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Best Songs of 2022 – The Recent York Times


“Fruity,” like the most effective hyperpop, is an anarchic affront to refinement and restraint, an ever-escalating blast of melodic delirium and warped excess. It’s a sugar rush, it’s brain-freeze-inducing, it’s beneficial by zero out of 10 dentists. Turn it up loud.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs grow elegantly into their role as art-rock elders here, not only by slowing to a tempo as confidently glacial because the Cure’s “Plainsong,” but by placing a highlight on the existential dread of the subsequent generation. “Mama, what have you ever done?” Karen O sings, channeling the voice of a frightened child. “I trace your steps within the darkness of 1/Am I what’s left?”

Grace Ives makes music of interiority, chronicling the liminal moments of her day when she’s by herself, daydreaming: “I hear the neighbors sing ‘Love Galore,’ I do a split on the kitchen floor,” goes the charming “Lullaby,” a passionately sung, welcoming invitation into her world.

The pandemic left many individuals isolated in their very own heads, questioning their perceptions, feeling disconnected from a bigger whole. The clarion-voiced Natalie Mering has written a soothing anthem for all those lost souls within the emotionally generous “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody”; its title alone is an offering of solace and sanity.

A bass line buzzes like a live wire, snaking repeatedly through this exorcism of hysteria. “The sensation comes so fast, and I cannot control it,” Florence Welch wails as if possessed, but she eventually finds her catharsis within the music itself: “For a moment, once I’m dancing, I’m free.”

“I’m walking past him, he sniffing my breeze,” the rising star Ice Spice spits expeditiously on this unbothered anthem; before he may even process the insult, she’s gone.

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