(STACKER) – Some could call 2022 the comeback year for music artists. Others might even dub it the year COVID-19 seemingly backed down, no longer thwarting the thrill live music concertgoers have longed for since the world was brought to a momentary halt thanks to the global pandemic.

We’re calling it one of the most inspiring years in music yet.

Beyoncé emerged for the first time in six years with a house-themed LP chock-full of Grammy-nominated club hits; armed with her guitar, indie crooner Angel Olsen returned with one of her most sobering and ambitious projects yet; and the Weeknd took us all on a supersonic radio road trip with an ’80s-inspired endeavor narrated by the one and only Jim Carrey.

Needless to say, many artists produced some of their most cathartic, retrospective work this year. Some analyzed the impacts of isolation and mourned loss, while others chose nostalgia and escapism. But no matter how they decided to express themselves, 2022 gave us some exceptionally emotional, experimental, and captivating music from some of the biggest names in music and also introduced us to new artists who are making music unlike anyone else right now.

Stacker looked at all 2022 albums on Metacritic and highlighted the top 25, according to Metascore. Only albums with at least 7 reviews were considered. Ties were broken internally at Metacritic, where Metascore data goes two decimal points beyond what’s published. This list covers genres from hip-hop and pop to rock and country; there’s even an instrumental electro-jazz album.

Read on to see how many of these albums you’ve listened to already—and more importantly, perhaps, what to add to your queue.

#25. ‘God Save the Animals’ by Alex G

– Metascore: 86
– Release date: Sept. 23

#24. ‘Life on Earth’ by Hurray for the Riff Raff

– Metascore: 87
– Release date: Feb. 18

#23. ‘Hugo’ by Loyle Carner

– Metascore: 87
– Release date: Oct. 21

#22. ‘Wet Leg’ by Wet Leg

– Metascore: 87
– Release date: April 8

#21. ‘Electricity’ by Ibibio Sound Machine

– Metascore: 87
– Release date: March 25

#20. ‘For You Who Are the Wronged’ by Kathryn Joseph

– Metascore: 87
– Release date: April 22

#19. ‘This Is a Photograph’ by Kevin Morby

– Metascore: 87
– Release date: May 13

#18. ‘In These Times’ by Makaya McCraven

– Metascore: 87
– Release date: Sept. 23

#17. ‘Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You’ by Big Thief

– Metascore: 87
– Release date: Feb. 11

#16. ‘Colder Streams’ by The Sadies

– Metascore: 88
– Release date: July 22

#15. ‘Dawn FM’ by The Weeknd

– Metascore: 88
– Release date: Jan. 7

#14. ‘YTILAER’ by Bill Callahan

– Metascore: 88
– Release date: Oct. 14

#13. ‘Big Time’ by Angel Olsen

– Metascore: 88
– Release date: June 3

#12. ‘And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow’ by Weyes Blood

– Metascore: 88
– Release date: Nov. 18

#11. ‘Riderless Horse’ by Nina Nastasia

– Metascore: 89
– Release date: July 22

#10. ‘Feeding the Machine’ by Binker & Moses

– Metascore: 89
– Release date: Feb. 25

#9. ‘Natural Brown Prom Queen’ by Sudan Archives

– Metascore: 89
– Release date: Sept. 9

#8. ‘Heart Under’ by Just Mustard

– Metascore: 89
– Release date: May 27

#7. ‘Florist’ by Florist

– Metascore: 89
– Release date: July 29

#6. ‘I Love You Jennifer B’ by Jockstrap

– Metascore: 89
– Release date: Sept. 9

#5. ‘Renaissance’ by Beyoncé

– Metascore: 91
– Release date: July 29

#4. ‘King’s Disease III’ by Nas

– Metascore: 92
– Release date: Nov. 11

#3. ‘Ants from Up There’ by Black Country, New Road

– Metascore: 92
– Release date: Feb. 4

#2. ‘Supernova’ by Nova Twins

– Metascore: 92
– Release date: June 17

#1. ‘Motomami’ by Rosalía

– Metascore: 94
– Release date: March 18