After a veritable avalanche of singles released during the pandemic, Latin artists returned en masse to studio albums in 2022. And although there were to-be-expected disposable sets, many of the releases were quite literally the result of years of work, often straddling many genres and certainly, many moods. Too much time in the studio, after all, opens the door not only to prolific output, but also to experimentation and a search for elusive perfection.
As a result, some of the biggest names in Latin music dropped new studio albums — including Bad Bunny‘s record-breaking Un Verano Sin Ti, which topped the Billboard 200; Becky G‘s long-awaited new set, Esquemas, which houses the Karol G-assisted blockbuster and certified anthem “MAMIII”; Anitta‘s trilingual effort, Versions of Me, led by her global hit “Envolver”; and Eslabon Armado‘s Nostalgia, which became the first top 10-charting regional Mexican album ever on the Billboard 200.
Of course, there were also albums released by emerging acts that not only caught our attention but became some of our favorites of the year. Those include Silvana Estrada’s Marchita, her cathartic debut album that shows off her craft not only as a songwriter but as a musician. And DannyLux, a self-taught 17-year-old who is a leading force in the regional Mexican realm thanks to his emo sierreño vibe.
Our 22 best albums of 2022 so far run the gamut from the avant garde to the safely commercial, but all have had a cultural, musical or chart impact that was impossible to ignore. The list below is arranged in alphabetical order by artist.