POETRY DANS LA RUE explored 50 of this year’s hottest albums (see AOTY Contenders Playlist) and narrowed them down to 15 Top Albums of 2022. Don’t pay TOO much attention to the order because this year was massive for music releases! One commonality between these albums is the impeccable songwriting from these artists across the board.
Did any of these albums make your list? Check out our Top 15 Albums of 2022 and Honorable Mentions in the full breakdown below.
// Top 15 Albums of 2022 //
// 10 // Beatopia by beabadoobee
Rounding out our top 10 Albums of 2022 is Beatopia, the sophomore album by London alternative singer-songwriter beabadoobee. Beatopia is a lighter, more serene album from her debut Fake It Flowers. Bea holds fast to her ’90s-Esque female pop rock style on the hit single “Talk” yet goes more coffeehouse acoustic for “The Perfect Pair.” Matty Healy also makes some guest appearances with songwriting credits on this album. “Pictures of Us” echoes a sonic background similar to the likes of The Cure; Matty pens one of his signature metaphors “She reminded me that God starts with a capital, but I don’t think I could do it all,” as Bea’s voice murmurs unwavering as the track comes to a height.
// 9 // MUNA by MUNA
Indie pop threesome MUNA is at an all-time high with the band’s third studio album. MUNA is soft and vulnerable yet airy and captivating. Opening track “Silk Chiffon” ft. Phoebe Bridgers became somewhat of a feminine anthem of 2022. Other songwriting peaks include the inner dialogue ballad “Kind of Girl,” synth-pop tune “Runner’s High,” and the sultry track “No Idea.”
// 8 // Surrender by Maggie Rogers
Maggie Rogers shakes things up on her second studio album, Surrender. The singer-songwriter brings a delightful contrast from her debut album and pushes her vocal limits with “Horses” and “Overdrive.” Surrender is the pivot in an artist’s career where you see them feel entirely in charge of their artistic decisions, breaking out of the box and letting loose.
//7 // Sonder by Dermot Kennedy
Irish singer-songwriter Dermot Kennedy reaches massive heights with his sophomore album Sonder. Kennedy, who started his career while busking the streets of Dublin, brings the contrast of intimacy and mainstream pop on the 11-track LP. Longtime fans of Dermot bask in deeper emotional tracks like “Innocence and Sadness” and “Dreamer,” while newcomers may enjoy more pop-like tunes such as “Kiss Me” and “Something to Someone.”
// 6 // Multitude by Stromae
Belgian worldwide pop star Stromae FINALLY returned in 2022 with his third album, Multitude. After a long hiatus from the music industry, Stromae released “Santé,” a lead single with a TikTok trending dance to go with it. Stromae, inverse for “Maestro,” is a talented singer-songwriter and an all-around theatrical artist and producer. Stromae has a knack for taking a song such as “Enfers” and concealing a more profound message with the contrast of upbeat music. His music videos and stage performances take performative art to the next level. Multitude saw much success in North America this year at Coachella, and his headline shows.
// 5 // Midnights by Taylor Swift
After pouring out her most intimate diary entries on sister albums folklore and evermore, T. Swift is back with a stadium anthem-worthy album. Midnights is precisely the right direction Taylor needed to take for her return to the stage. Pop ballads like “Bejeweled,” “Karma,” and “Anti-Hero” bring back the reputation vibes that fans may have been missing. For the *always in your feels fans* there are a few tracks to get you down (see “You’re On Your Own Kid” and “Bigger Than the Whole Sky”). Taylor’s clever to-the-beat songwriting rings high on “Maroon,” “The burgundy on my T-shirt when you splashed your wine into me / And how the blood rushed into my cheeks, so scarlet, it was (maroon).”
// 4 // Leap by James Bay
James Bay’s third studio album, Leap, combines elements from his critically acclaimed debut album Chaos and the Calm and the more synth-pop sophomore album Electric Light. The British singer-songwriter tells stories of love, growth, and personal reflection with a voice full of emotion. Bay’s songwriting shines on the beautifully penned wedding song “One Life.” Other standout songs include “Nowhere Left to Go,” “Right Now,” “Brilliant Still,” and “Give Me the Reason.”
// 3 // Harry’s House by Harry Styles
Everyone lived in Harry’s House in 2022, including half of New York, Dallas, and L.A., for about fifteen nights a piece. Harry crafted the soundtrack of the year by debuting “As It Was” shortly before his Coachella headline set in April. Harry’s House hits hard with dance-pop on “Cinema,” empathy on “Matilda,” and funky soul on “Music for a Sushi Restaurant.” Harry is on top of the pop star world, and this album further solidified his spot for global stardom.
// 2 // Being Funny In A Foreign Language by The 1975
The 1975 stuns longtime and newbie fans in their 5th studio album, Being Funny In A Foreign Language. The Manchester band of 20 years has written their most cohesive CONCISE album, consolidating their musical artwork into eleven flawless and heartfelt tracks. The stripped-back production works wonders on audiences of all ages, especially on songs like “All I Need to Hear” and “When We Are Together.” Lyrically, 90% of the album takes a step back on some of Matty Healy’s most poetic monologues, making it easier to digest and sing along. If you’re looking for an overly indulgent and experimental track, that would be the lead single “Part of the Band.”
// 1 // Stick Season by Noah Kahan
Stick Season by Noah Kahan delivers lyrically, emotionally, and vocally track after track. Noah’s songwriting is at an all-time high as he paints pictures of melancholic dark winter nights in New England. This album will make listeners feel as though they are experiencing synesthesia in how Kahan weaves through the film-like images of his past and present. Top tracks include “Stick Season,” “All My Love,” “Come Over,” “Growing Sideways,” and “Everywhere, Everything.” Noah’s Stick Season tour is growing by the hour. He has upgraded several venues to accommodate more fans BEFORE the tickets even go on sale. “It’s the season of the sticks!”
// Honorable Mentions // Top Albums of 2022
Älskar by Nina Nesbitt, Autofiction by Suede, The Hum Goes On Forever by The Wonder Years, Lavender Days by Caamp, Tell Me That It’s Over by Wallows, and Bronco by Orville Peck