Listen to Berklee Artists Who Made 2022's Year-End Lists

Electronic, hip-hop, country, jazz, and every style in between: Berklee artists worked on some of the year's best releases—and critics took note.

December 19, 2022

There's no question about it: 2022 was a banner year for music. Whether you're looking at the biggest releases in pop, hip-hop, R&B, and country; the critical darlings of indie rock and jazz; or the ever-expanding space artists are forging between these genres and others, the year saw landmark releases from every corner of the music world. And as ever, the list of Berklee community members who contributed their talents to the year's biggest stories in music is staggering—far too long to summarize in one article or playlist. There were TikTok breakouts, dozens of Grammy nominations (including for the college's own Berklee Indian Ensemble), and now: year-end lists.

This playlist represents just a sampling of the albums and songs that critics at major outlets listed among the best music of the year. Below, listen to a selection of these tracks, and read on below the playlist to learn about the Berklee artists who contributed to each project.

"Pájaros en Verano," Ela Minus / DJ Python

Pitchfork: Best Songs, No. 96, Pitchfork, Best Electronic Music

  • Gabriela Jimeno B.M. ’13 (Ela Minus)

Track: "Pájaros en Verano"

Crash, Charli XCX

Pitchfork: Best Albums, No. 19

  • Amy Allen ’15, songwriter, "Move Me"

Track: "Move Me"

Black Radio III, Robert Glasper

NPR: Best Albums, No. 43; Best R&B Albums

  • esperanza spalding B.M. ’05, composer, featured artist

  • Lalah Hathaway ’90 ’22H, featured artist

Track: "Why We Speak"

Pink Dolphins, Anteloper

New York Times: Best Jazz Albums, No. 4

  • Jeff Parker ’90, producer and guitar

Track: "Delfin Rosado"

In These Times, Makaya McCraven

NPR: Best Albums, No. 7; New York Times: Best Jazz Albums, No. 9; Pitchfork: Best Albums, No. 18; Mojo: Best Albums, No. 19; Stereogum, Best Albums, No. 37; Stereogum: Best Jazz Albums; Bandcamp Daily: Best Albums; Boston Globe: Best Albums

  • Jeff Parker ’90, guitarist

Track: "Seventh String"

Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers and "The Heart Part 5," Kendrick Lamar 

Complex: Best Albums, No. 1; Rolling Stone: Best Albums, No. 11; Pitchfork: Best Albums, No. 13; NPR: Best Albums, No. 20; Stereogum: Best Albums, No. 20; Paste: Best Albums, No. 32; Mojo: Best Albums, No. 34; Pitchfork: Best Songs ("The Heart Part 5"), No. 16; Boston Globe: Best Albums

  • Matt Schaeffer ’12, engineer/mixer, songwriter

  • Emerson Mancini B.M. ’08, mastering engineer

  • Tyler Mehlenbacher ’14, songwriter

  • Troy Bourgeois B.M. ’17, engineer

  • Andrew Boyd B.M. ’16, engineer

Track: "The Heart Part 5"

COMETA, Nick Hakim

Bandcamp Daily: Best Albums; NPR: Best R&B Albums

  • Nick Hakim B.M. ’13

  • Andrew Sarlo ’11, producer

Track: "M1"

Forfolks, Jeff Parker

Mojo: Best Albums, No. 33; Pitchfork: Best Albums, No. 48

  • Jeff Parker ’90

Track: "Ugly Beauty"

Special, Lizzo

Rolling Stone: Best Albums, No. 91

  • Emerson Mancini B.M. ’08, mastering engineer

  • Amy Allen ’15, songwriter, “If You Love Me"

Track: "If You Love Me"

Good Person, Ingrid Andress

Rolling Stone: Best Albums, No. 92

  • Ingrid Andress ’13

Track: "Good Person"

Ashley McBryde Presents Lindeville, Ashley McBryde  

NPR: Best Albums, No. 50

  • Fred Eltringham ’94, drums, percussion

Track: "The Girl in the Picture"

Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You, Big Thief 

Paste: Best Albums, No. 1; NPR: Best Albums, No. 4; Pitchfork: Best Albums, No. 7; Stereogum: Best Albums, No. 8; Pitchfork: Best Songs ("Spud Infinity"), No. 33; Rolling Stone: Best Albums, No. 35; Boston Globe: Best Albums

  • Adrianne Lenker B.M. ’12, guitar, vocals

  • Buck Meek B.M. ’10, guitar, vocals

  • James Krivchenia B.M. ’14, drums, vocals, percussion, producer

Track: "Spud Infinity"

Cyclic Journey, Marshall Gilkes

DownBeat: Best Albums

  • Linda May Han Oh (faculty), bass

Track: "Part IV: Beat the Clock"

Ghost Song, Cécile McLorin Salvant

New York Times: Best Jazz Albums, No. 1; Slate: Best Jazz Albums, No. 1; NPR: Best Albums, No. 45; Boston Globe: Best Albums

  • Keita Ogawa ’07,  percussion

  • Todd Whitelock B.M. ’89, associate producer, engineer, mixer

  • Alex Conroy B.M. ’14, assistant engineer

Track: "Ghost Song"

Grief, Samora Pinderhughes

New York Times: Best Jazz Albums, No. 10

  • Jack DeBoe B.M. ’08, producer and engineer

Track: "Rise Up"

Trios: Chapel, Charles Lloyd ’15H

Slate: Best Jazz Albums, No. 5

  • Bill Frisell ’77, guitar

Track: "Ay Amor"

Crooked Tree, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway

Bandcamp Daily: Best Country Albums

  • Molly Tuttle ’14

Playlist track: "Crooked Tree"

Harry's House, Harry Styles

Rolling Stone: Best Albums, No. 5

  • Amy Allen ’15, songwriter, "Matilda"

Track: "Matilda"

Bordeaux Concert, Keith Jarrett

Slate: Best Jazz Albums, No. 4

  • Keith Jarrett ’67, piano

Track: "Part IX"

Odesa, Vadim Neselovskyi

Boston Globe: Best Albums

  • Vadim Neselovskyi (faculty), piano

Track: "Potemkin Stairs"

New Standards Vol. 1, Terri Lyne Carrington

NPR: Best Albums, No. 19

  • Terri Lyne Carrington (faculty), drums

  • Kris Davis (faculty), piano

  • Linda May Han Oh (faculty), bass

  • Matthew Stevens B.M. ’04, guitar

  • Julian Lage ’08, guitar

Track: "Circling"

Related Categories