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The Best Music of 2022


Being a music fan right now can feel like inhabiting a whole enormous, thriving, chaotic world that's embedded within a metaverse of other enormous, thriving, chaotic worlds you didn't even know existed. Even for the most industrious listeners, the amount of music released every day (EVERY. DAY.) is overwhelming, no less so when you attempt to look back over a whole calendar year. Who could keep up? But there's another way to consider the state of new music: Such abundance makes for a spectacular party.

Consider this your disco ball, a reflection on the year that revels in cacophony rather than trying to boil things down into a single authoritative point of view. Throughout December, this page will illuminate the best music of 2022 a few glittering facets at a time. Below, you'll find essays, podcasts and other discussions on the ways we'll remember the year. Above, you'll find links to our lists celebrating incredible songs and albums from the worlds of rock, R&B, hip-hop, classical, Latin,jazz, experimental and roots, folk and country. And of course, we'll also share countdowns of our 50 favorite albums and 100 favorite songs of the year, across all genres and styles, made by more than 50 contributors to NPR Music and our partner stations. Like we said: It's a party. It's no fun if things don't get a little messy.

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