My 50 Best Albums of 2021

6 months later, I have finally put together the list of my personal favorite albums of 2021 lmao.

I listened to around 160ish projects in 2021, and there were a lot more I didn't get to (such as the Injury Reserve record), so there was a lot that could have been on here. I also have a list of 20 honorable mentions, which could have also been longer.

Little Simz - Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
While I don’t think this album is perfect, it somehow comes ridiculously close and leaves me insanely impressed. I’m consistently blown away by the production and the writing on this album, and the album also proved to have a ton of replay value. This was a career-defining moment for Little Simz, and I’m really glad that this album got the recognition it deserved.
Tinashe - 333
The award for the album that came the most out of nowhere for me was this. I had enjoyed a lot of Tinashe's music before this, but I never expected to enjoy an album of hers as much as I did with 333. The music here is just so impressive and manages to strike a balance between experimental and accessible, and it shows that she can sound great while doing a variety of different styles. I literally couldn't stop playing this album and it ended up being my most played album of 2021.
Billie Eilish - Happier Than Ever
While I loved her debut, in my opinion this is an improvement in almost every aspect. It's more mature and experimental, the production and songwriting are fantastic, and this album has some of her best songs ever. It also continued to grow on me even more as time went on, and I found myself returning to it a lot.
Roadrunner is not perfect, but it is one of their most consistent and realized albums and has some of their best songs ever. The production is fantastic, the performances from the members and the features are great, and the maturity, the vulnerability, and the introspection shown on this album is remarkable. Roadrunner just felt like the next step in the evolution of Brockhampton and was almost exactly the kind of album I was hoping for from them. As a result, this is my favorite Brockhampton album.
Tyler, the Creator - CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST
Flower Boy is my favorite album of all time, and IGOR is in my top 10. So while this may not be Tyler’s best album, Call Me If You Get Lost is great and feels like a victory lap in album form. It sounds like a celebration of all of the styles he has done before, and it specifically feels like Tyler refining the sounds he was going for on WOLF and Cherry Bomb, but after years of improving and getting better as a producer and a rapper. This truly is Tyler’s greatest “rap album”, and a fantastic close to one of the best three album runs I’ve ever seen.
Silk Sonic - An Evening with Silk Sonic
An Evening With Silk Sonic showcases Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak’s insane talent, presence, and chemistry together, and the result is some of the most fun music I’ve ever heard. This album is really special and Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak managed to absolutely nail this timeless and nostalgic sound while not losing their personality and charisma. This album is also very funny (which is aided by the perfect narration from Bootsy Collins), and the way they pay homage to this classic sound while being self-aware and tongue-in-cheek about it is awesome.
Japanese Breakfast - Jubilee
On Jubilee, Japanese Breakfast came through with some of my favorite songs of the year and delivered an insanely infectious and concise album. There is some absolutely fantastic production and songwriting, the vocal performances are also great, and the fusion of genres and styles on here gives the album a bright vibe and aesthetic that I love.
James Blake - Friends That Break Your Heart
Friends That Break Your Heart is another beautiful album from James Blake that has some fantastic production, great songwriting and vocal performances from James Blake. I played so many of these songs to death, and it grew on me a lot as time passed.
MONTERO isn’t anything groundbreaking sonically, but it doesn’t really have to be. It knows exactly it wants to be and nails this pop-rap genre. But just because it’s pop doesn’t mean he’s playing it safe and making generic music, because I do think he takes some risks here. Lil Nas brings such a presence and personality to this album. He also really improved vocally, and I think his songwriting improved a lot too. The production, mostly from Take A Daytrip is fantastic and sets a great foundation for Lil Nas. I was really impressed with the quality of this album, and I just hope he continues to evolve and improve as an artist going forward.
Spellling - The Turning Wheel
As I listened to this album for the first time, I was in awe. I just found myself consistently impressed and wowed by what Spellling was doing on here. Her voice is absolutely fantastic, the songwriting is great, and the production and instrumentation are beautiful and help making this album transportive. It also has had a lot of replay value for me, as I found myself returning to it quite a bit.
Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails Over the Country Club
*this spot is for both this album and Blue Banisters
*this spot is for both this album and EP2!
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