With all that was going on in 2022, it’s safe to say that we leaned heavily on good tunes to get us through.
Whether it was the ballads that spoke to us during our lows or the pop anthems that lifted our moods, the year in music was packed with bangers.
Ahead, our marie claire editors nominate their picks for best album of the year and tell us why these records deserve a spot on your playlist.
Renaissance by Beyoncé
“If there was one thing we needed in 2022, it was a banging dance album. Thankfully, Beyoncé came to the rescue and blessed the human race with Renaissance. A true work of musical art, the album takes you on a bopping journey from start to finish, drawing inspiration from legendary artists including Donna Summers and Danube Dance, but also infuses different genres to create a modern yet nostalgic body of work. May ‘Alien Superstar’ be all our anthems for 2023.”
— Samantha Stewart, Lifestyle Editor
Harry’s House by Harry Styles
“Harry’s House greets you at the entrance with a familiar embrace, before taking you to the back living room for a night of table-top dancing and hazy conversations. The antidote to this year’s bad news cycle, Harry’s pop rock album takes you to a personal place lyrically before setting you free at his all-night house party with a series of toe-tapping beats.”
— Harriet Sim, Features Writer
Born Pink by BLACKPINK
“Blackpink dropped their latest album after a two-year hiatus and it is full of bangers. Their latest album Born Pink, juxtaposes hard-hitting hip hop beats with a mixture of disco, pop, and balladry. I loved that the songs incorporated a sense of nostalgia with references to the late 1990s/early 2000’s music scene. Including lyrical referring to Queen Rhianna early 2000s music in their hero song ‘Pink Venom’.”
— Rachel Clark, Editorial Coordinator
Special by Lizzo
“Listen to Lizzo and it’s like you’ve popped a handful of happy pills. This year’s 12-track offering, Special, is high-octane positivity at its best. From the album’s disco-charged lead singles, ‘About Damn Time’ and ‘2 Be Loved (Am I ready)’, to the lesser-known but still vibey ‘Everybody’s Gay’, I challenge you to find a song that doesn’t elevate your mood and propel you onto the nearest dancefloor. Lizzo’s best known for sprouting down-home truths in every song. My fave on Special? “Who’s gonna put up with your Gemini shit like I do?” Nice.”
— Nicky Briger, Editor
Midnights by Taylor Swift
“Ahead of release I was lucky enough to listen to Midnights and review it for marie claire. At the time, I called it the album of the year and I stand by that. Swift’s masterful writing on tracks such as ‘You’re On You’re Own, Kid’, ‘Maroon’, ‘Anti-Hero’ and ‘Karma’ once again prove why she truly is a once-in-a-generation artist. She smashed every record with Midnights and effectively broke Ticketmaster with her U.S. tour. The word ‘icon’ is thrown around far too liberally these days, but Miss Swift is a living legend.”
— Bree Player, Features Editor
Dawn FM by The Weeknd
“Tune in to The Weeknd‘s newly dropped album Dawn FM. Introduced by actor/comedian/artist Jim Carrey, who will take you on a journey that feels eerily like you’re heading into space with ’80s vibing synth pop tunes. Featuring the likes of Lil Wayne and Tyler The Creator, it’s the story telling from Quincy Jones about reminiscing that’ll leave you with goosebumps. My personal fave tracks: ‘Best Friends’ and ‘Is There Someone Else?’ This is one for you summer holidays—turn it all the way up and float away.”
— Robyn Fay-Perkins, Photo Director