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2022 is wrapping up in two weeks, so the statistics on the biggest albums of the year are officially in. From Grammy award nominations to critic ratings and album sales, here are five albums people are saying were among the best of 2022.
Renaissance – Beyoncé
Legendary singer-songwriter Beyoncé had a huge year in 2022, earning a whopping nine Grammy nominations for her album Renaissance. The most notable song off the album was “Break My Soul,” which earned Beyoncé nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Dance/Electronic Recording. Other big hits included “Virgo’s Groove,” nominated for Best R&B Performance, “Plastic Off the Sofa,” nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance, and “Cuff It,” nominated for Best R&B Song.
Renaissance, like most if not all of Beyoncé’s other albums, was received with widespread praise from both critics and fans. Review aggregator Metacritic gave the album a score of 91 out of 100 based on critic reviews, including one that called it “Beyoncé’s grandest record to date.”
30 – Adele
Adele doesn’t put out many albums – only four since she was signed to XL Recordings 16 years ago – but this makes it even more exciting when she does release new music. 2022’s Adele album, 30, has been widely recognized as one of the best albums of the year by everyone from hardcore music critics to diehard Adele fans. 30 earned Adele 7 Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album.
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers – Kendrick Lamar
Rapper Kendrick Lamar is another artist who doesn’t release new music often, so Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, his first album since 2017, was hugely anticipated. The album scored an 85 out of 100 from critics and 8.8 out of 10 from casual reviewers on Metacritic. Big songs off the album included “N95,” “Silent Hill,” and “Die Hard,” all of which premiered as singles prior to the release of the album.
Harry’s House – Harry Styles
Between his time with One Direction, his acting career, and his solo music career, Harry Styles has held the spotlight as much as anyone else in the last decade. Harry’s newest album, Harry’s House, was a huge hit this year and scored him six Grammy nominations, including for Album of the Year and Record of the Year.
The song nominated for Record of the Year was “As It Was,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for an impressive 15 weeks. This made “As It Was” the fourth longest-running song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Midnights – Taylor Swift
Possibly the biggest album of the year was Taylor Swift’s Midnights, which broke streaming records, becoming the most-streamed album in one day in history. The album also propelled Swift to be the most listened-to artist in one day Midnights currently holds its spot at the top of the Billboard Top Album Sales chart, where it’s been for seven weeks.