With the tour valves at full capacity after the pandemic, 2022 also brought a torrent of record novelties that had waited for the moment to see the light and consecrated the current kings and queens of music, from Taylor Swift to Rosalía, passing through Beyonce, Bad Bunny and Harry Styles.
They all had in common to subvert some of the principles of this world, whether they were its purely musical bases or the promotional laws that govern how to warm up a release or distinguish themselves from the rest of their professional colleagues.
It was the case of “Midnights”, the great hit on Taylor Swift’s table, which in all probability will end the year as the best-selling in the world despite being published without advance singles.
With it, his return to pop materialized after the unexpected approach to alternative folk in the intimate “Folklore” (2020) and “Evermore” (2020), which was followed in 2021 by the re-recording of two of his classic albums, “Fearless ” and “Red”, which made the American an omnipresent figure.
From that “Red” also emerged the extended version of “All Too Well”, more than 10 minutes of song that received multiple nominations and awards and was accompanied by a short film that the artist herself scripted and directed.
That ubiquity only lacked one leg to be absolute: the announcement of her return to the stage in 2023 (at the moment only in North America) after five years away from them. The box office blew up the forecasts and the system of the giant Ticketmaster, which as a result is being investigated in the US for its practices.
YEAR OF EXPECTED RETURNS.
Unlike current routines that successively exploit various themes for months (and even years) until the release of the album, Swift and other artists chose the semi-surprise in 2022 to present their news. Such was the case with The Weeknd’s “Dawn FM”, released a week after the announcement and on January 7th, in the midst of a Christmas shopping hangover.
Following a similar path, Beyoncé barely gave her followers a month and a half to get used to the idea that she would release a new album entitled “Renaissance”, six years after her last work under her name (with the exception of the soundtrack of the film “The Lion King”, from 2019).
His was one of the most long-awaited returns, but not the only one. There was “Lift Me Up” by Rihanna, the song she recorded for the film “Wakanda Forever” and which constitutes her first unpublished material of her own since “Anti” (2016), a meager consolation in the face of the eternal wait for her ninth album.
Others did sign and with a note their return with long-awaited new albums, see Bruce Springsteen with his versions of “soul” (“Only The Strong Survive”), but above all Arctic Monekys (“The Car”) or Kendrick Lamar (“Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers”) and SZA (“SOS”), in both cases five years after their acclaimed previous albums.
SPANISH IS CONSECRATED WORLDWIDE.
In a crop with a predominance of female names, Harry Styles’s was one of the few male ones that managed to stand out. He did not do it by appealing to testosterone, but by insisting on an androgynous aesthetic that led him to be praised and also controversial: is he doing it as an exercise in authentic personal expression or in search of media focus?
There was less debate about the quality of his “Harry’s House”, considered by critics one of the best albums of the year thanks to cuts like “As It Was”, like Bad Bunny’s “A Summer Without You”, another artist who has often opted to subvert gender roles.
The Puerto Rican, who these months debuted as an actor with “Bullet Train” along with Brad Pitt and repeated for the third consecutive year as the most listened to artist on Spotify in the world, also won with his latest album as the most nominated of the Latin Grammys.
In addition, he scratched another three nominations for the next Grammys, including best album, which has been read not only as his worldwide consecration among the public and now also critics, but also as that of music in Spanish.
That theory was endorsed by the Spanish Rosalía. His long-awaited “Motomami” received even greater praise than the previous “El mal querer” (2018), with which he had made the leap to the international arena, thanks to his studied fusion of flamenco, jazz, original reggaeton and Latin music classics. , but also Jimmy Hendrix, Bob Marley or Lola Flores.
Equally recognized was his mastery of social networks to boost his career, especially Tik Tok, with an already emblematic live show that successfully incorporated the codes of generation Z and that he later knew how to translate into a conceptually revolutionary tour.
In addition, his was the award for best album at the Latin Grammys, as well as the unanimity of journalistic critics: from The New York Times to Rolling Stone, through Pitchfork, The Guardian or NME, all agreed that “Motomami” is among the best of the year, either with “D for dynamite”, “H for hondura” or “with Z for zarzamora, zapateado and zorra too”.
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From Taylor Swift to Bad Bunny, this was the historic musical vintage of 2022