The Bizzies: Showbiz Cheat Sheet’s Best Albums of 2022

When it comes to top-tier albums, 2022 is one of the most competitive years in recent memory. Across genres, established artists returned with music that enhanced their discography with creativity and critical acclaim. As the year comes to a close, Showbiz Cheat Sheet is looking back at the most impactful releases of 2022 and choosing nominees for The Bizzies, Showbiz’s annual award program. Here are the best albums of 2022, handpicked by Showbiz’s music writers.

A joined photo of Bad Bunny, Tove Lo, The Weeknd, Mitski, and Harry Styles as Showbiz Cheat Sheet's 2022 Best Albums nominees
(L-R) Bad Bunny, Tove Lo, Mitski, The Weeknd, Harry Styles | Shareif Ziyadat/WireImage; Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Rune Hellestad- Corbis/ Corbis via Getty Images; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Live Nation; Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

‘Un Verano Sin Ti,’ Bad Bunny

“The Grammy Awards snubbing non-English-speaking artists is nothing new, so Un Verano Sin Ti becoming the first-ever all-Spanish-language project nominated for Album of the Year? Very exciting, impactful, and totally warranted. This is perhaps the most universally enjoyed album of 2022, with Bad Bunny expanding his discography to explore bachata, salsa, bossa nova, and even indie pop. He effortlessly featured up-and-coming artists, while still staying true to his reggaeton roots. Even his kiss at the VMAs had the internet in a frenzy.” – Julia Dzurillay

‘RENAISSANCE,’ Beyoncé

“There was so much hype around Beyoncé’s seventh studio album that it’s no wonder RENAISSANCE garnered over 1 billion streams on Spotify within three months of its release. It’s been a long 6 years since Lemonade. People were ready for whatever Beyoncé was willing to give them. And, of course, she surpassed expectations. Written and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, Renaissance is meant to be a joyous escape and an homage to the Black and queer trailblazers of the genres featured in the album. In a message on her website, the artist posted: ‘My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom.’ Mission accomplished. We’ve been screaming and dancing since July 29, 2022.” – Kelsey Goeres

‘Dirt Femme, Tove Lo

“Swedish singer Tove Lo is an independent artist now, and her fifth album Dirt Femme, released in October, is a great example of what happens when you let an artist simply be an artist. Singles ‘No One Dies From Love’ and ‘2 Die 4’ are pop perfection, while tracks like ‘Grapefruit,’ ‘Attention Whore,’ and ‘Pineapple Slice’ each offer listeners something different, including some raw emotions from Tove Lo: she sings about her struggles with eating disorders on ‘Grapefruit’ and not wanting to settle down into a boring suburban mother life on ‘Suburbia.’” – Chris Malone

‘Harry’s House,’ Harry Styles

“Harry Styles is everywhere in 2022, and Harry’s House proves why. The singer’s third studio album, Harry’s House is a pop record with elements of R&B, funk, and soul. Styles’ vocals and storytelling are strong points across the compact 13 tracks, and it’s a cohesive listen from start to finish. The radio-friendly singles like the universal ‘As It Was’ and unique deep cut like ‘Cinema’ equally shine. Each track improves upon the last, culminating with the fitting album closer ‘Love of My Life.’” – Eryn Murphy

‘Dawn FM,’ The Weeknd

“The Weeknd continues his trend into ‘80s synth-pop with this funky and fresh album. Dawn FM recreates late-night radio of the 1980s, fully accompanied by radio outros and interludes from Jim Carrey. It’s a lighter tone than After Hours, and includes many of The Weeknd’s catchiest and soothing tracks, such as ‘Out of Time,’ ‘Sacrifice,’ and ‘Less Than Zero.’ Supposedly, this is the second of a trilogy, so it will be exciting to see what else The Weeknd has in store.” – Ross Tanenbaum

‘Revolver (Super Deluxe),’ The Beatles

“The Beatles are well-documented. However, Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back and the new Revolver (Super Deluxe) have proven there are still many things to uncover. Every few years, The Beatles remaster their catalog, but they’re never too groundbreaking and tend to leave fans wondering what changed. Revolver (Super Deluxe) doesn’t leave one unsatisfied. The 2022 mixes of the 14 tracks are crisper than ever before. Every instrument and lyric is present. Discs 2 and 3 reveal so much. There are interesting early takes of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows,’ ‘Got To Get You Into My Life,’ ‘Love You To,’ ‘And Your Bird Can Sing,’ ‘I’m Only Sleeping,’ and ‘She Said She Said.’ However, ‘Yellow Submarine’ has the best outtakes on Super Deluxe. All the song’s essential stages are there, from John Lennon’s earliest take, his first take with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr’s fourth take without sound effects, and another variation with highlighted sound effects. Even traditionalists will love Revolver (Super Deluxe).” – Hannah Wigandt

‘Laurel Hell,’ Mitski

“Pop song lyrics have a reputation for being disposable. Despite this, Mitski’s Laurel Hell combines pure poetry with hooks worthy of the top 40. Mitski manages to make some unpleasant experiences like feeling left out, grappling with uncertainty, and romantic desperation sound beautiful. If only all pop singers were this relatable.” – Matt Trzcinski

‘Reset,’ Panda Bear and Sonic Boom

“21st-century electronic goes ‘60s? That’s the nut graph for Reset. The two frequent collaborators (Sonic produced two Panda Bear albums; Panda Bear sang backup on Sonic’s 2020 solo effort) finally share the bill. The wild synth squiggles and digital effects that define their music are still here, but they toss them into the frame of sweet 1960s pop. ‘Edge of the Edge’ (with doo-wop vocal elements), ‘Livin’ in the After’ (and its oddly fitting string sample), and the shared vocal duties on ‘Everything’s Been Leading to This’ are the highlights but hardly the only worthwhile tracks. Opener ‘Gettin’ to the Point’ features Panda Bear’s melodic vocal line, while ‘Go On’ uses a simple two-chord riff as its first building block. ‘In My Body’ is a ballad (as it were), and ‘Whirlpool’ and ‘I’m in Danger’ bring hand claps into the mix. Hardly a curio genre exercise, Reset holds its own against the other Panda Bear and Sonic Boom collaborations that fall right into their shared wheelhouse.” – Jason Rossi

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Stay tuned to find out which album Showbiz Cheat Sheet selects as the Best Album of 2022 for The Bizzies!