You know what time it is! Time for… We Plug Good Music’s Best Albums of 2022
As another crazy year is nearing its end, we are looking back at what it brought us or took away. Life went back to normal (or as normal as it can get) after the pandemic and we were lucky to be able to go to a pub with our friends, take our families on vacation or attend an event at a stadium packed with people. This normalcy was unfortunately quickly taken away in some parts of the world as conflicts arose, however people have shown enormous amounts of solidarity, strength, bravery and most of all, hope.
Our Christmas wish for this year is for people to never lose hope, to spend their precious time with the people they cherish the most and do what they love. We must say we are lucky enough to be able to do what we love, as music is all around us, so let’s see what happened in the music industry.
Thankfully, live music events came back everywhere, from your local punk band playing in a bar to the highest grossing tours of the year, Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres World Tour, Bad Bunny’s World’s Hottest Tour or Harry Styles’ Love on Tour. TikTok has continued its reign above all other social media, especially when it comes to creating viral songs and giving new upcoming artists the chance to explode.
Pop and rap music remain the pillars of the industry, 2022 however brought a surprising comeback of emo and pop punk, with My Chemical Romance bringing their hits back on tour, Avril Lavigne going back to her roots and Tom Delonge rejoining Blink-182. Other established artists have given us amazing things to be excited about, from Kendrick Lamar bringing Helen Mirren as a therapist for his music video to Beyoncé dropping an album without a notice for everyone to go crazy over. Taylor Swift took a break from re-recording her old material to bring us a new album and star in a movie.
Newer artists are also making their mark on the industry with Nova Twins using their chance to open for Bring Me The Horizon to the fullest and releasing a new rock album this year, Muna coming out with their best work yet on their self-titled album and SZA not only releasing an album, but also proving she can make anything sound good with a Twitter favourite Saturday Night Live skit.
Overall, this has been a great year for the comeback of music, and while you can revisit our list so far here, let’s have a look at We Plug Good Music’s Best Albums of 2022, from #20 to #11 below.
20. Dawn Richard & Spencer Zahn – Pigments
19. Cate Le Bon – Pompeii
18. Weyes Blood – And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow
17. The Weeknd – Dawn FM
The Weeknd goes above and beyond to create a fitting atmosphere with each album he releases. Dawn FM, the latest instalment reflects that with its synths, electronic, and 80s funk vibe. Each song ties into the other one so cohesively, it is almost hard to tell when one ends and the other begins.
It was positively received, supported by the singles “Take My Breath” “Sacrifice” “Out of Time” and “Less than Zero”. An interlude narrated by Jim Carey on the album’s namesake invites us to take a seat and listen to the station 103.5 Dawn FM as we journey through purgatory towards the light at the end of the tunnel.
Throughout, The Weeknd’s cascading soprano takes us on a journey of finding love, losing it and loathing it with the songs “Best Friend” “I Heard You’re Married” featuring Lil Wayne, and “How Do I Make You Love Me?” He also reflects on existentialism, death and regret tracks like “Gasoline” which is about a tormented drug addict.
Closing off, “Phantom Regret” is narrated by Jim Carey with The Weeknd’s ethereal harmonizing in the background.
It enforces the message that leaving purgatory can be done letting go of what weighs one’s heart down.
16. Black Thought & Danger Mouse – Cheat Codes
15. Wet Leg – Wet Leg
14. Yard Act – The Overload
13. Noah Cyrus – The Hardest Part
12. Denzel Curry – Melt My Eyez See Your Future
11. Angel Olsen – Big Time
In life, the three most important events are when you are born, when you fall in love and when you die, everything in between is a build-up to the fact. Given that personal understanding of life’s trajectory, it is a great pleasure to sit down and fully embrace the compilation of Angel Olsen’s sixth studio album titled Big Time.
It is a heart-warming experience that speaks to love and loss in the fondest and rawest of manners, and having been put together in the eye of a bittersweet storm, it is an honour to really be placed in the centre of her lived experience.
While this album still does exactly that which she has always presented us with, this experience of it is a new and rare one, as it is not quite so often that we are given a chance to indulge in the understanding of what death means to us. She created this body of work after having fallen in love and come out to her adopted parents who passed on shortly after. As such, when we look at her album in its entirety, it feels as though the artist has quite literally left her heart in her music
This album does what I feel most modern-time music fails to do, it lays out a complete story of what emotions are being felt and how they are dealt with. This kind of lyricism has the ability to plainly paint a complete picture of the message that she had thrown herself into when making the song, it also carries within it a personal moment that we can all remember experiencing.
Click HERE for a full list of our Top 50 Albums of 2022!
Words by Tereza Bittnerova, Ruby Adele, Melissa Nyk, Sinalo Bambeni, Abigale Du Plessis, Kim Nina and Zeze Maseko // List curated by Ayo Adepoju