2022 Albums in Review

Kiara Zabala, Outreach and Recruitment

Design by Jocelynn Landon / The Runner

2022 gave us more music than we knew what to do with. It seemed as if every day another artist was dropping some album. 

The new year means changes will occur, whether we like it or not. Some are small, little things out of our control, and sometimes, we choose to move mountains and make change take place. 

This past year, for me personally, I went through a lot. I went through a hard breakup, with both my partner and my friend group. When looking at my top 10 list of albums, I realized I had picked the ones that helped me get through the hard times: albums that had been there for me as I got comfortable with being alone. 

Because, although people are not always permanently in your life, music never really leaves you. Even when you turn it off, it still is there, playing in your head. 

Overall, this was a very difficult decision I had to make. My list went from well over 50 albums, then down to 29, and now it is at my top 10 for the past year. So, here are my top 10 albums for 2022 that helped me get through all the heartbreak and changes the year brought.  

  1. “5SOS5” by 5 Seconds of Summer

5 Seconds of Summer writes an album about maturing, getting older. If you have been a fan of the band since their first album back in 2014, you can hear the growth within their lyrics. They sing songs about a deep love connection, about how it is healing to find the one person you want to spend the rest of your life with.  

  1. “Waiting to Spill” by The Backseat Lovers

This album is all about longing and heartbreak. When you need a good album to disassociate from the world you stare at the ceiling, this is that album to do so. This band captures the vulnerability of wanting a person near, even if they do more harm than good to your health. This is a feeling that some of us are far too familiar with.  

  1. “Smithereens” by Joji

Joji gives us an album that looks back at a person with such fondness and hurt. At the end of the day, people will leave and there is nothing you can do about it. This album captures how you can think so fondly about a person still, even if they shattered your heart. A person can leave your life, but the memories will stay there to haunt you.  

  1. “Superache” by Conan Gray

This album is another about longing, but longing for a relationship or the idea of one. You can fall in love so easily, but that isn’t what makes love hard. Finding someone that loves you back is the hard part. Sometimes, love is this picture you just make up in your head with made up scenarios instead of getting to actually enjoy it. Not everyone is lucky enough to get a love that loves them back or a love that is healthy or a love that is like the movies. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. This album is a wakeup call that love takes work, effort, and correct timing. 

  1. “SOS” by SZA

SZA captures the aftermath of a relationship. Although you may have fought so hard for a relationship to work out, some just don’t. That is it. Plain and simple. Some relationships just don’t work out. This album is about how you realize how draining a relationship can be. How a person becomes just so ordinary once you stop loving them. How your love was the thing that made them see so special in your eyes. 

  1. “HOLY FVCK” by Demi Lovato

Lovato made this album out of spite. That is the tone for the entire album. This album was meant to be listened to when you’re angry. Anger is a huge part of the healing process. You are allowed to be angry: it is a normal human reaction. This album is a great one to either scream the lyrics to or blast as loud as your speakers will go as you drive 75 miles down the freeway. 

  1. “Special” by Lizzo

This is an album all about reminding yourself that you are absolutely killing it. Sometimes, healing is a hard thing to do. Listening to this album reminded me that I can do anything I put my mind to. That people who lose me are the ones missing out. Plus, it also is an amazing album to listen to while working out. Lizzo reminds us all that a little bit of confidence goes a long way. As long as we believe we are the “baddest,” we will be the “baddest.” It is a mentality that we are manifesting. 

  1. “Midnights” by Taylor Swift

This is an album all about reflecting on who you are and where you have been. In order to move forward, you have to look back at the past and address it. Not necessarily fix it, but realize that all that happened to you will follow you. This album is about understanding that everything you do has made you to be the person you are today, for the better. 

  1. “Harry’s House” by Harry Styles

Styles gives us an album that is heartbreaking and longing, all around. This album doesn’t just dive into wanting to be with a person despite the odds that are set up against you both, it also deals with childhood trauma, that, if left unfixed, can cause more problems for you down the road. This album addresses how all your trauma may build a tower over you, but you must fight against it and rise above it. No matter how intense the pain may be, you will make it out alive. This album rips you in two, but tells you it all will be okay in the end. 

  1. “Faith in the Future” by Louis Tomlinson

Of course, my top album is by Louis Tomlinson. He has been my top artist for as long as I can remember, but this album is my number one because it was released when I needed it most. Tomlinson gives us a vulnerable album about learning to love someone from afar- until the feelings fade completely. Tomlinson doesn’t tell you to rush into letting them go, but to let the feelings fade gradually; that there is no rush in letting love go. This album also normalizes still wishing the person who hurt you off with the best intentions, which is not a common thread you see in music. Tomlinson also writes numerous songs where he realizes the love he had for the person was real and true, just not necessarily made for him. This album is the end of the healing process. This album was made to be listened to when it finally doesn’t hurt to say goodbye to that person, when you can finally block them on everything and not feel bad about it anymore. This album is about growing to be the best version of yourself, which is great because we all should strive to grow every passing day. 

2022 was full of new experiences that I didn’t know how to cope with on my own. This is why I turned to the music these artists produced. These albums filled the void that people left empty. 

Although these artists may not be making music forever, the music they release will always be around. These albums will always have a special place in my heart, reminding me of how they helped me be comfortable with being alone with myself.