2022 | Best Music Albums
Celebrate the winter solstice in music with our selection of the best albums of 2022. From highly-acclaimed international pop star Stromae to niche electronic music from the Indian Ocean, there is something to satisfy everyone's taste. Our top 5 also features Keren Ann's songs revisited by a string quartet, Fishbach's updated version of 1980's cold wave music and Melissa Laveaux's psychedelic rock from the Caribbean. A world of sounds to discover and enjoy without moderation.
Multitude, Stromae | Darkroom/Interscope
Following a lengthy hiatus, Stromae announced his return in bold fashion by performing a song called 'L’enfer' in response to a question about his mental health during an interview on French TV. Despite their musical joviality, the tunes on Multitude tackle topics that are generally not touched upon in pop music such as depression, unhappy couples, sex workers, or misogyny. Yet it is musically that Stromae's latest album departs from previous releases. Drawing on worlwide influences, Multitude combines Brazilian beats with harpsichord, Balkan music with hip hop, incorporating instruments such as a Southeast Asian flute or a Turkish oboe. The result is Stromae's most audacious and rich record to date, elegant and emotional but also explosive and easily danceable to.
Avec les yeux, Fishbach | Entreprise
On her first album, French singer Fishbach worked with a palette of sounds strongly associated with the 1980s, revisiting cold wave and artists who have influenced her from Kate Bush to Mylène Farmer. Her latest album Avec les yeux delves into new territories, drawing from genres as far apart as French chanson and heavy metal to create a unique blend of contemporary new wave music. The musician’s stuns with her rich and beautiful contralto voice, reminiscent of artists such as Annie Lenox or Desireless. With 80s production still dominating, her songs range from dark pop to ethereal ballads which you can easily lose yourself in.
Mama Forgot Her Name Was Miracle, Mélissa Laveaux | Twanet
Mélissa Laveaux is a singer, songwriter, composer and guitarist from Haiti. Following on from the acclaimed Radyo Siwèl in which she reclaimed her roots through myth and forgotten folk tales, she returns with Mama Forgot Her Name Was Miracle, an album which celebrates a community of heroines that history has deliberately forgotten or cast aside to the margins. Her infectious mix of Carribean music, calypso, dancehall, and psych rock is as flamboyant as ever and a joy to listen to. The album also features artists such as Oxmo Puccino, November Ultra and Voyou, who help her further expand her musical field.
Eclat, Labelle | InFiné
The second instalment in a series of explorations into classical music and composition wich started in 2019, Eclat is the fourth studio album by young electronic artist and composer Labelle. While the record was written for a string quartet, Labelle eschews the traditional orchestral rules for experimentation, innovation and “creolization“. Drawing on traditional maloya music from his native Réunion island he creates a syncretic universe in which modern electronics meet organic instruments, trance music meets classical orchestration, Africa meets Europa meets outer space. Successfully uniting elements of jazz, electronics, classical and traditional music, Eclat is an invitation to discover a world where music has no boundaries.
Keren Ann & Quatuor Debussy | Naïve
After their first musical encounter in 2017 in Lyon and following the success of their common tour, French singer Keren Ann and the Quatuor Debussy knew the magic had to live on. For their first album together they revisit Keren Ann's songbook, spanning 20 years from her breakthrough song "Jardin d'hiver" to her most recent outing "Bleue". Imbued with melancholic longing, her exceptional voice is highlighted by the subtle and precise playing of the String Quartet, their rich sound texture a perfect match to the intimate, warm tone of her music. With renowned arrangers brought in to consolidate the recording, this is a highly original and beautiful album.