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The Top 50 Albums of 2022

Updated: Dec 27, 2022

The top 50 albums from the year the queen dropped (talking B not Liz).


I've been writing about music as an on-off hobby since 2017. Why do I do it? I guess it's because for me, music consumption is just that - consuming. An invitation to participate in listening. And when the invitation is shiny enough, that's all the motivation I need. The more active and attentive the experience of listening to the music, the greater the music can become, like a symbiosis. Writing about music is just an expression of that participation; a deconstruction of its complex and teleporting evocations.


Other than a review of the new FKA twigs' album, all the pieces I wrote this year were interviews. My conversations with these talented creators (two of whom have albums on this list) were a chance to learn new languages and customs - that of their art. Not to get too existential, but I'm starting to realise that if we don't show up in the worlds of one another's conception (artists simply being people who build and nurture these worlds with attention and detail) there isn't much point in interacting at all. It's post pandemic philosophy mixed with lessons from a year that at times felt quite disappearing for me. I was barracked up with illness a few times, twice with covid and then for a good month or so with the grey tired fog brain of post-covid. Plus, 23 really is weird, the twitter people weren't lying. And why was it 40 degrees that one week?? Well, we know why but it's kind of terrifying to think about. Through this all, participating in the imagined worlds of artists, in listening, kept things real.


Fundamental to a deliberate approach to listening is the album. At a time when our feedback loops are becoming TikTok tight, it's no exaggeration to say that, if we don't reward artists for creating albums, artists won't make albums (why you think Drake forgot how to season his music). I try to tread carefully when talking about music listening as I'm aware it toes the line of pretentiousness but I'll allow myself one absolutist statement here: to me, if you don't listen to albums, you don't reaaally listen to music. "But what if there's songs on it I don't like? I need my music filtered through a Spotify curated playlist!" Trust me friend, there are many albums released each year where each song contributes to a coherent and worthwhile listening experience. I'm about to hit you with fifty.


Here's a playlist with the first track of each album:

Lesgetit.


#50. HERBERT

Ab-Soul


#49. It's Almost Dry

Pusha T


#48. Morfo

Charlotte Dos Santos


#47. This Is What I Mean

Stormzy


#46. Spaceships on the Blade

Larry June


#45. Dance Fever

Florence + The Machine


#44. Noughty By Nature

Digga D


#43. Cheat Codes

Black Thought & Danger Mouse


#42. Asha's Awakening

Raveena


#41. The Forever Story

JID


#40. The Car

Arctic Monkeys


#39. NO THANK YOU

Little Simz


#38. Could We Be More

Kokoroko


#37. Luv 4 Rent

Smino


#36. MAHAL

Toro y Moi


#35. God Don't Make Mistakes

Conway the Machine


#34. ALPHA PLACE

Knucks


#33. Simple.

IDK & Kaytranada


#32. POLARIS

OG KEMi


#31. Bad Influence

Ojerime


#30. Rave & Roses

Rema


#29. Joints

Blade Brown & K-Trap


#28. RAMONA PARK BROKE MY HEART

Vince Staples


#27. CROSSOVER

Dua Saleh


#26. SICK!

Earl Sweatshirt


#25. IF I COULDN'T RAP, I WOULDN'T RAP

Jordy & Elt Cheekz


#24. 2000

Joey Bada$$


#23. WASTELAND

Brent Faiyaz


#22. Some Nights I Dream of Doors

Obongjayar


#21. The Elephant Man's Bones

Roc Marciano & The Alchemist


#20. LOUIE

Kenny Beats


#19. Laurel Hell

Mitski


#18. 4 THA HOMIEZ

Novelist


#17. Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers

Kendrick Lamar


#16. CRASH

Charli XCX


#15. Dawn FM

The Weeknd


#14. Big Time

Angle Olsen


#13. MOTOMAMI

ROSALIA


#12. Gemini Rights

Steve Lacy


#11. $oul $old $eperately

Freddie Gibbs


#10. Reason to Smile

Kojey Radical


#9. SOS

SZA


#8. Ants From Up There

Black Country, New Road


#7. Few Good Things

Saba


#6. PAINLESS

Nilüfer Yanya


#5. CAPRISONGS

FKA twigs


#4. We've Been Going About This All Wrong

Sharon Van Etten


#3. RENAISSANCE

Beyoncé


#2. Melt My Eyez See Your Future

Denzel Curry


#1. Natural Brown Prom Queen

Sudan Archives


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