My Celebrity Life

Best albums of 2021 from 30 to Sour: Music that kept us sane through the year

Just a few of the albums that were on repeat in 2021 (Picture:AP)

It’s a weird time for the music industry as it grapples with the ever-changing nature of life in a pandemic and lockdowns. 

Do we chance it and buy tour tickets for our favourite artists, potentially experiencing the best night of our lives but also risking losing our money?

Perhaps the only certainty we’ve had is being able to stream said artists’ music but that’s not such a bad thing as we’ve been pretty spoiled in 2021.

After all, this was the year that we saw the return of some of the world’s biggest artists, such as Adele, Drake, Kanye West and Ed Sheeran, who all dominated the charts in Q4 injecting life into the charts again.

Some have been brilliant, others played it safe and the other few? Turkeys.

However, we won’t mention those which failed to hit the mark as it’s time to look back at some of the albums that kept us sane throughout the year.

Which one was your favourite?

Best albums of 2021

5. Summer Walker – Still Over It 

(Picture: Love Rennaisance)

Is it wrong to enjoy a body of work that’s so obviously seeped in raw feelings of hurt, bitterness and disappointment? Well, that’s what Summer Walker gave us so we’re lapping it up.

Unfortunately, she had to go through a messy and very public split from London On The Track to give us the content but she did it so flawlessly that at least it wasn’t in vain.

Much like her big sister Over It, Still Over It is a brilliant example of the quality of modern R&B with the sultry vibes of Circus and the ethereal Constant Bulls**t boasting unmatched production.

Plus, Summer is responsible for finally giving us Ciara’s famous Prayer that helped her bag the gentleman that is Russell Wilson so, that in itself earns Still Over It a place in 2021’s history books.

4. Tyler, the Creator – Call Me If You Get Lost

(Picture: Columbia)

Tyler, the Creator had a huge moment with his masterpiece Igor in 2019 so many of us were intrigued about the direction of his next offering.

Call Me If You Get Lost is an eclectic trip weaving us through a melting pot of sounds from gritty underground hip hop, to smooth R&B and bass-heavy numbers like Juggernaut with Pharrell Williams and Lil Uzi Vert.

It’s chaotic but works in a way that only Tyler could make it.

3. Olivia Rodrigo – Sour 

(Picture: Geffen)

With every listen of Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album, it becomes increasingly difficult to believe that she’s only 18 years old.

Right from the top of the year, the California-native had us hooked with the piercing piano-led ballad Driver’s License but it was the full body of work that is Sour which reeled us in.

The lyrical content of Olivia’s music is impressive; her youth giving us fearless honest albeit hilariously petty lines such as: ‘Find someone great but don’t find no one better / I hope you’re happy, but don’t be happier.’

Her inspiration from 90s and 00s artists such as Avril Lavinge and Alanis Morisette make it feel like she’s been here before while still managing to not make it sound like cookie-cutter versions.

If this is what Olivia’s offering already at 18, we can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve next.

2. Adele – 30 

(Picture: Columbia Records,)

The queen of break-up ballads took pain to a whole new level with her fourth album 30, which has been six years in the making and absolutely worth the wait.

With the sheer honesty of her divorce journey, 30 is undoubtedly her magnum opus. It’s a bold statement given the enormity of the success of 21 and 25 particularly but, 30 presented Adele as the most personal we’ve seen her yet – if that was even possible.

The brutal honesty of the soulful My Little Love makes it a top contender for a Grammy nomination in 2023, while the catchy notes of Easy On Me could easily nab song of the year.

However, the most impressive thing about 30 was the range – Adele has never been more experimental and it worked a charm.

1. Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

(Picture: Age 101, AWAL)

Little Simz’s fourth studio album was giving Lauryn Hill vibes and then some.

Spanning 19 tracks, Simz really provides an insight into her personality, her life growing up in London and existing as a Black woman.

‘I think I need a standing ovation / 10 years in the game, I been patient,’ she raps on the track Standing Ovation and it’s ironic because she’s not only earned it with this album, but received it too.

Best albums of 2021 – honourable mentions

In no particular order:

Dave – We’re All In This Together

Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever

Halsey – If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power

Jazmine Sullivan – Heaux Tales

Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams

It presents Simz at her realest – it probably doesn’t get more personal than songs about her cousin who was stabbed and her estranged relationship with her father – and the mesh of sounds from soul to Afrobeats and reggae is stunning.

Standout track Woman has done for Black British women what Beyonce’s Brown Skin Girl did for African-Americans and we feel seen.


Credit: Original article published here.

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