Best Songs of 2022 – The New York Times

“Fruity,” like the best 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 recommended by zero out of 10 dentists. Turn it up loud.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs grow elegantly into their role as art-rock elders here, not just by slowing to a tempo as confidently glacial as the Cure’s “Plainsong,” but by placing a spotlight on the existential dread of the next generation. “Mama, what have you done?” Karen O sings, channeling the voice of a frightened child. “I trace your steps in the darkness of one/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 people isolated in their own heads, questioning their perceptions, feeling disconnected from a larger whole. The clarion-voiced Natalie Mering has written a soothing anthem for all those lost souls in 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 continuously through this exorcism of anxiety. “The feeling comes so fast, and I cannot control it,” Florence Welch wails as if possessed, but she eventually finds her catharsis in the music itself: “For a moment, when I’m dancing, I am free.”

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

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