This year saw the release of many anticipated albums. With the reduction of pandemic restrictions, artists performed live shows again and went on tour to interact with fans worldwide. Many long-awaited albums were released this year and featured hit songs that relatively defined 2022. Favoured artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce, SZA, Stormzy, Steve Lacy, and Rosalia released albums that left a mark this year. Continue reading to explore the artists’ albums below!
1) Renaissance – Beyonce
Album Release Date: July 29th 2022
Beyonce, also known as Queen Bey, is a trailblazer and multi-award winner named the most influential female artist of the twenty-first century. With the release of the album Renaissance, the decorated artist became the first female artist to have her initial seven studio albums debut at number one on the Billboard 200 in the US. Beyonce’s latest album, Renaissance, features catchy dance-pop and R&B anthems with lyrics that bring forth joy and self-expression. Tracks such as “Cuff it,” “I’m that girl,” and “Alien Superstar” mix groovy eclectic beats with lyrics about self-expression and hedonism.
2) Motomami -Rosalia
Album Release Date: March 18th 2022
Rosalia is a distinct pop star known for her ability to mix genres in novel ways, resulting in a new sound that has infiltrated and changed mainstream music, particularly pop. With the release of her album Motomami, there was positive critical acclaim for Rosalia’s genre-fusing compositions. Motomami contested what was considered mainstream; the album combined genres such as jazz and industrial with reggaeton as its prominent influence. The single “BIZCOCHITO” went viral on social media, becoming popular on TikTok and gaining over 135 million streams on Spotify!
3) Mr.Morale & The Big Steppers – Kendrick Lamar
Album Release Date: May 13th 2022
Kendrick Lamar, a renowned artist, has sold over 70 million records in the United States, has been anointed an influential artist, and is known as a progressive rapper. Released in May, the album mainly touched on Lamar’s journey, with childhood trauma and other themes mentioned throughout the tracks. With vulnerability as the focus, we dive deeper into the rapper’s experiences and thought processes within the album. Mainly composed of hip-hop, the album also features funk and psychedelic jazz.
4) SOS – SZA
Album Release Date: December 9th 2022
SZA recently released her second studio album, “SOS,” in early December, six years after her debut studio album, “CTRL,” was released. Long-awaited and anticipated, the album received 100 million streams on its debut in the US. Mainly known for incorporating alternative R&B, SZA experiments with different genres in her latest album. Featuring contemporary R&B, the album has nuances of pop, hip-hop, soul, and even elements of soft rock in tracks such as “F2F”.
5) This Is What I Mean – Stormzy
Album Release Date: November 25th 2022
The highly anticipated album “This Is What I Mean,” released by rapper and singer-songwriter Stormzy, features more vulnerable and personal themes. The album encompasses soul and R&B with an underlying tone of contemporary afrobeat. The “Hide and Seek” track has accumulated over 29 million streams on Spotify and features a calm, catchy beat.
6)Gemini Rights – Steve Lacey
Album Release Date: July 15th 2022
After reaching the top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart, the studio album by American artist Steve Lacy became a viral sensation. The album Gemini Rights was loved by many and featured a complementary mix of alternative R&B, jazz, funk, and indie rock. With groovy beats and catchy lyrics, the album was bound to be popular and well-received. Most notably, the single “Bad Habit” garnered popularity on TikTok and has over 470 million streams on Spotify.
7)Beatopia – Beabadoobee
Album Release Date: July 15th 2022
The Filipino-British singer, known as “Beabadoobee”, gained a large fanbase with the positive reception of her songs’ bedroom pop aesthetic after her single “Coffee” went viral on Tik Tok. Her album Beatopia features melodic, dreamy, dissonant, and somewhat nostalgic sounds reminiscent of childhood dreams and memories.