Top 5 Albums of 2022

My top five personal favorites + honorable mentions (no particular order)

learn 2 swim by redveil

What else is there to say about this 18 year old who came onto the scene stronger than anyone else this year? Entirely self-produced and a cohesive project makes learn 2 swim one of the most well-done projects of the year and should’ve been in the Rap Album of the Year nominations (especially over certain artists I might add). It’s almost impossible to find things wrong with this album, and I think I may have underrated it in my review. Regardless, if you haven’t heard of this Maryland artist, it’s time to tune in — you won’t regret it.

The Forever Story by JID

DiCaprio 2 was my introduction to JID. I remember I was bumping that album every day in my sophomore year and thinking, “why isn’t this guy more talked about?” It’s safe to say people are talking now. The Forever Story is just that, a story. JID is probably one of the best storytellers of this generation along with one of the other artist later in this list. I would argue that this album has two songs that make JID’s top five in his discography.

Gemini Rights by Steve Lacy

Steve Lacy broke onto the scene in a big way this year, aided by the TikTok virality of his hit “Bad Habit.” But the value of this album lies way beyond that of the chorus in that song. It’s worth noting his concert presence, including an incident of smashing a camera on stage. It can be frustrating for an artist to see the “new fans” so to call them, as they don’t typically dive into the full discography before a concert. It happens, there’s understandable angst and fault on both sides, so be it.

Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers by Kendrick Lamar

There’s a lot to be said about this album — the themes touch on a wide range of topics, most that are considered taboo, especially in the environments Lamar inhabits. Relationships, transphobia, racism, masculinity, and daddy issues among many other topics make an appearance. There’s a conversation that replayability plays a factor in the rating of the album but that just isn’t correct. As usual, a Kendrick Lamar projects will include more than just radio fodder — it’ll house intellectual and grasp concepts you wouldn’t see otherwise with a tinge of vulnerability.

Dawn FM by The Weeknd

I’m biased — a Weeknd project will always make my top 5 any year he drops. Dawn FM is no exception. After soaking in the critical acclaim and chaos of After Hours, it was only right that the second installation of the “second trilogy” followed soon after. I expect to see the third installation in the coming year to cap off one of the best discography runs of all time. I’ve been listening to this artist since I was 12 — it has been one of the most rewarding journeys to watch The Weeknd experiment with his sound and genres over the years.



An emerging writer working on debut novel | Top Writer in Music | Owner of Modern Music Analysis publication:

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Josh Herring

An emerging writer working on debut novel | Top Writer in Music | Owner of Modern Music Analysis publication: