The Independent's 40 Best Albums of 2021

The Independent's 40 Best Albums of 2021

Original Source →

39.

July 16, 2021
Critic Score
70
16 reviews

Her lyrics have a stream-of-consciousness style, as though she’s in the middle of composing a message to a friend or partner. The delight she takes in performing these songs is palpable.

38.

Berwyn - TAPE 2 / FOMALHAUT
June 18, 2021
Critic Score
80
2 reviews

37.

November 19, 2021
Critic Score
80
28 reviews
Across a more diverse fourth record, the returning singer braids in glimmering moments of self-affirmation amid the typical tirades against herself.

36.

November 12, 2021
Critic Score
80
15 reviews
Yes, it’s all cheesy as a vat of fondue. But it’s also a lot of fun.

35.

April 16, 2021
Critic Score
74
9 reviews
AJ’s still running this game on his terms. Fair play.

34.

November 5, 2021
Critic Score
70
24 reviews
It’s a terrific, family-friendly smorgasbord of a record that delivers all the classic ABBA flavours.

31.

April 16, 2021
Critic Score
74
21 reviews
Melodies feel constructed around the cathedral architecture of Reid’s pure, classically influenced vocals, which rise in soaring – often breathy – arches capable of carrying more emotional weight than you’d expect.

30.

May 21, 2021
Critic Score
78
20 reviews
At times, it feels as though the polite, considered Rodrigo could push ideas, emotions and melodies a little further than she does.

29.

October 8, 2021
Critic Score
74
23 reviews
Few artists can make such heartbreak sound so pretty, while still reflecting on all its weirdness and complexity.

28.

July 2, 2021
Critic Score
85
18 reviews

Occasionally, the meandering nature of Mvula’s song structures can leave you grasping for more melody, but the moods she creates are always clearly defined.

27.

June 11, 2021
Critic Score
73
21 reviews

Tucker and Brownstein are two of the coolest, most complex women in rock. Imagine Killing Eve in audio form. They’re still that kick-ass. That sexy. That much fun. Put this album on your to-listen list, pronto.

26.

January 29, 2021
Critic Score
75
17 reviews

Not Your Muse is an album that will lure you back time and time again, as much for its technical brilliance as any of its other qualities.

25.

November 12, 2021
Critic Score
77
30 reviews

This album is Barnett navigating her way out of her own head, reminding herself – and her listeners – that it’s good to care about things. She couldn’t have picked a better time.

24.

June 25, 2021
Critic Score
71
19 reviews

23.

May 14, 2021
Critic Score
84
36 reviews
It sounds – for the first time in a decade – like Clark has slipped out of her high heels and found an equal strength in this barefooted soul.

22.

January 29, 2021
Critic Score
82
35 reviews

Parks successfully establishes a style that combines emotional directness with a rich sensory palate.

21.

May 21, 2021
Critic Score
83
11 reviews
It’s an album steeped in vintage-sounding reverb; built on meticulously crafted arrangements and masterful, elegiac storytelling.

20.

Snoop Dogg - Snoop Dogg Presents Algorithm
November 19, 2021
Critic Score
70
7 reviews
It all fits seamlessly together, a rich tapestry of weed-toked slow jams, woozy psychedelic infusions and pimped-out west coast joyrides.

19.

May 21, 2021
Critic Score
80
10 reviews
There is a new sense of liberation that manifests in noodling beats and an openness to experimentation that has been absent from her past music. Marten’s songwriting feels more confident than ever.

17.

March 19, 2021
Critic Score
80
35 reviews
A great storyteller, Del Rey consistently delivers the who, what, where and when.

16.

August 6, 2021
Critic Score
81
11 reviews

King’s Disease 2 finds Nas where he has always been – comfortable in himself and at ease with confronting his past.

15.

February 25, 2021
Critic Score
88
30 reviews
It’s blunt and hopeful. Full of flesh and spirit. But also written by a man who just told an online fan not to store his acid in a vegemite jar in the fridge because no self respecting Aussie chills the ‘mite. Which makes him sound like a man we can all trust.

14.

July 30, 2021
Critic Score
83
33 reviews
The 19-year-old fills her second album with things most of us don’t have to deal with – NDAs, interviews, paparazzi – and yet she weaves them around universal woes.

13.

Bess Atwell - Already Always
September 24, 2021
Critic Score
100
1 review

Already, Always frequently presents itself like a diary, where to-do lists and everyday anxieties sit comfortably next to her deepest and most beautifully expressed feelings. What a spectacular record.

12.

July 9, 2021
Critic Score
79
21 reviews
Perhaps it’s this new vulnerability that makes the album so great. Or maybe it’s the whip-smart one-liners. Or the vivid storytelling. Staples will say this latest triumph is just a dude doing some different things.

11.

February 19, 2021
Critic Score
85
9 reviews

10.

Flyte - This Is Really Going To Hurt
April 9, 2021
Critic Score
70
10 reviews

It’s hard to think of many other contemporary albums that are quite so beautifully arranged as this.

9.

October 8, 2021
Critic Score
84
16 reviews

Fender has refined both his songwriting and his sound.

8.

June 4, 2021
Critic Score
86
26 reviews

Jubilee is an evolution for Zauner.

7.

March 26, 2021
Critic Score
91
15 reviews

For Those I Love is as much a piece of history as it is a work of art ... A staggering album.

6.

September 17, 2021
Critic Score
81
23 reviews
This album isn’t the creation of a gimmick-spinner. It’s an album bursting with technicolour heart. Now, where did I hide that disco-stetson?

5.

June 25, 2021
Critic Score
87
23 reviews

Much of this album feels like the apotheosis of all Tyler’s past works.

4.

October 22, 2021
Critic Score
93
18 reviews

Across the album’s 13 tracks, she flits easily between pop’s peripherals and its core, dispensing emotional catharsis all the way.

3.

July 23, 2021
Critic Score
88
18 reviews

WAAITT is a compelling, conscious-jolting account of a life of two halves.

2.

June 4, 2021
Critic Score
86
32 reviews

If you imagine their old songs as rally cars, the new ones are still driven as wildly, but with steelier focus and in-built roll cages.

1.

September 3, 2021
Critic Score
90
35 reviews
In a time where we find ourselves craving nuanced intelligence, 27-year-old Simbiatu Ajikawo knocks it out of the park with her cool, collected rumination over a series of varied grooves.
Original Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/albums-of-the-year-2021-b1978598.html
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