the ten best albums of 2022 (so far)


Statue Nastia Cistakova

In the live sector, it was still a bit of a mess for pop music in the first half of 2022. The halls did not reopen until after March, and the festivals were set up hesitantly and a little anxiously. But fortunately: the new records flew around our ears. And the shutdowns don’t seem to have gotten in the way of the creative process. The year will still be a while, but as far as album harvest goes, it can’t go wrong. Listen for yourself.

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Harry’s house

Harry Styles

Fortunately, pop is also just music to make you happy, to open the windows and to roar along to a party. Harry Styles will be one of the biggest global pop stars in 2022 with an album that celebrates the free-spirited and maybe a little misfit life – which unfortunately people have to fight harder and harder for these days. Thirteen brilliant pop songs, with a sense of tradition and the blessings of richly produced pop from the 1970s to the present day.

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painless

Nilufer Yanya

Her voice sounds subdued, sometimes a little hypothermic, but what an impression the English Nilüfer Yanya makes on her album Painless. In particular, her sometimes drumming, sometimes angular, but always recognizable guitar work from thousands is poignant, making songs like The Dealer jump out of the speaker with joy. If you put Painless on repeat, you will hear beautiful details in her tight and fresh indie tracks, and you can also let the honest lyrics sink in. “Music is the only place where I honestly dare to say how I feel,” the singer said in the Volkskrant. We must listen.

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Skinny Fia

Fontaine’s DC

The (geo)political circumstances will have something to do with it, but the morbid post-punk, great in the eighties, remains raw and penetrating even in revival mode. But also exciting, as the Irish band Fontaines DC proves, with their Skinty Fia creeping menacingly between the ears and then under the skin. At the Best Kept Secret festival, it already became clear that Jackie Down the Line and Big Shot can be added to the canon of timeless punk anthems that we can consider new classics of the genre in the next revival.

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Dragon New Warm Mountain I believe in you

Big thief

Big Thief has been in the pop scene for a while, but 2022 is really the big breakthrough year. Thanks to the phenomenal, voluminous record with the equally fierce title Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You, but also because of the five-star shows that the American band played on the club and festival circuit. What a bond. Adrianne Lenker’s and Buck Meek’s guitar parts and vocal lines are so excruciatingly beautiful, and the swirling songs become so solidly grounded after several plays, that it’s almost impossible to put Big Thief on the greatest bands list. music history. Where does this end?

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Sir. Morality and the great steppes

Kendrick Lamar

Not an easy album, but a great piece of music that you need six months to fully understand. Lamar does not come with a handful of new hip-hop hits, but with a personal masterpiece in which he does not spare himself and the country he lives in. Mr. Morale & the Great Steppers sometimes sounds like a radio play, which also makes life quite difficult for the listener, but Lamar shows above all that he is not dictated by musical laws or stylistic conventions, and that he has become the most important music historian in America today .

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Motomami

Rosalia

The Spanish star continues to perform despite a tough touring schedule and an equally tough media presence. After 2018’s breakthrough album El Mal Querer, the Barcelona singer outdoes herself with a stunning album where she once again mixes hip-hop and flamenco, but flies much further away from the rails of mainstream pop. At Motomami, ‘La Rosalía’ rides on the back wheel through reggaeton and avant-garde pop, past brutal dance, South American folk music and nightclub jazz. And yet Motomami remains a cohesive album filled with pounding hits where there are no regrets, but especially a lot of female strength is celebrated.

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Ants from up there

Black Country, New Road

We’ll never get rid of the post-punk revival. Fortunately, for London label Black Country, New Road, a seven strong band, also made a gem of an album. Where the boundaries of good old post-punk are far exceeded. The guitar orchestra plunges into poetic reverie and musical experimentation, where saxophones, violins and pianos circle each other in swirls of folk music and minimal music. Singer Isaac Wood’s performance art grabs you by the throat, in the beautiful song The Place Where He Inserted the Blade. Just before this album was released, he announced that he would be leaving the band. Another reason to hug Ants from Up There to pieces.

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The sea operation

The Delines

The roots and soul band The Delines, where writer Willy Vlautin is interpreted by Amy Boone’s beautiful soulful voice, travels on The Sea Drift along the American gulf states, past the dilapidated neighborhoods and dilapidated amusement parks on the beach. Vlautin’s observations are achingly beautiful and leave a trail through everyone’s emotional life, with well-dosed strings and winds and the occasional bar piano drunk. Anyone who keeps it dry with the heartbreakingly melancholy All Along the Ride has a heart of stone.

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It’s almost dry

Pusha T

This Terrence LeVarr Thornton aka Pusha T is not exactly a newbie to hip hop. Together with his brother Gene, he formed the duo Clipse in the mid-nineties and with it – and with the help of friend, mentor and pop genius Pharrell Williams – Pusha T hit the ground running, releasing one hip-hop hit after another throughout the nineties. His new solo album It’s Almost Dry shows the same tension of his older music, with catchy hooks, thick soul samples and lyrics about life’s struggles that you can’t let go of anymore. So many impressive and just plain tasty tracks on one hip-hop album: that we can experience it again in 2022. Thanks to Kanye West, and again the twisted Pharrell Williams at the controls.

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Law Leg

Law Leg

British duo Wet Legs’ creation story is beautiful, and that’s why we love this band so much. Friends Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers from the Isle of Wight watched the band play Idles at a festival, from a Ferris wheel, and said to each other 20 meters above sea level: ‘It would be cool to play in a band too. ‘ They grabbed a notepad and started writing songs. On the self-titled debut album, the crackling guitar punk pop numbers fly around our ears, from the unapproachable indie hit Chaise Longue to the sing-along act Wet Dream. Humor, punch, unadulterated pop fun.

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