2022 Staff Picks: Music

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share favorite albums.

  • Renaissance

    2022 by Beyoncé

    To say I love this album is an understatement because it's one of Beyoncé's best. I loved the carefree, fun dance tracks and the love Bey poured into the songs as an ode to the Black queer and trans community. Suggested by Maridsa.

    Get this item
  • Un Verano Sin Ti

    2022 by Bad Bunny

    I am a big fan of Bad Bunny and I think this is his best album yet. I love how he uses his music to address social issues in Puerto Rico. My favorite tracks include "Un Verano Sin Ti," "Ojitos Lindos," and "Andrea." Suggested by Rummanah.

    Get this item
  • Ali

    2022 by Toure, Ali Farka

    This dream team-up between the Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré and the Houston-based dub-funk trio Khruangbin plays to both parties' strengths. Khruangbin lays down a thick layer of irresistible grooves while Touré’s fluid, blues inspired guitar languidly laps over things. Suggested by Chris.

    Get this item
  • Midnights

    2022 by Swift, Taylor

    I was really excited for this release and I think she did an amazing job on this record. I really enjoyed the lyrics, which were heartfelt and well written. I also thought it was cool that she had her friends (Dylan O'Brien, Zoë Kravitz, and more) be a part of making the album. Suggested by Tonya.

    Get this item
  • Harry's House

    2022 by Styles, Harry

    Harry's musical transformation is evident in his third album. In "Harry's Style," I found both his voice and songwriting to have matured. Suggested by Amber H.

    Get this item
  • Vulture Prince

    2022 by Aftab, Arooj

    I discovered Arooj Aftab on NPR's Tiny Desk concert and was mesmerized. I love her voice, which reminds me of Pakistan's great Abida Parveen. Her lyrics are soulful and filled with grief and longing. Suggested by Rummanah.

    Get this item
  • Dharma

    2022 by Yatra, Sebastián

    I love how this album doesn't fit into a single genre. I loved all of the various collaborations. My favorite tracks include the toe tapping "Tacones Rojos," the romantic ballad "Quererte Bonito," and the earworms "TBT" and "Melancólicos Anónimos." Suggested by Rummanah.

    Get this item
  • Home, before and After

    2022 by Spektor, Regina

    Spektor’s new album, after a six-year break, is a welcome pleasure. Reflective of current times, with lyrics and themes that seem as personal as they are universal, and surely resonate with many. Her lovely, clear voice and melodies make it easy to put this on repeat. Suggested by Sharon.

    Get this item
  • Summer of Soul: (--or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) : Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


    The soundtrack of the Oscar-winning documentary. Filmmaker Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson carefully selected these stellar performances from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which had not been heard for 50 years. They are a treasure. Suggested by Sharon and Rummanah.

    Get this item
  • Dance Fever

    2022 by Florence + the Machine

    I am a big fan of Florence + the Machine and was very excited for this album release. I love how the range of songs in this album revolve around healing, empowerment, and catharsis. Suggested by Rummanah.

    Get this item
  • Dawn FM

    2022 by Weeknd

    I loved the use of synthetic pop that the Weeknd used in After Hours and continues to use in this album. In listening to this album, you can tell that he has grown as an artist, moving from songs of indulgence to those of introspection. Suggested by Rummanah.

    Get this item
  • Wet Leg

    2022 by Wet Leg (Musical group)

    The debut self-titled album from the duo of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, who hail from the Isle of Wight. It’s indie rock throwback fun, but maybe more of a guilty pleasure. Suggested by Sharon.

    Get this item
  • We've Been Going about This All Wrong

    2022 by Van Etten, Sharon

    Because it’s powerful, emotional, melancholy, and a little optimistic--I catch all the feels and get lost in her latest. Suggested by Sharon.

    Get this item
  • Foreverandevernomore

    2022 by Eno, Brian

    It’s amazing and such a delight to me that at 74 years old, the ambient-music pioneer and super-producer Brian Eno continues to release such engaging new music. On most of the songs found here, Eno sings vividly, oddly, and pleadingly about environmental degradation over a slowly evolving sonic landscape. Now or never, he tells his listeners. Suggested by Chris.

    Get this item
  • Big Time

    2022 by Olsen, Angel

    A layered listening experience, looking at loss, identity, and love, with a bit of a country vibe in the mix. It's exquisite. Suggested by Sharon.

    Get this item
  • Snow Waltz

    2022 by Stirling, Lindsey

    Maybe you’ve had your fill of Christmas music, but the adventurous arrangements from pop violinist Stirling, along with an enchanting blend of classical and contemporary, is what’s making me happy. Suggested by Sharon.

    Get this item
  • Once Twice Melody

    2022 by Beach House (Musical group)

    I loved this record because it's glittery, atmospheric, and expansive,, but still very much in their shoe-gazey, dreamy indie pop vibe. Though the entire album is great, "Pink Funeral" may be my favorite track. Suggested by Paul.

    Get this item
  • Laurel Hell

    2022 by Mitski

    Mitski is my favorite artist and holds a special place in my heart. I was extremely excited for her new album after her hiatus. She is a lyrical genius who countless people can connect to, especially people in their 20s and 30s. Suggested by Jade.

    Get this item
  • Holy Fvck

    2022 by Lovato, Demi

    I enjoyed hearing Demi's rock voice again! The album is an honest and new sound from her that I can't stop replaying over and over. Suggested by Monica.

    Get this item
  • Denim & Diamonds

    2022 by Lane, Nikki

    I’ve been a fan of Lane since her debut EP, Gone, Gone, Gone and have seen her in concert as well. While still keeping her classic country sound, Lane infuses this album with some rock, and the result is my favorite listen of the year. Several songs are about picking yourself up after failure or heartbreak, and the title track is a perfect post-breakup song and a good reminder that a girl can buy her own denim and diamonds. Suggested by Lynnanne.

    Get this item
  • In These Times

    2022 by McCraven, Makaya

    The Chicago-based jazz, not-jazz label International Anthem has quietly released some of the most innovative, experimental (but approachable) albums out there. Makaya McCraven is probably the most popular artist on their roster and In These Times is as good a representation of the label's expansive ethos as any. Jazz, post-rock, hip-hop, and fourth-world instrumentals all exist on a continuum where boundaries are gleefully defied. Suggested by Chris.

    Get this item
  • Everyone's Children

    2022 by Botofasina, Surya

    Mentored by the late jazz musician Alice Coltrane, Botofasina harkens back to the early 70's spiritual jazz of Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, and especially the proto–New Age Fender Rhodes wanderings of Lonnie Liston Smith. It's technicolored, cosmic, meditative, and aiming for the transcendent. Music as a balm. Suggested by Chris.

    Get this item