Top 20 Albums of 2021

Rating Updated: Went from 9/10 to 8.5/10.

Digital Meadow is unlike most debuts. Dora Jar comes full force, attacking every part of her senses and letting that inner mythical brain explore the depths of her songwriting. She shifts on a dime, taking intricate themes and playing with them like empowerment on “Wizard.” By creating this persona that flips the perspective of her shyness. Dora Jar is ready to take the next step, and I’m excited to see where she goes.

Full of life and reflection, Actual Life 2 (February 2 – October 15, 2021) is a genuine escape from reality as we sift through the diaries of an artist in tune with his craft.

“Actual Life 2 (February 2 – October 15, 2021) benefits from allowing songs to feel free and atmospheric and having them contain their own identity in the long run. And from it, he rises above his first album and delivers a tighter and more nuanced follow-up that improves on one aspect of Fred’s music without forgetting the key strengths of the first Actual Life and further implementing them cleanly. I wholeheartedly recommend it, especially if you’re an electronic fan.” – FROM REVIEW

8. Birdy – Young At Heart

Joy Crookes was another artist, who’s debut album left me in awe – she has these complex ideas and realizes them into these larger-than-life short films. She speaks on identity in various forms, which relate to the dual-layer she masks herself with as she dives into her past and delivers topics about locational growth and character growth. The production is ever-shifting and offers a plethora of fun and consistent frequency as it transitions from song to song. 

Tyler, the Creator made a Gangsta Grillz album, and it was glorious. What more can you ask for, especially when Tyler continues to show his skills as a producer – Furthermore, it reminds us about his rapping skills, which can sometimes steal the spotlight without causing friction.

After digging deep into her emotions during a tumultuous time, Japanese Breakfast comes with a new sense of life, musically. She covers expressive themes about finding joy post heartbreak and realizing life isn’t perfect, but she finds common ground by letting the ray of light shine. The production is full of jubilant strings and percussion as a means to balance the serotonin in the chemical compounds on Jubilee.

Vince Staples elevates his craft and platform by breaking down his barriers and delivering an intricate look at his life. He’s an artist who knows what he wants and the lengths needed to tell his story, and he delivers.

“The broken-down instrumentations add a lot to the projection of Silberman’s vocals, and the writing has a distinct cadence that you just get lost in the dream as flower petals sway softly in the wind over spring flowers. It stays on that flow as Green to Gold cycles back from the closer, “Equinox,” a lively and hopeful instrumental that shows us a light at the end of our tunnel.” – From Review.

“This continuation on both volumes of Un Canto Por Mexico has been nothing short of amazing. With Vol. 1 she delivers livelier-traditional performances, while Vol. 2 brings a slightly melancholic direction sonically, allowing for the guitars to play bare as Natalia and her musical guests flourish from start to finish.”  From Review.

Sometimes I Might Be Introvert subverts what we know about Little Simz as a rapper. She digs into her subconscious and elevates her being and artistry – there are moments she flexes her lyrical and technical skills while exploring themes like introversion and identity. She blends these ideas with the production as well. We see the influence of afrobeat and soul into her songs, especially using the former to create the dynamic “Point and Kill.” I heavily recommend it, no matter which genre you prefer.

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