Wednesday 28 December 2022

2022 in Review: Top 10 Songs

Much like last year, my music listening habits in 2022 mainly involved songs I now consider classics. It's crazy to think how the passage of time can make even the most generic pop tunes sound better than you remembered. Nostalgia is a powerful drug alas. All that is not to say that there weren't any great songs that came out this past year. In fact, I found myself struggling to whittle my list down to just 10 of the ones that resonated with me the most. So on that note, here are my favorite songs for 2022.

10. Rema & Selena Gomez - Calm Down

Ever since he'd burst onto the music scene with Dumebi in 2019, Rema is one young artist that has been putting out consistently good singles. And all that hard work continues to pay off as he'd scored what is arguably his biggest song to date. We can attribute some of that recent success to Selena Gomez I guess, whose sultry vocals helped take what was already a great song up a notch.

9. Swedish House Mafia - Redlight (ft. Sting)

Following their heavily-publicized breakup in 2013, the three DJs that make up the supergroup, Swedish House Mafia, had kept busy with solo efforts and other collaborative projects. But their fans had every reason to rejoice after they made their triumphant return as a trio, along with their first album comprising of largely original songs. Redlight stands as one of that album's many highlights, reworking The Police's Roxanne into an almost unrecognizable club banger.

8. Machine Gun Kelly - make up sex (ft. blackbear)

Rapper turned Punk Rocker, Machine Gun Kelly, further embraces his newfound style and identity with his latest album, Mainstream Sellout. The record features a number of notable collaborations with the likes of Willow and Lil Wayne, although my favorite one is easily Make Up Sex with Blackbear. The two artists once again join forces (under the guidance of Blink-182's Travis Barker) to create something that is instantly catchy and laced with a strong pop-punk aesthetic. 

7. Muse - Won't Stand Down

Whenever I hear there's a new Muse album on the horizon, you can pretty much be certain that I'll be there on Day 1, having been a fan of the band since their Absolution days back in 2003. So I was quite eager to click play on Won't Stand Down when it finally dropped ahead of their Will of the Wisps album earlier in the year. Nothing could've prepared me for its unexpected heaviness though. The final sixty seconds of the song alone proves that the band still has a few tricks up its sleeve, with a full-on metalcore breakdown and some of the most surprising guttural growls I'd heard all year.

6. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Black Summer

Speaking of bands I've been a longtime fan of, The Red Hot Chili Peppers were back this year with Black Summer. The song of course retains the band's signature style, with lead singer Anthony Kiedis once again crooning over some smooth guitar work by Flea and John Frusciante. The music video for the song was most notably directed by Deborah Chow of The Mandolorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi fame. Guess that probably explains why Flea had made a cameo appearance in the latter.

5. Bloody Civilian - Wake Up (ft. Rema)

The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack had a number of standout tracks. But if there was one song on the compilation that immediately grabbed me by the collar during my first listen, it was "Wake Up" by Bloody Civilian and Rema. The former is an artist I had never even heard of prior to discovering her on this song, but her soulful vocals were what helped make it one of my favorites, so hopefully, this signals even bigger things for the promising Nigerian artist to come in the future.

4. Harry Styles - As It Was

In 2022, few songs were quite as ubiquitous as "As It Was" by Harry Style, which had all but dominated the music charts for the better part of the year. But you only need to hear the song once to understand its broad appeal. The track carries with it a blissful energy that instantly invokes the joys of summer, even as its lyrics speak of a relationship gone sour and a pining for rosier days.

3. Kendrick Lamar - We Cry Together

Not many rappers have been as consistent as Kendrick Lamar. Ever since he'd burst onto the rap scene with Good Kid, M.a.a.d City, he has produced nothing but banger after banger. But not even his previous output could've prepared us for the sheer ferocity of We Cry Together, a collaboration with actress, Taylour Paige. The song speaks of a relationship in shambles, done in the style of a rap battle between the parties involves, and its single-take music video is just further icing on an already-impressive cake.

2. Beyoncé - Break My Soul

2022 seemed to be the year that a lot of prominent acts decided to explore EDM, with even Drake dipping his toe into club and house music (to decidedly mixed results). But when Beyoncé decides to branch out and experiment with that style of music, you can be sure that she'd go all in. And the song that helped herald her sonic shift was Break My Soul, a track that would go on to attain anthem status when it began its reign over both the charts and clubs.

1. The Weeknd - How Do I Make You Love Me?

We had barely stepped into 2022 when The Weeknd released what would become my favorite album of the year, Dawn FM. The new record carried over much of the same 80s-inspired production showcased in After Hours. And while I feel the concept album works best when viewed as a cohesive collection, my favorite highlight from the record is easily How Do I Make You Love Me?

The song perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the entire record with great production work from Swedish House Mafia and others. As for why it was never officially released as a single, that's anyone's guess. But the song at least eventually got an animated music video that was just as disturbing as The Weeknd could possibly get away with.


  1. I have heard exactly none of those songs. lol

    1. Lol. That's totally understandable and also how I feel whenever I occasionally glance at the music charts.