Top Albums of 2022
2022 has been an amazing year for music. It’s been the year of the comeback for many artists who have finally released their long anticipated albums after years, the year that many artists have finally gained the recognition they deserve, and just another great year for well known artists who are continuously releasing good music. Whether it’s alternative rock, R&B, rap, pop, indie, reggaeton, etc. I’ve included a few favorites from Freedom students, some of my favorites, and the overall public’s favorites!
Arctic Monkeys: “The Car” Recommended by senior, Muskah Younis, “The Car” is the Arctic Monkeys 7th studio album and was released on October 21st, 2022. It’s a mix of alternative rock, and R&B and has similar sounds from their album “Humbug” which is quite popular in Sheffield England. “The Car is my favorite album of this year because it was the first album the Arctic Monkeys released since I’ve become a fan and it felt monumental. They also dropped a tour soon after so it's the reason I’ll get to see them in concert.” Muskah Younis says about the albumThe album includes a variety of sounds/vibes to it including inspirations from the 60s, 70s and 80s, different guitar riffs, and dramatic string sections.
Joji: “Smithereens” One of my personal favorites is “Smithereens” by Joji. Joji’s last album “Nectar” was released in 2020, and he hadn’t released any new music since, until he released “Glimpse of Us” which is the first track of the album. The song quickly became very popular on Tik Tok so new and old fans were highly anticipating the release of the entire album, and it was finally released on November 4, 2022. The beginning of the album describes the feelings of heartbreak and a past love, and towards the end of the album, it shifts to the feeling of trying to move on, healing, and the aftermath of the failed reconciliation after a breakup. The album has a mix of trap, slow ballads, electronic, lo-if beats, piano instrumentals, and string sections. The lyrics of each song are so specific and relatable to many people, especially people going through a recent heartbreak. It’s become very personal to me and it definitely one of my favorites and go-to albums to cry to!
Omar Apollo: “Ivory” Ivory by Omar Apollo was recommended by a Freedom High student who chooses to remain anonymous. Omar Apollo was a hidden gem for a while and wasn’t too recognized with his own music, but was known by many with his collaborations with Kali Uchis, and Joji. Ivory was released on April 8, 2022. Omar comes from Hispanic culture, and has many influences from musicians and styles of his own background. His album included songs in both English and Spanish, and has sounds of R&B, soul, indie, and hip hop. “His voice is one of a kind and I love how he can incorporate his culture with certain songs to give a deeper, sentimental meaning. As someone who has listened to him since 2019, it's nice knowing he’s finally getting the recognition he deserves because of social media. His lyrics allowed the media to express their heartbreak emotions and give a platform of comfort. I’m very excited to witness great music and projects from him in the future!” The anonymous student answers. They would best describe this album as “Coping with loss of a former lover”. .
Kendrick Lamar: “Mr Morale and the Big Steppers” After 5 years since his last album release, Kendrick Lamar finally made his big comeback on May 13, 2022 with probably one of the most anticipated albums of the year, the release of “Mr Morale and the Big Steppers”. The album has a very detailed production and includes strings, dramatic piano stabs, trumpets, drums, and the usual R&B beats. It’s seen as a very personal album and many might say that the album wasn’t supposed to be for us, but for Kendrick. The first half of the album serves as a therapy session with Kendrick rapping about all his frustrations and trauma including, fatherly issues, abuse, freedom of speech, and other sensitive topics relevant to society. His use of lyrics remains just as detailed and personal as his past music and shows that he still has just as much lyrical skill as he used to. The second half of the album shows Kendrick showing his acceptance of certain issues and accepting the fact that he can’t change his perspectives to appeal to everyone and acknowledging his past mistakes and beliefs on certain topics. His lyrics show a lot of his self awareness and wrong doings and many fans say they relate to this especially when mentioning family issues and the relationship with their parents. The entire theme of the album and lyrics chosen make it even deeper, serious, and personal not only to the listeners but Kendrick himself..
Bad Bunny: “Un Verano Sin Ti” Saved the best for last! “Un Verano Sin Ti” By Bad Bunny, an album I’ve had on repeat every single day since May 5th, 2022. The album was highly anticipated as Bad Bunny had released his last album in 2020. “Un Verano Sin Ti” is the first Spanish-Language album to earn a Grammy nomination for Album of the YearAs soon as the album dropped, it became a hit and quickly became popular on tik tok with his songs “Titi Me Pregunto”, “Me Porto Bonito” and “El Apagon”. It includes a variety of genres including, indie pop, trap, merengue, reggaeton, and ballads. The album is so many things and perfect. Not only is the music and production of the songs amazing, but the lyrics of some of the songs including “Andrea” and “El Apagon”, talks about the sad reality of women in Puerto Rico and Puerto Rico’s issues overall. “Un Verano Sin Ti” which translates to “A Summer Without You” has a tropical party-like vibe to it and it really enhanced mine and many others’ entire summer experience. With this album, you can vibe with your friends, dance to it, feel nostalgic, cry to it, and more. This album is made for everything and everyone.