Right now, we’re counting down to the first New Music Friday of 2023. While we wait, let’s take a look back at some of the best albums that dropped in 2022.
Narrowing this list down was no easy feat. It seemed like every month, we got albums from up-and-comers and established stars that stuck to our heavy rotation like glue. As a result, it was nearly impossible to get the list of the best albums of 2022 any shorter than it is.
Here, in no particular order, are our picks for the 25 best albums of the year.
Best Albums of 2022
- Glory – Lost Dog Street Band
- Castle Rock – Jason Scott & The High Heat
- Dispatch to 16th Ave. – Muscadine Bloodline
- River Fools & Mountain Saints – Ian Noe
- Married in a Honky Tonk – Jenny Tolman
- Crooked Tree – Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway
- Neon Blue – Joshua Hedley
- Palomino – Miranda Lambert
- Fortune Favors the Bold – 49 Winchester
- American Heartbreak – Zach Bryan
- Jerry Jeff – Steve Earle & The Dukes
- Heartache Kid – Matt Moran
- Chicamacomico – American Aquarium
- Growin’ Up – Luke Combs
- Tornillo – Whiskey Myers
- Peculiar, Missouri – Willi Carlisle
- Something Borrowed Something New: A Tribute to John Anderson – Various
- Lindeville – Ashley McBryde
- Denim & Diamonds – Nikki Lane
- The Man from Waco – Charley Crockett
- Bell Bottom Country – Lainey Wilson
- Tioga Titan – Will Payne Harrison
- On the Ranch – Emily Nenni
- Live Forever: A Tribute to Billy Joe Shaver – Various
- Me/And/Dad – Billy Strings
A Little Something for Everyone
In cultivating our list of the best albums of 2022, I wanted to make sure we had a little something for everyone. As a result, we’ve got releases from some of the biggest stars in mainstream country music like Luke Combs and Miranda Lambert. We’ve also got some great records from up-and-comers like Will Payne Harrison and Matt Moran and Yellowstone star Lainey Wilson. Additionally, I’ve included albums of longstanding under-the-radar favorites like Nikki Lane, Willi Carlisle, Charley Crockett, and Steve Earle.
2022 also brought us tributes to some of the best artists in country music history. Something Borrowed, Something New and Live Forever allowed some current artists to highlight the talents of John Anderson and Billy Joe Shaver, respectively.
Sonically, the list of best albums of 2022 contains a little bit of something for everyone. For instance, we’ve got the Southern rock-infused Tornillo and Fortune Favors the Bold. If you’re looking for a little bluegrass look no further than Me/And/Dad or Crooked Tree. Additionally, you’ll find plenty of albums on this list that pulled influence from 90s country. However, none of those is more obvious than Neon Blue, which is like a blast from the past.
If you didn’t have time to check out these albums when they came out, you’re in luck because our Best of 2022 playlist contains highlights from all of these records. Check it out below. While you’re at it be sure to follow Outsider on Spotify for all the best music from our favorite artists.