2022 is shaping up to be a wild year in terms of new album releases. With the rise of some new artists (and the re-emergence of some classics), we’re excited to listen to this new music on repeat!
The album release cycle, as we know it, is dead. Mainstream artists (and those who are newer on the scene) don’t need a lengthy amount of time before their new albums drop. The PR hype that once surrounded album releases is no longer necessary.
Add a pandemic to the evolution of album releases, and it’s safe to say that things are pretty much the wild west out here. Artists can do as they please - and we’re at their mercy. It’s exhilarating, isn’t it?
There could always be a surprise album drop like Taylor Swift and Beyonce have done in the past. We’ve already seen one quickly-dropped new album in 2022 from the Weeknd (released Dawn FM within a week of announcing it).
Let’s get into some of the most anticipated (and most speculated) album releases of 2022. These are just a snapshot of the new music on our radar!
Here are our Top 8 Most Anticipated Album Releases of 2022
1. Kendrick Lamar (No set release date or title)
Fresh off the heels of a killer Superbowl Halftime Show performance, Kendrick Lamar looks poised to drop another mind-blowing lyrical listening experience in 2022. Every year, fans wonder if Kendrick will drop the album that fans have been anxiously waiting for. Many speculate that 2022 is the year. A 2022 album for Kendrick would follow up his Academy-Award, Pulitzer Prize, and Grammy-Award winning music that he released in 2017 (Damn.). Lamar himself has teased a recent album update that sounded like he was putting his finishing touches on the work. Kendrick Lamar’s appearance with Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, and Eminem at the Superbowl Halftime Show could be a good teaser to prep fans for the release of a new music album drop soon.
2. Charli XCX, 'Crash' (March 18)
Charli XCX has been the future-pop soundtrack of our days for a few years now. She’s released a handful of singles throughout the pandemic, but Charli’s new album is scheduled to drop on March 18, 2022. Her collaborators include Caroline Polachek (recent rise to fame on TikTok), Christine and the Queens, The 1975’s, and Ariel Rechtshaid. This new music is sure to bring some upbeat and good vibes as we roll into spring and summer of 2022 – and hopefully as we roll farther away from COVID-19.
3. Jack White, 'Fear of the Dawn' and 'Entering Heaven Alive' (April 8 & July 22)
The former lead singer and guitarist in the duo of the White Stripes, Jack White is set to release his fourth and fifth full-length records this year. That’s right, he’s bringing two full 2022 album releases to the table this year. We love the idea in a year full of twos. Fans are interested to see how Jack White’s music will continue to evolve from his time in the White Stripes to his new and modern sound!
4. Cardi B (No set release date, “Invasion of Privacy”)
Honestly, some of Cardi B’s music that she dropped during the pandemic helped keep us sane. Her song “WAP” will forever be an anthem of the early COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. However, 2021 has been a fairly quiet year for the rapper, who has seen a decent amount of change in her personal life. Cardi B recently opened up on social media to explain that she has been having a challenging time adapting to her new “normal.” However, the rapper mentioned that she’s preparing to potentially release a 2022 album. We’re excited to see if that comes to fruition! Nothing brings a nation together like a classic Cardi B bop.
5. BTS (No set release date or title)
Undoubtedly, BTS is one of the biggest bands in the world right now. They’ve dominated the music industry with their fresh K-pop sound. Recently, the band members have taken a step back to rest. However, in the same statement that said they’d be taking some time to recharge, there was also a thinly veiled reference to preparing a new album release. While we can’t be sure it’s going to be dropped in 2022, there’s a good chance that BTS will want to continue to ride the K-pop popularity train as long as they can!
6. SZA (No set release date, “CTRL”)
SZA’s rise to fame has been gradual, but she’s picked up steam with a few recent singles releases. As an artist, SZA has created a well-rounded reputation for herself in the industry. Her debut album came out almost 5 years ago, so fans assume that she’s winding up for a full album release soon. Some of her recent singles have become instant smash hits, so we can’t see her record label holding a full album back much longer from topping the charts.
7. Caroline Polachek (No set release date or title)
Polachek’s infectious single “Bunny is a Rider” dropped in 2021, and her recent song “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings” has risen to TikTok fame as a boppy song that brings the vibes. While no formal announcement has been made, fans think they may see a larger drop from Caroline Polachek in the form of a new studio album release this year. We’re looking forward to more upbeat bops and dreamy lyrics from this artist - hopefully, sooner than later!
8. Meghan Thee Stallion (No set release date or title)
Meghan Thee Stallion is the hot girl on the music scene these days. She’s on popular TV shows, she’s been dropping new music collabs with the hottest artists (Cardi B), and she even had time to get her college degree. You don’t have to sell us on her bad girl energy - Meghan Thee Stallion is doing it all. With all of that, 2022 may be the perfect time to release some more music. Meghan has teased fans that her second LP may drop in the summer of this year. We could only be so lucky as it would be one of the biggest album releases of 2022. Of course, just in time for a perfect hot-girl (and guy) summer!