AllMusic’s Best of 2022

Written by on December 20, 2022

The end of 2022 is upon us and we like to use it as a time to reflect on the year gone by. Throughout December we’re going to present the best releases of a few dozen genres and formats.

• As the world re-emerged from its pandemic stupor, music roared back in a big way in 2022. From Rosalía’s inspired genre-mashing to Harry Styles’ millennial pop stylings and the insistent and sly indie muscle of Dry Cleaning, this year held a wealth of new music. Check out our overall Best Albums of 2022 list and follow along for a new list every weekday throughout the rest of the year.

• Every year somebody proclaims that “Rock Is Dead” but this year’s Rock offerings paint a different picture. Plow into the anthemic energy of Gang of Youths, the dark adventures of Jack White and the jazzy, mind-bending debut LP from members of Radiohead/Sons of Kemet performing as The Smile.

• Acoustic guitars, heartfelt lyrics, soulful harmonies and often a wide-brimmed hat, these are our favorite folk and Americana albums of the year. Take a backroads journey with The Lone Bellow, Amanda Shires, Nikki Lane and more.

• Metal has deep roots but continues to evolve. From long-established acts like Voivod, Meshuggah and Megadeth are born genre-mashing innovators such as Astronoid and Cloakroom. Here are AllMusic’s favorite metal albums of 2022.

• Each year, AllMusic’s favorite blues albums showcase the established acts like Shemekia Copeland, Walter Trout and Charlie Musselwhite who carry on the tradition, and also relative newcomers like Fantastic Negrito and Elles Bailey who continue to evolve the genre.

• Every year the AllMusic editors discover new and innovative acts pushing the boundaries of sound, texture and rhythm under the indie/alternative umbrella. From lo-fi bedroom recordings to explosive and genre-bending signature pieces, celebrate the recordings of Mitski, Dry Cleaning, Death Cab for Cutie, Wet Leg, and dozens more in our favorite indie & alternative albums.

• Rap and hip-hop continue to evolve from the streets and through the rest of the world, and genres clash into each other in newly energizing ways. Black Thought and Danger Mouse, Lupe Fiasco, Leikeli47, Kid Cudi and Kendrick Lamar all make appearances on our favorite rap and hip-hop albums of the year.

Classical instrumental recordings this year looked to the past with new interpretations of Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and a breathtaking investigation of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier by Trevor Pinnock, while also pushing forward with contemporary compositions by John Williams and harp interpretations by Yolanda Kondonassis.

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