My Top 10 favorite songs from 2022
Some of what I liked while exploring the question, “Does music nowadays suck?”
A year ago, in January 2022, I ran across an article listing the top 25 songs of 2021 according to Billboard magazine. Now, I’d stopped actively following the national music scene and the Billboard Hot 100 back in the ’90s when I was living in Boston because the local music scene was so rich that I happily sunk into it and stopped paying attention to what was happening outside the little clubs and labels there. I heard some of the best music of my life during this time, including songs I was convinced would’ve been big smash hits from coast to coast if they could’ve gotten the exposure. Then, I was living in Pacific Northwest, where I was involved in activism and then farming, neither of which left time for pop radio. I’ll admit I also felt like I should dismiss popular music, or should try to hold myself above it or something, because “corporate,” “shallow,” blah blah blah.
But in January 2022, I checked out that article, and listened to the songs on the popular video sharing website. To my surprise, I liked some of it. So next I went through the top 100 for the year, and found a few more things that appealed to me. Then I started digging, to see what I’d missed since the turn of the millennium. I ended up putting together several playlists of 2000s music, and from April onwards they were my mainstays when driving, doing farmwork, etc. Over the year, I made more playlists comprised of just 2022 music, as new releases came out. For six solid months, I basically ignored my music collection in favor of exploring current/recent bands & songs. It was really enjoyable actually.
It’s a common cliche to claim that music now isn’t as good as it used to be, and I had that question in the back of my mind as I surveyed. I definitely have a bit to say about it (spoiler warning, “no”) but that’s for another essay on another day.
In the meantime, just for fun, here’s my top 10 favorite songs that came out in 2022. I put together a playlist of the videos here.