Best albums of 2022 so far: see the list

Even as the music industry tries, sometimes unsuccessfully, to get back to normal, our collective COVID-era time warp hasn’t really resolved itself here in June 2022. In that sense, it’s particularly strange and surprising to run to the best albums of the first half of 2022 right now. (Are we sure it’s not 2021 yet? Are we sure 2020 has even arrived?) Even more confusingly, any album scheduled for release before June 30 was eligible for this list, so some of these discs are from the future.

Seen from another angle, in light of the abundance of great new albums already released this year, it’s not at all hard to believe that we’re approaching the halfway point. Perhaps because artists sat down to new music during the early stages of the pandemic and dumped it all on us at once, it was exceptionally difficult to whittle the list down to just 50 albums this time around. Both in terms of widely acclaimed consensus favorites and personally loved sleeper picks, there have just been so much albums to love. At the moment, the following are the ones that the Stereogum staff like the most. —Chris Deville

Stereogum’s mid-year slate is brought to you by TIDAL, the global music streaming service that offers the highest sound quality and fan-centric royalties. You will find a playlist of tracks from the albums on this list here on TIDAL.

If you don’t have an account, you can get 30 days free by signing up for TIDAL HiFi here Where TIDAL HiFi Plus here.

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