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NPR Music 2022 Staff Picks: Stephen Thompson

MUNA
Isaac Schneider
/
Courtesy of the artist
MUNA

For a year with so many consensus favorites, my own Top 10 has moved around constantly in recent days, thanks to last-minute listening, my own capriciousness and SZA's decision to drop a magnificent record after most Top 10 lists had already been filed. My favorite records of 2022 (or at least my favorite records of one specific moment in December) are about liberation, introspection, identity and joy — sometimes all at once.

Top 10 Albums of 2022

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1. MUNA, MUNA
2. Tove Lo, Dirt Femme
3. SZA, SOS
4. Sudan Archives, Natural Brown Prom Queen
5. Ethel Cain, Preacher's Daughter
6. Beyoncé, RENAISSANCE
7. Taylor Swift, Midnights
8. Alvvays, Blue Rev
9. Leikeli47, Shape Up
10. Wet Leg, Wet Leg

Top 10 Songs of 2022

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1. Lizzo, "About Damn Time"
2. MUNA, "What I Want"
3. Taylor Swift, "You're On Your Own, Kid"
4. The Mountain Goats, "Training Montage"
5. Harry Styles, "As It Was"
6. Chappell Roan, "Casual"
7. Tove Lo, "2 Die 4"
8. Stromae, "L'enfer"
9. The Weeknd, "Less Than Zero"
10. Carly Rae Jepsen, "Beach House"

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)