In 2022, Latin music was everywhere.
Spanish-language artists virtually dominated the cultural zeitgeist as the scene grew louder and more saturated than ever, bolstered by new releases from industry heavyweights and promising newbies alike. Bad Bunny and Anitta crystallized their global status as musical icons with record-breaking numbers and rave reviews — prompting them to serve as de facto representatives of their respective home countries. Meanwhile, Mexican American group Eslabon Armado and Colombian American psych rock band Divino Niño showcased the diasporic history of Latin America with thriving subgenres that build bridges between tradition and the first-gen experience.
Above all else, the increased visibility has granted Latin artists the freedom to experiment in their creative process without the need to conform or stick to any one genre — or language. There’s no denying the landscape will likely continue its shape-shifting journey in the coming years; but, for now, here are Variety‘s 10 best Latin albums of 2022.