Top 10 Albums of 2021


Daryn Rowse

The Top 10 Albums of 2021!

by Daryn Rowse, Reporter

This was a year filled with growth and new sounds in the music industry. We got to experience the evolution of many old and new artists. Throughout the chaos of the past year, these are the top 10 albums that stood out among great music released in 2021.

 Donda by Kanye West

One of the most highly anticipated albums in music history, Donda, was not only a clap-back from his previous more lackluster project, Jesus is King, but a memorial to his mother who passed away in 2007. Kanye waited a long time before releasing this album and filled those empty voids with live performances of what he claimed to be the final album. Kanye had been working on this album since the passing of his mother Donda. It has been edited and updated numerous times until Kanye felt it was good. The official release of Donda, on August 29th, wasn’t a part of Kanye’s plan. His label, Universal Music Group, released this project without Kanye’s permission. Donda was never taken off streaming services since its release but Kanye continued to edit and revise the project. Donda had multiple songs on Billboard’s hot 100 and is currently his most popular album.

Sometimes I Might Be Introvert by Little Simz

Little Simz delivers her greatest project yet with detailed, sample-based production and flows that maintain her British roots while still coming off as refreshing and creative. The amount of styles that Little Simz tackles in each song is astonishing. She can switch from old school trap to soulful storytelling and have it be equally as entertaining as the song before. After Little Simz’ song “Venom” gained popularity on Tik Tok, she surprised her new fans with her best album yet.

Haram by Armand Hammer and The Alchemist

Rap duo “Armand Hammer” consists of artists Billy Woods and Elucid who paired their poetic rhymes with The Alchemist’s jazz inspired instrumentals. Billy, Elucid, and other rappers similar in style approach this project with stumbling and laid back flows that fit perfectly with The Alchemist’s old fashioned sample choices.

The Turning Wheel by Spellling

The production behind The Turning Wheel varies from 80s synth pop to electric guitar riffs to folk ballads all while Spellling creates a repeating atmosphere with her soulful vocals and graceful harmonies.

The Life of Pi’erre 5 by Pi’erre Bourne

Producer, rapper, and songwriter Pi’erre Bourne releases the 5th addition to his “Life of Pi’erre” album series. The success of this release was shown through the popularity of songs such as “Drunk and Nasty” featuring Sharc seen on numerous TikTok trends and “Switching Lanes” featuring Playboi Carti which was a highly anticipated leak from 2018. Pi’erre is known for producing some of the greatest songs in rap history and he proves that he’s not only a talented producer but an incredible hitmaker. The bubbly instrumentals mixed with his pop-like vocals makes for some of the catchiest songs ever. Pi’erre made two other albums this year collaborating with Sharc and Tm88. While he works heavily with other artists as much as he can, he never fails to impress the world with his personal work.

To See the Next Part of the Dream by Parannoul

Parannoul is a one man Korean shoegaze act who revived a genre that most thought would never be brought back into modern rotation. The thing that makes this album special is its fusion of calming acoustics and distorted guitar. This album maintains the typical shoegaze sound with the distorted and muffled vocals and guitars but it also has hums and acoustic guitar riffs in the background  of the tracks in order to give the listener a calm experience. To See the Next Part of The Dream fuses the messiness of shoegaze with a calming atmosphere that creates the perfect scene for lying down in the grass, staring into the sunset.

The Fool by Bladee

Swedish rapper “Bladee” pleased all of his fans with the surprise album release of what some listeners claim to be his magnum opus. With a refreshing fusion of rap and pop, Bladee presents a collage of some of his most beloved and enjoyed songs. This project is one of the more accessible albums in his discography and is known for being the favorite of those who aren’t huge fans of Bladee to begin with. Bladee has been receiving lots of hate since the beginning of his career due to his unique voice but with the release of The Fool, people are starting to change their mind about him.

Blue Weekend by Wolf Alice

Wolf Alice’s third studio album Blue Weekend is a collage of songs with multiple sounds and styles. Lead singer Ellie Rowsell has a beautiful voice and uses it in ways similar to Thom Yorke of Radiohead. The songs can vary in intensity from sad and mystical atmospheres to head bopping guitar leads.

Promises by Pharoah Sanders, Floating Points, and The London Symphony Orchestra

Legendary jazz musician Pharoah Sanders teams up with Floating Points, a British electronic music producer and The London Symphony Orchestra to create a smooth and ethereal experience. This project is one of the greatest examples of a perfect balance between orchestrated jazz and electronic production. It’s been 52 years since his famed release of Karma  in 1969 and Pharoah Sanders is still releasing some of the greatest music ever.

CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST by Tyler, The Creator

After his grammy award winning studio album Igor, Tyler returned to his more hip hop influenced style with the surprise release of CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST. With over 10 features from known to underground artists, this album proves to the world that Tyler knows exactly how to please his fans and deliver refreshing content. CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST tackles numerous styles of hip-hop and does each style justice. Every feature delivered a quality verse on par with the rest of the album. Tyler’s production and versatility throughout this project is some of the most talented work he’s ever created. There were many highlights and key moments in this project like NBA Youngboy delivering arguably the best verse on the entire album. Tyler’s lyrical ability is well expressed in the song Willshire which is an 8 and a half minute song about a story of a girl that he had been chasing for so long but ended up destroying the relationship that she was in. Tyler continues to grow rapidly throughout his career and continues to top his previous albums with each release.