The Top 40 Pop Songs of 2022 (20-1)

The Top 40 Pop Songs of 2022For the second year in a row, I’m adding a special countdown for all the pop music (ie: anything that isn’t Korean or Japanese) I loved in 2022. I’ve slowly dipped my feet back into international music markets, highlighted by the blog’s “Global Round-Up” posts that kicked off this February and will continue into the future.

Here’s the second half of this year’s countdown: songs number twenty to one! Make sure to check out the first half before diving in.

SONGS 40-21


20. Khalid – Skyline

This laid-back groove was perfectly suited to summer. I can’t believe this wasn’t one of the year’s biggest smashes.

19. The Weeknd – Out Of Time

Another song that should have been a mega-hit, Out Of Time perfectly replicates a shimmering, MJ-esque 80’s r&b sound.

18. Gryffin x OneRepublic – You Were Loved

Is this sentimental dance anthem cheesy or profound? I have no idea, but it gets me every time.

17. Tom Grennan – All These Nights

A bombastic rocker that never takes its foot off the gas. I love this style of cathartic stomp.

16. Confidence Man – Feels Like A Different Thing

90’s house music and gospel choir vocals go hand-in-hand, and Confidence Man wring everything they can from the recipe with this ebullient stunner.

15. Sigala – Stay The Night (ft. Talia Mar)

Sigala was one of my MVPs of the year, producing excellent dance music — one hit after another. This song had a long-lasting place on my workout playlist.

14. SB19 – WYAT (Where You At)

SB19 are representing P-pop on this year’s countdown with the infectious retro throwback WYAT. It’s everything BTS’s Dynamite should have been.

13. Lizzo – About Damn Time

The perfect disco pastiche for our playlist-obsessed era. About Damn Time makes one addictive turn after another.

12. Betty Who – Blow Out My Candle

Speaking of pastiches, Betty Who nails a certain style of softly anthemic 80’s pop with the excellent Blow Out My Candle.

11. Jax Jones – Where Did You Go (ft. MNEK)

It’s straightforward — but perfectly straightforward — dance music. There’s something transcendent about its single-minded simplicity.

10. The Weeknd – Sacrifice

The Weeknd harnesses anlethal groove on Sacrifice. This kind of 80’s funk is my happy place, and this song feels like home.

9. Sigala – Living Without You (ft. David Guetta & Sam Ryder)

That chorus shreds! This is high-octane, propulsive dance music with a fantastic vocal that soars to the sky.

8. Ava Max – Maybe You’re The Problem

A bit of a turn from her past music, Maybe You’re The Problem‘s mile-a-minute chorus and vaguely synthwave beat combine to forge a dynamite pop standout.

7. Rina Sawayama – This Hell

It’s Gaga meets Shania on this campy country-pop-rock-dance hybrid. Rina pulls it all together with her effortless charisma and cheeky performance.

6. Beyoncé – Break My Soul

Depending on what you consider a “single,” I could’ve easily featured other Beyonce tracks on this list. But, Break My Soul was positioned as a killer opening salvo for the album. Its house sound is a revelation for her.

5. Sigala – Melody

This potent dance track was one of my most-played songs of the year — in any genre. It’s executed so well, anchored by a flawless (and huge!) chorus.

4. Måns Zelmerlöw – What You Were Made For

I’m always open to a schlocky 80’s power pop motivator. What You Were Made For is designed for pumping your fist in the air. That pre-chorus is so satisfying.

3. Erika Vikman – Kateus

Once again, I’m embedding the single mix before the video because that version is vastly superior. Vikman was one of my big discoveries this year. I adore her gargantuan, ultra-maximalist take on pop music.

2. Ellie Goulding – Easy Lover (ft. Big Sean)

The vocal blend during Easy Lover‘s chorus is a thrill every time it comes around — even if I’ve heard the song dozens of times before. It’s simply a brilliant pop performance.

1. MUNA – What I Want

If you couldn’t tell by how often I use the word, I’m a big fan of “catharsis” in pop music. MUNA’s What I Want builds its entire existence around this sensation, bursting at the seams with longing, frustration and — ultimately — a rush of pent-up release. It’s a thrilling track with one of the year’s strongest choruses.

And as a bonus… My Top Three Pop Albums of 2022!

3. Madison Rose – Technicolor

Madison Rose - Technicolor

2. The Weeknd – Dawn FM

The Weeknd - Dawn FM

1. Beyoncé – Rennaissance

Beyonce - Renaissance


22 thoughts on “The Top 40 Pop Songs of 2022 (20-1)

  1. Pingback: The Top 40 Pop Songs of 2022 (20-1) - Rapgurus

  2. My listening this days is almost exclusively K-pop and related, Horse Lords, and older r&b/rock. But I had a few pop songs this year I liked, and a couple you turned me on to. Weirdly enough, I stumbled on This Hell myself. Asterisk is a song you reviewed and I checked out.
    Anyway, here goes in no particular order except for Beyoncé.
    Beyoncé – Alien Superstar
    Jessie Ware – Free Yourself*
    Lizzo – Everybody’s Gay
    FLO – Cardboard Box
    Little Nas X – Star Walkin’
    Conchita Wurst – All That I Wanted
    Kalush Orchestra – Stephania
    MARO – saudade, saudade
    Iza – Fe
    Harry Styles – Late Night Talking
    Jax Jones – Where Did You Go? *
    Rina Sawayama – This Hell

    Liked by 2 people

  3. [Jude here]: That Beyonce album is so great; my favorite is Alien Superstar. I didn’t think Lizzo could top herself, but About Damn Time might be my favorite single she’s done so far. Ditto Harry Styles; I love his album and singles, esp. As It Was & Late Night Talking. Bree Runway’s Somebody Like You continues to be one of my favorites of the year. Other favorites include Charli XCX & Rina’s Beg for You, and Tove Styrke’s Show Me Love.

    Stuff I’ve been disappointed by: 1) After my initial excitement about the new Weeknd album wore off, I found it really disappointing and actively dislike it. Weird, because I love his work generally, and on paper I should love the new album. 2) Can an artist both disappoint me, and still I quite like her lone single and it’s still on my playlist? That distinction belongs to Doja Cat. The caliber of previous singles is so high for me (Say So, Kiss Me More, Need to Know, Streets), that Vegas seems a bit of a dip. Yet I always find myself singing along to it. Really looking forward to new material from her.

    Another favorite album is Link from Vietnamese singer Hoang Thuy Linh. Songs like Gieo Que and See Tinh have been on my playlist all year.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I admit that I don’t quite get Bad Bunny’s album this year. I love earlier reggaeton, but BB’s lack of killer choruses and minimalist production, I’m a bit confused by it’s huge appeal. Is it the lyrics, would I love it more if I knew Spanish? I’ll have to figure it out at some point.

        On the other hand, I love Rosalia’s album. I found Saoko irresistible all year, in a similar way to Antifragile – both seem at first to be annoying, yet you keep returning to it. And when Saoko goes into that jazz piano breakdown, oh yeah. It’s a fun and vital album for sure.


  4. I’m glad to see your appreciation for Harry Styles’s “As It Was”. It’s one of my favorite songs of this year and it deserves its recognition.

    Is it me or we’re starting to see in uprise in quality of American pop music this decade? 2022 was a really solid year and we’ve gotten amazing albums from artists like Beyonce and The Weeknd.


  5. Carly Rae Jepsen had my number one song and album from the second she announced it. I love her music so much and this album was so great. Surrender My Heart and Talking To Yourself were probably my favorites. Lizzo, Beyonce, Harry Styles, The Weeknd, and Jesse Ware were also favorites. I also really really loved Shawn Mendes’ When You’re Gone. Its such a good song.


  6. Huge fan of the Erika Vikman song! Some of my other 2022 favorites:

    Ram pam pam – Bess
    Gay – Benjamin
    Magic – Robin Packalen
    I Love Your Girl – Mabel
    Hell – G.E.M.
    同化我 (I’m a volunteer) – Gong
    La Fine – Måneskin
    Give You Up – Darin


  7. Long time reader here, never comment but I just thought you should listen to Mon Coeur by Izia (french pop), as well as Etoile Noir (like this one better personally), because I’m literally obsessed and I think you’d enjoy listening so I’m recommending them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s nice. It’s so different from her father and brother’s music, Jacques Higelin & Arthur H. I’m a big Francophile, but haven’t heard much in the last decade to excite me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooh I didn’t know her brother was also a singer! I love ‘Je ne peux plus dire je t’aime’ & was surprised to find out it’s her dad! Talented family.
        I agree there’s barely anything good these days! I discovered french pop after stumbling across Alizee and haven’t looked back since. There’s too many to name but I think Zazie is my favourite artist, her early stuff has absolutely enchanted me.
        (i’m the one who posted originally, had to make an account bcs I’m not sure how this website works lol)


  8. Renaissance is such a good album! Alien Superstar, Energy, Heated, and America Has A Problem. The only thing that wasn’t good about the album was the lack of visuals (we know she filmed them so where are they?!?!?)

    Like I mentioned on the other post, About Damn Time was such a big hit that it overshadowed the rest of what was a strong pop album from Lizzo. If there wasn’t so much competition this year, I’d think she be the front runner for Record of the Year at the Grammies.

    Other favorites from 2022 include:

    Joyce Wrice – Iced Tea
    Charlie Puth – There’s a First Time for Everything
    Ari Lennox – Mean Mug
    Coco Jones – Double Back
    Yuna – Fool 4 You

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Late to commenting but my favorite pop songs this year would be:
    Ava Max- Million Dollar Baby
    Ava Max- Weapons (tbh I never properly listened to her music until this year and I love it and can’t wait for her album release. I even went to Jingle Ball to see her. So thank you for recommending her!!)
    Dadi Freyr- I’m Fine
    Benjamin- Gay
    Tokio Hotel (feat. Dadi Freyr)-Happy People
    Danny Saucedo- Dansa Ensam
    Alesso & Zara Larsson- Words
    SB19- WYAT
    Lizzo- About Damn Time (Purple Disco Machine Remix)
    Ellie Goulding- Easy Lover
    Theoz- Som du Vill
    The Weeknd- Sacrifice
    The Weeknd- Out of Time
    Subwoolfer- Give That Wolf a Banana
    Charlie Puth- Light Switch
    One Republic- Ain’t Worried

    Pretty sure most of them were songs you recommended because I’m quite bad at finding new good pop songs.


  10. Ooh I didn’t know her brother was also a singer! I love ‘Je ne peux plus dire je t’aime’ & was surprised to find out it’s her dad! Talented family.
    I agree there’s barely anything good these days! I discovered french pop after stumbling across Alizee and haven’t looked back since. There’s too many to name but I think Zazie is my favourite artist, her early stuff has absolutely enchanted me.
    (i’m the one who posted originally, had to make an account bcs I’m not sure how this website works lol)


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