Staff picks for the BEST OF 2022


Once Twice Melody is dream pop duo Beach House’s ninth studio album and is an amalgamation of everything they have released thus far: it’s bright, it’s dramatic, and it’s whimsical. It’s evident that the album’s greatness lies not just in its size but in its ability to fill the space in a captivating way. The strongest tracks on the album are “Pink Funeral” and “Superstar,” which have a shoegaze-esque sound that is nostalgic. Every moment creates its own fantastical world of sound, which together flesh out the addictive universe of the album. -Audrey Farris ‘25

Blue Water Road by Kehlani tops their discography as their most authentic and vulnerable release yet. This album follows the artist as they embrace their sexuality and newfound spirituality, finding deeper intimacy with their partner and internal peace. Kehlani opts for a gentler sound, exploring swelling strings underneath their usual R&B elements in tracks “Little Story” and “Everything.” Their classic flow and clean riffs punctuate lead single “Alter” and “Up At Night.” In thirteen tracks, Kehlani delivers an intensely personal journey for listeners. -Naomi Bang ‘23

The 1975’s most recent album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language is a catchy, refreshingly cohesive effort from a band known for its confusing lyrics and unusual production choices. At 11 tracks, Being Funny is half the length of the band’s last album, featuring several strong pop songs that explore love and personal growth. The album’s strongest tracks include acoustic ballad “When We Are Together,” and lead single “Part of the Band.” Being Funny proves that The 1975 can make a cheerful, upbeat album without sacrificing its characteristic off beat charm. -Katie Gough ‘23

Harry’s House is an energetic and sweet-sounding album, featuring some of the biggest hits of the year including “Music for a Sushi Restaurant,” “Late Night Talking,” and “Matilda.” In his third studio album, Harry Styles explores themes such as falling in love and grappling with change in relationships. Shortly after announcing the album, Styles released one of the album’s lead singles, “As It Was,” which exploded all over social media, helping the album to reach a broader audience. To say the album hit the mark is an understatement. -Lauren Frank ‘23


Set in the folds of a young woman’s fleeting memories of her father, Aftersun takes a deeply intimate look into how people are remembered and how childlike innocence can cloud the more checkered aspects of the people we love. Both Frankie Corio and Paul Mescal deliver wonderfully naturalistic performances, having great chemistry with one another and displaying a wide emotional range and this, along with the ambient score and minimalistic cinematography, helps greatly to amplify the film’s dramatic beats. Aftersun is an overall masterful directorial debut from up and coming filmmaker Charlotte Wells that puts her as a unique voice to look out for in the future. -Liam Trump ‘24

Nope provides a unique take on both thriller and alien movies through its distinct, well-rounded characters and engaging plot. Director Jordan Peele subverts many classic horror and blockbuster tropes in the film, especially through the intriguing design of the alien antagonist. The cinematography is exceptionally strong, featuring scenes that are genuinely frightening or intense. The movie also provides a thoughtful message on the dangers of chasing fame that viewers will continue to discuss after leaving the theater. While clearly laced with deeper themes, the plot still remains simple and comprehensible, providing plenty of action and entertainment.
-Nicholas Schade ‘23

Top Gun: Maverick, directed by Joseph Kosinski, didn’t disappoint with many critics praising it. As the sequel to the original Top Gun from 1986, returning actor Tom Cruise offers a blast from the past and helps replay many similar yet unique parts from the original. Additionally, viewers feel like they are in the fighter jets with immersive sounds and other visual effects throughout the exciting film. The intense action, mixed with many different emotional and dramatic scenes, boosts the plot of the movie significantly. In an age of streaming films, Top Gun Maverick is a reminder of why certain movies are worth the price of seeing them in a theater. -Dylan Sondike ‘24

The sci-fi comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once follows a Chinese immigrant named Evelyn as she navigates her relationship with her family while also traveling across a multiverse trying to stop a powerful evil that threatens the entire multiverse. The film has funny moments, suspenseful moments, action packed moments, and heartwarming moments. Despite the sci-fi elements, the film includes relatable elements even to people not from an immigrant family or with generational trauma. The special effects are stellar and so are the performances by nearly every actor, mainly Michelle Yeoh who plays Evelyn and Stephanie Hsu who plays Evelyn’s daughter, Joy. -Alex Braun ‘23


Wednesday provides an imaginative adaptation of The Addams Family created by Charles Addams. The famed Tim Burton serves as executive producer and directs four of the eight episodes. Wednesday combines romance, comedy, and mystery elements to create a wonderfully entertaining experience. The show provides fresh insight into Wednesday, the daughter of Gomez and Morticia Addams. Jenna Ortega’s dedication to playing Wednesday is evident in her lack of blinking throughout the show. Fans of the older Addams Family films/shows will be pleased with the subtle references to the older material, but newer fans still will enjoy the captivating murder mystery. -Genevieve Mayle ‘23

In May, creators Matt and Ross Duffer debuted the fourth season of their TV series Stranger Things. Most of the action follows the main group of protagonists as they try to take down the new villain, Vecna. Viewers also finally learn the context to the evil parallel world known as the Upside Down. Additionally, the show adds two new main settings taking place in California and Alaska. With a lot more going on in this season, the directors found a way to balance the show by making each episode and each plot engaging for viewers. -Devin Kosiorowski ‘24

Better Call Saul, the slow-burn, highly acclaimed prequel to Breaking Bad, ran its final season last spring. Lead actor Bob Odenkirk delivers a phenomenal performance complemented by great writing and pacing that takes the story through various essential moments in Saul Goodman’s life. Creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould let the storyline play out with masterful patience while not wasting a single scene. Better Call Saul perfected the art of creating morally ambiguous characters that are able to command sympathy at the same time as allowing the viewer to question their motives and actions, creating a whirlwind for its final season that ends in engrossing, climactic fashion. -Matt Kauffman ‘23