The 39 best albums of 2022: Our favorite music of the year so far

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MJ Lenderman: boat songs

Best moment: When Lenderman expresses solidarity with a supposedly flu-ridden Michael Jordan in “Hangover Game”: “Yeah, I like to drink too.”

Best song: “You are every girl to me”

RILY: Sports, indie rock memes, ice cold beers, fuzzy guitars

–Quinn Moreland

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | band camp | Spotify | Tide


Nilüfer Yanya: Painless

Best moment: a storm over the guitar distortion that thickens around “Midnight Sun”, from which Yanya’s falsetto radiates: “always I did it for you!”

Best song: “Midnight Sun”

RILY: The xx, Radiohead curvatures, alternating waves of euphoria and dysphoria

–Jayson Greene

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | band camp | Spotify | Tide


Pusha T: It’s almost dry

Best moment: When Malice arrives to close the album with a brief but triumphant Clipse reunion, and opens her verse by asking “Tell me what I missed”

Best song: “Call My Bluff”

RILY: Icy luxury, playful threats, the old adage that the Inuit have 50 words for snow, except in this case by snow we mean cocaine

–Andy Cush

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | band camp | Spotify | Tide


Ravyn Lenae: Hypno

Best moment: The bridge of “Light Me Up”, where Lenae’s falsetto reaches an exquisite, seemingly impossible upper register

Best song: “Enlighten me”

RILY: Steve Lacy’s distorted guitar melodies, flirting on the dance floor, 90s R&B

–Eric Torres

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Spotify | Tide


Rosalia: MOTOMAMI

Best moment: The sonorous, semi-absurd raps of “Chicken Teriyaki” and “Saoko,” where she carves her voice like a shimmering blade and emerges as one of today’s stealthiest pop threats

Best song: “Saoko”

RILY: upside down reggaeton

–Philip Sherburne

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | Spotify | Tide


Jump: Air

Best moment: When the brass crashes for the first time in the choir on “Reality”

Best song: “June 55”

RILY: Dramatic choral music, epic film scores, Basil Poledouris

–Madison Bloom

Listen/Buy: Amazon | Apple Music | band camp | Spotify | Tide


Sharon Van Etten: We got it all wrong

Best moment: The buildup in “Darkness Fades” at around 1:24, when drums and keys kick in

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