Opinion: Top 10 Albums List of 2022


Ian Sherry, Cub News Writer

Making top ten lists, especially when there are as many options in a given category as there in this one, is plain stupid. So here is mine.

Honorable Mentions

All of these albums are really solid but fell short of the list for some reason or another. However, they are all worth a listen.

Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, Kendrick Lamar

Melt My Eyez See Your Future, Denzel Curry

The Boy Named If, Elvis Costello

Entergalactic, Kid Cudi

Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You, Big Thief


  1. I Didn’t Mean To Haunt You, Quadeca

Let me start by saying that Quadeca is only 22 years old, yet, he has already undergone a full metamorphosis as a musician. He began his career as a YouTuber and transitioned into making uninspiring and unimpressive rap music. However, something switched in his head; he realized just how important music is to him as well as what he is capable of. His 2021 project showed signs of his capabilities as he began to switch into a wildly different musical space than that of his 2019 project. On I Didn’t Mean To Haunt You, Quadeca has fully arrived. While it isn’t as polished as the remaining albums on this list, he attacks the concept he chose and delivers numerous performances that nobody could’ve seen coming just three years ago. This album is at times touching, even overwhelming, and his dedication and embrace of his vision is what made it all possible.

Best Song: Born Yesterday


  1. SOS, SZA

The last few years there has been a specific sub-genre forming somewhere in between pop and R&B. People like Summer Walker, Ella Mai, and Jhene Aiko have all been major artists, but SZA is leading the charge. Because of her position of influence with the blossoming genre, SZA had a lot of pressure on her leading up to this release. In my opinion she has the responsibility of leading this young and popular sub-genre in the right direction. Often artists in this vein of music have a tendency to make enjoyable, but ultimately safe and somewhat bland music. SZA decided to take risks on SOS and it paid off. The second two thirds of the album marks some of her most creative work to date. A few well placed and unexpected features mixed in with her ability to meander across pop-adjacent genres earns SZA the number nine spot on this year’s list.

Best Song: Open Arms


  1. Once Twice Melody. Beach House

Beach House is well-established at this point. They are experts of their craft and are able to consistently deliver what their fans are looking for. However, they occasionally seem to play it safe. They found their unique sound and are comfortable staying there. This album is a great step forward. They didn’t depart from their bread and butter, however they did improve upon it. We hear different vocal styles and more rangy instrumentals than expected. At a time where they did not need to do anything special, they took good steps creatively to deliver a very well rounded album. If you enjoy gentle vocals and atmospheric production, this album is for you without a doubt.

Best Song: Pink Funeral


  1. age/sex/location, Ari Lennox

This is just a great album. Admittedly I did not know much about Ari Lennox going into this album; now, I do. She is a versatile artist with a great voice who feels comfortable in every style she tried on age/sex/location. Right off the bat she reminded me of Erykah Badu and Beyonce. She has the attitude, clever verses, and vocal tone of Erykah Badu on occasion, and she combines that with runs and spoken hooks that Beyonce loves to utilize as well. Ari’s usage of base reminds me of Adi Oasis as well, if you’re not familiar with her and like this album you should check her out next. She is very effective when moving between influences and different styles, and that is a big reason why this album is great. All of the featured artists do their job and the result is a great sophomore album from an artist that can bring listeners together from different sides of the contemporary R&B spectrum.

Best Song: Leak It


  1. It’s Almost Dry, Pusha T

I listen to a lot of rap, and there were a lot of great albums this year. However, only one of them was a top ten album. On It’s Almost Dry, Pusha T reaffirms the fact that he has one of the most prolific deliveries in the rap industry. He continued on the roll he started with Daytona four years ago and did so with superstar producers Pharrell Williams and Kanye West. The production has fingerprints of these great artists all over it, but Pusha T makes sure to put his own stamp on it first and foremost. Though it doesn’t quite measure up to the all time great Daytona, it’s great to see him in the same creative space four years later operating at that same high skill level. All of the features are good and its ‘worst’ songs are still ones that Pusha T fans will enjoy.

Best Song: Dreamin Of The Past


  1. Gemini Rights, Steve Lacy

If you ask a given person what they think of Lacy’s 2022 album they are likely to respond one of three ways. They either have never heard of it, think it’s the album of the year, or hate it with a passion. I think it’s certainly up there. Steve’s first two albums after breaking off from The Internet, a band where he was the lead guitarist, were interesting but ultimately fell short much of the time. They were cluttered and seemed to need more time to mature into a fuller sound. He was not discouraged. Gemini Right is a polished and creative album that can be enjoyed by a wide range of audiences. The contempt for this album mostly stems from the vast overplaying of its hit single Bad Habit. In reality this is not a top song on the album. Though Steve is probably the weakest vocalist of the top five, he seems to be one of the most musically knowledgeable. He has a fantastic ability to cohesively mix instruments that are staples of a variety of genres, such as the trumpet and of course, the guitar. I am excited to see what he does going forward. Even though this was a well rounded album, I think further polishing could place him at the top of his field.

Best Song: Sunshine


  1. RENAISSANCE, Beyonce

With RENAISSANCE, Beyonce has completed the elusive perfect three album run. This isn’t to say every song on all of them is perfect, but the evolution of her music and quality of her last three studio releases earned her this fictional honor. Beyonce, Lemonade, and RENAISSANCE are all fantastic, but RENAISSANCE definitely is my favorite. She incorporates elements of EDM and club dance beats perfectly into this pop album. She sings over these beats like it’s nothing and nails a style that I never expected her to touch. She had no reason to try it other than it was part of her creative vision. I am thankful for her bravery at a point in her career where she could coast and sell records with ease. That all being said, the only reason this isn’t a number one album is because it has two of the weakest songs on this entire list. On top of that, I never thought I would compile a list like this in which Beyonce’s vocals are second best, but this year they are. That all being said, it’s an incredibly bold and well executed album that everyone should listen to if they haven’t yet.



  1. Lucifer On The Sofa, Spoon

Spoon. They’re really good and all, but I never thought they would be in this spot this year. If you like rock this is exactly what you need. It has been a while in my opinion, since there was an amazing archetypal rock release. As the album progressed I enjoyed each song more and more. These songs are familiar in the best possible way, as if people have been listening to this record for years. Lucifer On The Sofa is very well executed and curated. It’s ten songs and each one of them is different enough to switch things up but not so much that it doesn’t flow perfectly. They have a grimy instrumental feel but the tracks as a whole are smooth and perfectly paced. Britt Daniel’s vocals remind me of Bowie at times because they have significant texture but are easy to listen to and feel elevated. The album flies by. I think this is their best release and the only reason it isn’t in the number one spot is that I just want more than ten songs. Ten is nothing to scoff at but all of the top three are great and there’s just less on Lucifer On The Sofa. I flipped a coin to pick the best song on this album. Then I flipped it for like four other songs. It’s so good. Listen to this album.

Best Song: The Devil & Mister Jones


  1. MOTOMAMI, Rosalia

Rosalia is a force of nature. If you aren’t acquainted with her yet, get ready. The Spanish singer is the best vocalist on the list this year, and I was blown away by this album. Of the top four, her album is the least cohesive and I saw complaints about the lack of flow and centralized themes. My argument is this: this album is a showcase of the incredible talent that is Rosalia and the theme is exactly that. At any given point you might hear a touching and beautifully performed song followed by an upbeat dance track, and that might be followed by an abstract beat with spoken verses. She is versatile. She is entertaining. She is exactly what pop music needs. In the last few years mainstream music has seen the ride of acts like Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, and Olivia Rodrigo. As talented as they are in their lanes, none can touch the pure talent and versatility of Rosalia. Is it the most well rounded album? No, but it showcases more than any other album on this list. This is another album that’s so good I can’t pick a song. I will anyway but know that it won’t fully encapsulate everything that she accomplishes on this record.

Best Song: Sakura


  1. Wet Leg, Wet Leg

This is the album of the year. Every single song is perfect. I don’t listen to much indie pop, so my opinion is an inexperienced one, but this is the best album I’ve ever heard in this genre. They have great vocals, creative, diverse song structure, and witty lyrics. Listening to them makes me happy, but they have the ability to steer your mood in different directions depending on their well written lyrics. They tell stories both with their words and their instrumentals. With this much talent it’s no surprise that they caught a lot of media attention. They appeared on TV and on indie radio stations everywhere, spreading the word about this incredible project. I could go on and on, but I’ll keep it simple. They deliver everything you could want from a group like them. The craziest part? It’s their debut. This is the album of the year.

Best Song: Chaise Longue


My closing thoughts are these: If any of these interest you please listen to them. If you disagree with me you’re wrong. If you disagree with the Grammy nominations or winners you’re right. And, this was a great year of music.