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The Best Albums of 2021 (So Far)

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Jul 5, 2021.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from chorus.fm for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    We’re a little over half way into 2021 … so it’s that time again to recap the year in music. Below, you will find both our combined staff top 30, as well as individual lists from our contributors and moderators. Here’s hoping you find something new to love.

    Note: You can share your own list in our music forum.

    The Top Albums of 2021 (So Far)

    1. Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God
    2. Olivia Rodrigo – Sour
    3. Origami Angel – Gami Gang
    4. Hayley Williams – Flowers for Vases / Descancos
    5. Julien Baker – Little Oblivions
    6. Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee
    7. Foo Fighters – Medicine at Midnight
    8. Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
    9. The Night Game – Dog Years
    10. Citizen – Life in Your Glass World
    11. Wild Pink – A Billion Little Lights
    12. Lucy Dacus – Home Video
    13. Weezer – Van Weezer
    14. Modest Mouse – The Golden Casket
    15. The Sonder Bombs – Clothbound
    16. Taylor Swift – Fearless (Taylor’s Version)
    17. Rise Against – Nowhere Generation
    18. Weezer – OK Human
    19. Middle Kids – Today We’re the Greatest
    20. Twenty One Pilots – Scaled and Icy
    21. The Dirty Nil – Fuck Art
    22. KennyHoopla – Survivors Guilt
    23. Tyler, the Creator – Call Me if You Get Lost
    24. Eric Church – Heart
    25. Thomas Rhett – Country Again: Side A
    26. The Weather Station – Ignorance
    27. Fiddlehead – Between the Richness
    28. Electric Century – Electric Century
    29. Kali Masi – [laughs]
    30. The Armed – Ultrapop

    The Playlist

    Looking for an easy way to check out all of the albums in our top thirty? We’ve got a playlist for that. You’ll find one on Apple Music and one on Spotify with one great song from each great album.

    The Nerd Stat Stuff

    Our final compiled list was put together using our ranking algorithm. There were 9 contributors and 127 unique albums across all of the lists. In total, 36 albums out of the 127 were on more than one list with the number one album appearing on 8 of the 9 lists.

    Contributor Lists

    Jason Tate

    1. Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God
    2. The Night Game – Dog Years
    3. Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
    4. Hayley Williams – Flowers for Vases / Descansos
    5. KennyHoopla – Survivors Guilt
    6. Porter Robinson – Nurture
    7. Pale Waves – Who Am I?
    8. Chaser – Dreamers
    9. Joy Oladokun – In Defense of My Own Happiness
    10. Electric Century – Electric Century
    11. Olivia Rodrigo – Sour
    12. Julien Baker – Little Oblivions
    13. Lucy Dacus – Home Video
    14. Origami Angel – Gami Gang
    15. The Sonder Bombs – Clothbound
    16. Dream Job – Dream Job
    17. Sir Sly – The Rise and Fall of Loverboy
    18. While She Sleeps – Sleep Society
    19. Krang – Make Arcade Great Again
    20. Twenty One Pilots – Scaled and Icy

    Craig Manning

    1. Mat Kearney – January Flower
    2. Patrick Droney – The State of the Heart
    3. Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God
    4. Foo Fighters – Medicine at Midnight
    5. Weezer – Van Weezer
    6. Olivia Rodrigo – SOUR
    7. Parker Millsap – Be Here Instead
    8. Morgan Wade – Reckless
    9. Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall – The Marfa Tapes
    10. The Night Game – Dog Years
    11. Carly Pearce – 29
    12. Lainey Wilson – Sayin’ What I’m Thinking
    13. Eric Church – Heart
    14. Taylor Swift – Fearless (Taylor’s Version)
    15. Thomas Rhett – Country Again Side A
    16. Starlight Cleaning Co. – Starlight Cleaning Co.
    17. Origami Angel – Gami Gang
    18. Wild Pink – A Billion Little Lights
    19. Ashley Monroe – Rosegold
    20. Michigan Rattlers – That Kind of Life

    Garrett Lemons

    1. Common Hymnal – Praise and Protest
    2. The Undertaking! – Funeral Psalms
    3. Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God
    4. Taylor Swift – Fearless (Taylor’s Version)
    5. Origami Angel – Gami Gang
    6. Olivia Rodrigo – SOUR
    7. The Dirty Nil – Fuck Art
    8. Thomas Rhett – Country Again: Side A
    9. Kali Masi – [laughs]
    10. Eric Church – Heart
    11. Rise Against – Nowhere Generation
    12. Foo Fighters – Medicine at Midnight
    13. Kings of Leon – When You See Yourself
    14. Carrie Underwood – My Savior
    15. Julien Baker – Little Oblivions

    Mary Varvaris

    1. Shame – Drunk Tank Pink
    2. Hayley Williams – Flowers for Vases / Descancos
    3. Home Is Where – I Became Birds
    4. Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
    5. Dry Cleaning – New Long Leg
    6. Citizen – Life in Your Glass World
    7. Squid – Bright Green Field
    8. The Armed – Ultrapop
    9. The Sonder Bombs – Clothbound
    10. Architects – For Those That Wish to Exist
    11. Black Country, New Road – For the First Time
    12. Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God
    13. Olivia Rodrigo – Sour
    14. Crowded House – Dreamers Are Waiting
    15. Genesis Owusu – Smiling with No Teeth
    16. Modest Mouse – The Golden Casket
    17. Downhaul – Proof
    18. The Weather Station – Ignorance
    19. Deadlights – The Uncanny Valley
    20. Pom Pom Squad – Death of a Cheerleader
    21. Fiddlehead – Between the Richness
    22. Middle Kids – Today We’re the Greatest
    23. Zeal & Ardor – Wake of a Nation
    24. Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee
    25. Carla Geneve – Learn to Like It
    26. Lucy Dacus – Home Video
    27. Tribulation – Where the Gloom Becomes Sound
    28. For Those I Love – For Those I Love
    29. Lost Girls – Menneskekollektivet
    30. Wardruna – Kvitravn

    Adam Grundy

    1. Middle Kids – Today We’re The Greatest
    2. The Night Game – Dog Years
    3. Hayley Williams – Flowers For Vases
    4. Twenty One Pilots – Scaled and Icy
    5. Olivia Rodrigo – SOUR
    6. Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God
    7. Foo Fighters – Medicine at Midnight
    8. Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
    9. Taylor Swift – Fearless (Taylor’s Version)
    10. Julien Baker – Little Oblivions
    11. Origami Angel – GAMI GANG
    12. Talk Show Host – Mid-Century Modern
    13. David Cook – The Looking Glass
    14. Rise Against – Nowhere Generation
    15. Electric Century – Electric Century
    16. Royal Blood – Typhoons
    17. St. Vincent – Daddy’s Home
    18. Beach Bunny – Blame Game
    19. Chase Tremaine – Development & Compromise
    20. Lilith Czar – Created from Filth and Dust
    21. Frank Iero and the Patience – Heaven is A Place, This is a Place
    22. Weezer – OK Human
    23. Waxflower – We Might Be Alright
    24. AFI – Bodies
    25. Atreyu – Baptize
    26. Rostam – Changephobia
    27. Sir Sly – The Rise and Fall of Loverboy
    28. Ethan Gold – Earth City 1: The Longing
    29. The Juliana Theory – A Dream Away
    30. Weezer – Van Weezer

    Trevor Graham

    1. Aaron Frazer – Introducing…
    2. Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee
    3. Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams
    4. R.A.P. Ferreira – Bob’s Son
    5. The Weather Station – Ignorance
    6. Czarface & MF DOOM – Super What?
    7. Wild Pink – A Billion Little Lights
    8. Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God
    9. Mach-Hommy – Pray For Haiti
    10. Yellow Ostrich – Soft
    11. Charlie Martin – Imaginary People
    12. Healy – Tungsten
    13. Kenny Mason – Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut
    14. Floatie – Voyage Out
    15. Middle Kids – Today We’re The Greatest
    16. Puma Blue – In Praise Of Shadows
    17. Ben Howard – Collections From The Whiteout
    18. Avind – Ta sjansen
    19. Nascent – Minus The Bullshit Life’s Great
    20. MIKE – Disco!
    21. Citizen – Life In Your Glass World
    22. Porter Robinson – Nurture
    23. Crumb – Ice Melt
    24. Benny Sings – Music
    25. Monobody – Comma
    26. Chester Watson – 1997
    27. The Dirty Nil – Fuck Art
    28. Claud – Super Monster
    29. Joyce Wrice – Overgrown
    30. stillhungry – stillhungry

    Aaron Mook

    1. Modest Mouse – The Golden Casket
    2. Tyler, the Creator – Call Me if You Get Lost
    3. Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee
    4. Weezer – OK Human
    5. Brockhampton – ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE
    6. Armand Hammer/The Alchemist – Haram
    7. SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE – Entertainment, Death
    8. Citizen – Life in Your Glass World
    9. Weezer – Van Weezer

    Brett Bodner

    1. Modest Mouse – The Golden Casket
    2. Foo Fighters – Medicine at Midnight
    3. Origami Angel – Gami Gang
    4. Olivia Rodrigo – SOUR
    5. Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God
    6. Julien Baker – Little Oblivions
    7. KennyHoopla & Travis Barker – SURVIVORS GUILT: THE MIXTAPE//
    8. Tigers Jaw – I Won’t Care How You Remember Me
    9. Wild Pink – A Billion Little Lights
    10. Weezer – Van Weezer
    11. Weezer – OK Human
    12. Lucy Dacus – Home Videos
    13. Rise Against – Nowhere Generation
    14. Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
    15. Hayley Williams – FLOWERS for VASES / descansos
    16. Kali Masi – [laughs]
    17. The Hold Steady – Open Door Policy
    18. Cloud Nothings – The Shadow I Remember
    19. The Sonder Bombs – Clothbound
    20. The Night Game – Dog Years
    21. Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee
    22. Hurry – Fake Idea
    23. Atreyu – Baptize
    24. Twenty One Pilots – Scaled and Icy
    25. AFI – Bodies

    Drew Beringer

    1. Fiddlehead – Between The Richness
    2. Origami Angel – GAMI GANG
    3. Adult Mom – Driver
    4. Backxwash – I LIE HERE BURIED WITH MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES
    5. For Your Health – In Spite Of
    6. Hurry – Fake Ideas
    7. Lucy Dacus – Home Video
    8. God’s Hate – God’s Hate
    9. We Are The Union – Ordinary Life
    10. Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee
    11. Citizen – Life In Your Glass World
    12. Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime
    13. Julien Baker – Little Oblivions
    14. Hayley Williams – Flowers for Vases / descanos
    15. Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God
    16. Portrayal of Guilt – We Are Always Alone
    17. Tyler, The Creator – CALL ME IF YOU’RE LOST
    18. The Armed – ULTRAPOP
    19. Wild Pink – A Billion Little Lights
    20. Sleater-Kinney – Path of Wellness
    21. Harmony Woods – Graceful Rage
    22. Tigers Jaw – I Won’t Care How You Remember Me
    23. Palette Knife – Ponderosa Snake House And The Chamber Of Bullshit
    24. The Dirty Nil – Fuck Art
    25. Closer – Within One Stem
    26. Faye Webster – I Know I’m Funny haha
    27. Regional Justice Center – Crime & Punishment
    28. The Sonder Bombs – Clothbpound
    29. Free Throw – Piecing It Together
    30. Beartooth – Below
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    paythetab likes this.
  2. ItsAndrew

    Trusted

    Not gonna lie, seeing Eric Church and Thomas Rhett on the main list/individual lists definitely caught me by surprise.
     
  3. xapplexpiex

    the past is a grotesque animal Supporter

    Awesome to see Backxwash on there, Drew.
     
    Drew Beringer and Crisp X like this.
  4. Artdmg

    Onward, Progress, or so it seems

    Earth is a Black Hole by Teenage Wrist is my number 1. Some great picks on here, though.
     
  5. Very cool to see The Weather Station made the aggregate list! Did not see that coming
     
    ItsAndrew likes this.
  6. xapplexpiex Jul 5, 2021
    (Last edited: Jul 5, 2021)
    xapplexpiex

    the past is a grotesque animal Supporter

    Here's my list:
    1. Origami Angel - GAMI GANG (Perfect emo double album)
    2. Backxwash - I LIE HERE BURIED WITH MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES (black metal influenced hip hop by a black trans woman)
    3. Tigers Jaw - I Won't Care How You Remember Me (emo)
    4. Hit Like A Girl - Heart Racer (emo I guess)
    5. Mach-Hommy - Pray For Haiti (hip hop)
    6. Arrange - The World Is Racing (electronic emo I guess)
    7. The Dirty Nil - Fuck Art (pop punk that's a lot more on the punk side, RIYL Menzingers)
    8. Kali Masi - [laughs] (emo/idie rock)
    9. girl in red - if i could make it go queit (she's a hit with kids these days)
    10. Parannoul - To See the Next Part of the Dream (Korean emo shoegaze by a kid in his mom's basement)

    Other artists with albums I enjoyed: AFI, Rise Against, Weezer, Polo G, St. Vincent, nothing. nowhere, Julien Baker, Spirit of the Beehive, Rod Wave, Architects.
     
    Drew Beringer and Steeeve Perry like this.
  7. JRGComedy

    Trusted Supporter

    This is a solid friggin list
     
  8. okaybrian

    Newbie

    I was expecting to see at least one Lande Hekt in there somewhere...
     
    ItsAndrew likes this.
  9. fredwordsmith

    Regular Supporter

    Really, REALLY surprised at the near omission of Architects and the complete omission of Teenage Wrist. Those two are 1 and 1A with a bullet for me so far.
     
    slickdtc, Chase Tremaine and Artdmg like this.
  10. Spenny

    Regular

    This was a good reminder that there are some exciting albums on my to-listen list that I still really need to check out, as well as a reminder that 2021 has been extremely underwhelming on the album front compared to 2020. Anyone else feeling similarly? Last year I had probably 20 to 25 albums that were viable for my EOTY list by June 30th, and this year I have maybe 5 or 6.
     
  11. xapplexpiex

    the past is a grotesque animal Supporter

    Since there’s, uh, not a lot of hip hop on here, I’ll say some of my favorite albums from the genre so far are from Polo G, Rod Wave, MIKE, Armand Hammer, Backxwash, RAP Ferreira, and Mach Hommy.
     
    PauLo and Crisp X like this.
  12. Drew having Fiddlehead at 1 makes his list the correct one. Thank you
     
    Drew Beringer and mattav152 like this.
  13. Serenity Now

    deliver us from e-mail Supporter

    Shocked that no one mentioned any of the releases this year by Katy Kirby, Sun June, Cassandra Jenkins, or Bleachers.
     
    Elder Lightning likes this.
  14. Bleachers isn't out until the end of the month.
     
  15. Serenity Now

    deliver us from e-mail Supporter

    Meant Bachelor. Phone autocorrected. Now explain yourself!

     
    Bartek T. and Elder Lightning like this.
  16. whitenblue88

    The rivalry is back on

    i personally think it’s been a very solid half year in the genres I listen to most and think I probably have 15 I wouldn’t be upset if they made a year end top 30 + have ManOrch and Wolf Alice which I’d expect will be in my year end top 3 unless the back half of the year just completely kicks ass
     
    Spenny likes this.
  17. thechetearly

    Regular

    So far The Armed takes the cake for me. Most excited I’ve felt about a hardcore album in a while.
     
  18. Craig Manning

    @FurtherFromSky Moderator

    As a documented fan of both of these artists (and someone who has some misgivings about both of these albums, despite listing them!) I'll comment here. Re: Eric Church, I'm kind of frustrated by his double (triple?) album release strategy and how he rolled it all out. It's a classic "would have been better as a single LP" kind of situation. BUT, I think Heart is still his best album in six years, and has at least five of the most well-written songs I've heard this year, so it made my list.

    As for Rhett, I've talked a bit in the country music thread about being frustrated by that album's mainstream country radio pandering, but this year has also been a relatively light one (for me) release-wise, and that record has half a dozen perfect breezy summertime songs, so I've found myself returning to it a lot. Felt wrong not to include it on my list, even though the album as a whole definitely has its issues.

    If we're talking country or country-adjacent albums, I'd be far more likely to recommend Patrick Droney or Morgan Wade or The Marfa Tapes, but I was the only one to list all of those records!
     
    DutchDynamite and Jason Tate like this.
  19. Jason Tate Jul 5, 2021
    (Last edited: Jul 5, 2021)
    Just as a general FYI: No one on staff is ever going to put Teenage Wrist on any list at this point. You can search their threads or the site to find out why, but it’s bad, and it’s personal for us. https://forum.chorus.fm/posts/4287379
     
  20. okaybrian

    Newbie

    I wish that link worked, I'm intrigued.
     
  21. PauLo

    43% Burnt

    Predictably, it’s all a bit monochromatic.
     
  22. slickdtc

    Regular Supporter

    Now is the time I’m glad I’ve been keeping a list of new releases that I liked, have been listening to it regularly, and am prepared to pare it down to a top 10.

    Thoughts... a lot of good stuff on the aggregated list. Does anyone NOT like Origami Angel? Double album, no skips, unbelievable. They’re such an obvious choice for the top spot it may actually hurt them, too easy. The Dirty Nil has gotten A+ love any where I’ve seen it mentioned, KennyHoopla is such a throwback with eyes towards the future, and I’m still discovering and nailing down parts of the Citizen record, a band I’ve always kinda been very ehhh towards, so I’m glad I kept giving them a try. One album I was surprised it took a while to appear on lists was Tigers Jaw. I’ve pretty much only ever got in to their self titled album from a decade plus ago, but the new record hooked me in and sent me on a major TJ kick spanning their discography. It’s going to be very high on my list this year.

    It was a thrill to see Home is Where and Deadlights on Mary’s list, Talk Show Host on Adam’s, Monobody on Trevor’s, For Your Health and Palette Knife on Drew’s. It’s not unlikely I discovered these bands through these people’s posts in the weekly new release thread or a review here.

    I’ll be back when I get my list compiled and ordered, looking forward to seeing what others folks have been playing out this half year!
     
  23. timcsheehan

    Regular Supporter

    listening to Origami Angel for the first time based off these lists and threads and damn!
     
    lava890, slickdtc, Jason Tate and 2 others like this.
  24. fredwordsmith

    Regular Supporter

    Really glad to see the NIL get some love. That record hit me out of nowhere and it’s super fun. A very summer, windows down, let’s sweat album.
     
  25. GAMI GANG!