisfying.

Ghost - IMPERA
March 11, 2022
Critic Score
80
15 reviews
His knack for smart riffs and melodies, not to mention his constant itch for experimentation, have rightly made Ghost a leader in mainstream rock, a positive development the genre has sorely lacked for years.

Guerilla Toss - Famously Alive
March 25, 2022
Critic Score
70
6 reviews

Quirky art-rock outfit Guerilla Toss sacrifice little of their magnificent strangeness by leaning mainstream on their Sub Pop debut, Famously Alive.

Guided By Voices - Crystal Nuns Cathedral
March 4, 2022
Critic Score
81
5 reviews

With Crystal Nuns Cathedral, Guided By Voices deliver a compelling statement and a thrilling testimony to the high artistry of Robert Pollard’s vision.

Harry Styles - Harry's House
May 20, 2022
Critic Score
78
27 reviews

Harry Styles demonstrates his genuine affinity for modern pop with Harry’s House, as he stands out amidst a collection of pandemic-influenced bedroom offerings.

Hatchie - Giving The World Away
April 22, 2022
Critic Score
75
17 reviews

By letting her existential anxieties take center stage, Hatchie embraces alt-pop sensibilities on Giving the World Away to process life and loss in all its messy glory.

Hurray For The Riff Raff - Life On Earth
February 18, 2022
Critic Score
83
19 reviews

Hurray for the Riff Raff’s new songs explore different survival strategies one can take to endure and thrive during our short Life on Earth.

Imarhan - Aboogi
January 28, 2022
Critic Score
82
5 reviews

Desert rock’s Imarhan have always been strongest for their subtleties, and never more so than on the immaculately crafted tracks of Aboogi.

Immanuel Wilkins - The 7th Hand
January 28, 2022
Critic Score
80
3 reviews

Jack White - Fear of the Dawn
April 8, 2022
Critic Score
75
28 reviews

Fear of the Dawn is an intense aural barrage of rock from start to finish and may very well be Jack White’s finest solo output to date.

Jenny Hval - Classic Objects
March 11, 2022
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

The songs on Jenny Hval’s latest album, Classic Objects, are purposely dreamlike and intended to inspire her audience’s reveries. Hval succeeds in creating a dreamlike state.

Joywave - Cleanse
February 11, 2022
Critic Score
85
2 reviews

Kendrick Lamar - Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers
May 13, 2022
Critic Score
87
33 reviews

On Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, renowned rapper Kendrick Lamar observes the strife plaguing his kingdom and consciously abdicates the throne.

Kojey Radical - Reason To Smile
March 4, 2022
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

Leyla McCalla - Breaking the Thermometer
May 6, 2022
Critic Score
80
6 reviews

Miranda Lambert - Palomino
April 29, 2022
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

Miranda Lambert’s Palomino is a damn fine record with 15 tales of love and the American Dream in her trademark powerful, declarative yet tender voice.

Misha Sultan - Roots
May 6, 2022
Critic Score
90
1 review

MUNA - MUNA
June 24, 2022
Critic Score
83
20 reviews
Synthpop trio MUNA craft an LP boldly exploring how being queer is composed of both joys and traumas, and that there’s no shame in messily embracing both.

OHYUNG - imagine naked!
April 22, 2022
Critic Score
90
1 review

Conceived out of the pandemic’s hopelessness, outre-art rapper and film composer OHYUNG has crafted a two-hour ambient record for the ages in imagine naked!.

Oumou Sangaré - Timbuktu
April 29, 2022
Critic Score
78
5 reviews

For as much as “Malian blues” is thrown around in talking about everything from Tinariwen to Touré, Oumou Sangaré’s Timbuktu truly delivers on such a phrase.

Perfume Genius - Ugly Season
June 17, 2022
Critic Score
76
25 reviews

Michael Hadreas of Perfume Genius delivers his most experimental, wandering, and gorgeously unkempt album to date with Ugly Season.

Röyksopp - Profound Mysteries
April 29, 2022
Critic Score
77
9 reviews

The vast creativity and breadth of Röyksopp’s Profound Mysteries are impressive. A suite of short films operates as a gorgeous visual interpretation.

Rokia Koné & Jacknife Lee - Bamanan
February 18, 2022
Critic Score
85
4 reviews

On Bamanan, Rokia Koné spreads messages of hope, resistance, and history that further cement her relevance as simultaneously a performer and commentator.

ROSALÍA - MOTOMAMI
March 18, 2022
Critic Score
87
17 reviews

Just as altermodern culture materializes “trajectories rather than destinations”, Rosalía’s MOTOMAMI concerns the freedom to create and explore pathways.

Saba - Few Good Things
February 4, 2022
Critic Score
79
13 reviews

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers - Nightroamer
February 18, 2022
Critic Score
82
6 reviews

On Nightroamer, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers capture that nocturnal vibe where darkness illuminates the unknown more than hides what should be seen.

Shamir - Heterosexuality
February 11, 2022
Critic Score
79
16 reviews
Pop renaissance man Shamir channels trauma, rage, and feelings of angst, and in response to our troubled times, he’s released an album of uncommon beauty.

Sharon Van Etten - We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong
May 6, 2022
Critic Score
80
27 reviews

Sharon Van Etten grapples with love and parenthood in pandemic times in the ten deeply felt songs on We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong.

SOAK - If I Never Know You Like This Again
May 20, 2022
Critic Score
78
11 reviews
With the songs’ heart-on-their-sleeve lyrics and exuberant melodies, SOAK shows us that using uncomfortable past experiences for personal growth doesn’t have to be a drag. In fact, it can be a blast.

St. Paul & The Broken Bones - The Alien Coast
January 28, 2022
Critic Score
68
7 reviews

Not content to just recycle the formula, St. Paul & The Broken Bones’ The Alien Coast is a profoundly bold statement of their creative evolution.

Tennyson - Rot
February 18, 2022
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

The Smile - A Light for Attracting Attention
May 13, 2022
Critic Score
84
27 reviews

The Smile aren’t a full-on syncretism of Radiohead and Sons of Kemet, but A Light for Attracting Attention proves that it needn’t be.

The Weather Station - How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars
March 4, 2022
Critic Score
79
16 reviews

On the companion piece to last year’s Ignorance, the Weather Station creates a piano-based record just as existentially anxious but anchored by quietude.

Tigran Hamasyan - StandArt
April 29, 2022
Critic Score
90
1 review
If jazz is America’s only original art form, Tigran Hamasyan shows that these excavations are still as relevant today as they were when they first appeared.

Wet Leg - Wet Leg
April 8, 2022
Critic Score
83
39 reviews
Wet Leg’s winning self-titled debut, with its constant hookups and insights into young adulthood, is an oasis in a sea of self-serious post-punk.

Yann Tiersen - 11 5 18 2 5 18
June 10, 2022
Critic Score
77
3 reviews
Original Source: https://www.popmatters.com/best-albums-of-2022-so-far
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