Top 100 Music Albums of 2021 by DommeDamian (2021)
Note: some of the joints (noticeable in the top 45 or so) may be given writing credits to Mercury, since I'm too busy trying to come up with exact wording, as well as giving props to the job Mercury has done. So if you find statements here and there that's related if not directly pasted from Mercury, U NO Y!
These write-up are more like comments than actual reviews/descriptions, and all of them have the same structure; taking about its correlation to other 2021 albums of its kind, its weaknesses, and its worst- and best songs....but I'm a combination of busy and lazy atm so...
none that are worth mentioning...
but Tyler The Creator's album did have the song called Sweet on it, which is better than any song of the 65's and downwards. Except the songs on the Dave and Cassandra Jenkins' albums.
- Chart updated: 45 hours ago
- (Created: 07/13/2021 21:02).
- Chart size: 100 albums.
There is 1 comment for this chart from BestEverAlbums.com members and Top 100 Music Albums of 2021 has an average rating of 87 out of 100 (from 2 votes). Please log in or register to leave a comment or assign a rating.
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Never would have thought that an instrumental "electronic" album from a decades old post-rock band, would be the untouchable favorite of the year. Not only that, but in comparison with the year prior 2020, - as of right now - it barely reaches top 10 of the decade. Man oh man what a wack and very cold year this has been for music. It did produce a few highlights, this is the brightest. In the cold landscape, because yes this is very much a(n instrumental) winter album - and typical of cold breeze, this is 2021's most refreshing album to my ears. In someways reminds me of The Mantle by Agalloch. Definitely not as creatively intense or memorable, but generally more varied and adventurous and.....strange. Even as the most daring moments on As The Love Continues hits you right in the face, it's still a mystery of what it's trying to tell you. Positive or negative, the crescendos all around this album is absolutely satisfying. Which is to its benefit, no cap.
The best type of experimental albums (especially these days) is the ones where the atmospheric aesthetic doesn't hint at musicians trying to do something unique, as much as unique musicians doing something they emotionally feel is authentic. Well, the former describes a lot of the absolute awful-by-any-standard albums released in 2021, and it helps to Mogwai's credibility/awareness of being around since the 90s to just come out and do something more thrilling with an attitude of "that's nothin'".
Let's go through the songs on this one, though it'll be hard not to repeat something from above:
01 # To The Bin My Friend, Today We Vacate Earth: Song of the year. There I said it, with pride. This is in the top 10 best post rock composition I've ever heard.
Starting with someone saying the title like a movie sample, the music begins moving in a lost universe, and slowly finding its way, with the crawling drums and waterfloating piano. Midway through, the distortion of a guitar tornadoes itself into the mix, and it's one of the most (if not the most) overwhelming I've heard all decade. It's like being torn around by a snowy wind, or surfing an avalanche.
When I hear this song, I feel either numbed or everything, but I somewhat love both. Nothing less than supreme.
02 # Here We, Here We, Here We Go Forever: starting with playful electro-drums and moony synth sounds, it's a little left turn after that thematic opener. When the musicianship gets its rhythm, it sounds like Daft Punk's Discovery anno post-rock 2021. And before the synth spins out of control as the lead instrument, a piano and set of strings takes over, and it ends in a place unlike where it started; the electro-drums gone, and the atmosphere changed.
03 # Dry Fantasy: definitely one of the weaker. The mixing is pretty pretty, but somewhat round-headed, and spiritually it just has less to say compared to the first two; it's pleasant, and has a melody towards the backend, but it's not enough.
04 # Ritchie Sacramento: this song has a vocalist included, and he sounds....very lonely yet confident in his words.
Musically, this song is like burying yourself in the snow, and later be founded by the blood hungry wolf on the cover. But it's simultaneously the album's most accessible or tradition-sounding tune. Not that it is in any way bad, Mogwai surely delivers what this song beholds. It's as lonely as walking alone in the snow for weeks, but as atmospheric as having the stars taking you away afterwards. Almost Microphones-esque if it were more pop-explosive. Clearly a highlight.
05 # Drive The Nail: well, this feels like indie rock without vocals. But on the great side of it; those drums are mixed perfectly, next to the guitars that stabs the listener with snow of euphoria. It's a cold breezer, but in the best lane (this song feels like the snow falling down the sky is sharpened), as well as a quintessential track that is mysterious in what it says to you.
06 # Fuck Off Money: alright, back to the post-rock stuff. The first minute (before the - again - masterly drums) is driven by robotic vocals, very eerie. Sounds like an autotuned alien, but it gives a solid result, especially with the wall of synth-sounds that rides on top of it, later. Usually, these kind of "tricks" are played out and a little dumb, but Mogwai professionally seals the deal here; this, in truth, sounds heavy and fulfilling.
07 # Ceiling Granny: imagine walking a progressive landscape of snow, and you find an unopened beer or soda (looks like someone dropped it accidentally), and you decide to take it and start drinking it; that's how nicely cold that riff is. The rest of the musical adroitness is the energy that gets going for the next hour. Yeah, this song has one of the record's greatest momentums.
08 # Midnight Flit: obviously the least well executed track here. Idk, that ain't enough ambition to make it feel satisfying (it crumbles into itself), and compared to its preceding tunes, it's a letdown. But at its worst, it's just kind of average. By no means bad, but it's a zone-outer.
09 # Pat Stains: a well built soul-searcher, featuring a breezy hard rock section - though free of clichés, that is more dense than it is allowed to. That little keyboard lingering around the groove gives it a potency, rarely heard these days, so satisfying. The last minute is openly melancholic, and is a moment on As The Love Continues where the heart can be heard beating. Magniloquent!
10 # Supposedly, We Were Nightmares: (seriously, these title are more dramatic with more personality than most music of 2021 albums) just like Richie Sacramento, this doesn't sound original, yet does not matter in the slightest way, it sounds nostalgic. Those machine voices near the end makes the song muuuuch better and pinpoints what John Robb said about it creating a film that runs in your head.
11 # It's What I Want To Do Mum: typical Mogwai at their best, the nail in the coffin. It's up to the listener to decide if this is optimistic like a planet being saved from a nuclear war just in time, or dystopian like being in the middle of a city gets rioted and damaged to the ground by unknown animals. Either way, it's pleasurable and a rewarding (yet mysterious) closer to ultimately, a colorful album.
And it's an hour long but it feels like the length of my #2 record. So yeah, this is As The Love Continues; my album of 2021. [First added to this chart: 07/14/2021]
For a fan of singer-songwriter, this is very easy to get into. He is obviously not a Damien Rice, and not even Iron & Wine, but he does the deed. He is a better guitarist (and multi-instrumentalist) than he is an expressionist/singer. But this EP makes up for it, since those two elements still have a nice chemistry, with near excellent songwriting in its highpoints. The vibe feels as taking a half an hour walk completely isolated, with the introspective thoughts taking over for a moment.
And I know it signifies the winter season, but some of the joints (like Time) could be fittingly played in any other as well. But the cover art for the EP illustrated melancholically where those songs come from, or are born in.
I mentioned Time earlier, which is the closing song. Probably the saddest of the 6 songs, just a starkly honest song about a pervading fear of growing old and never truly living. An artist like Graeme James, with his heart and music the same place and writing all his music himself (and knowing what nuances feeds a song's purpose (case in point Orpheous features a great female vocalist)), is someone I support. [First added to this chart: 07/15/2021]
I actually only had an Jazmine Sullivan back from the 2008 hit "Bust Your Windows", pretty good song. Fast forward to 2021, Heaux Tales is out, and many thanks to recommenders for making me listen to it! It is a pretty straightforwardthinking record that fans of both old school and new school r&b should pleasure them of hearing. Album is really so much said, because it is actually just an EP. Heaux Tales consists of eight cuts with small stories in between. And all the music lasts a total of about 32 minutes. But those 32 minutes is still a better result than anything in its field this year - and pretty much everything in general besides ATLC. Sullivan's vocals are perfected (not groundbreakingly emotional or anything close to legends but it ain't something to really your finger on) and glide effortlessly from the wildest phrasings to the most tender sequences that don't always hit the spot, but are still acceptably solid. In Heaux Tales' best moments, it makes sense Frank Ocean and Mary J Blige have up to several collaborations with the 33-year-old singer from Philadelphia behind them.
The highlight "Pick Up Your Feelings" must have space here. If this HUGE tune does not go down in the history books as one of the best r & b hits of the decade, something is completely wrong. From lyrics to melody to vocals to production and execution, it is nothing short of a modern R&B-stroke of genius. Easy top 5 songs of 2021. Heaux Tales ("Heaux" is pronounced "hoe", you know, like a ho) are more than giant tunes and cheeky phrasings. Sullivan's friends tell little stories through the record. Stories of being a woman - for better or worse. It is contemporary, relevant and related to hell. The stories in interaction with Sullivan's strong narrator's voice show a strength in the sensitive. And it’s actually profound to the overall work. Not all of them are relatable or touching (a few seems quite cringe but not that cringe), yet the differences in them makes up for it to be included. My personal favorite of the tales is doubtlessly Rashida's. [First added to this chart: 07/14/2021]
Not into indietronica, not as much into pop as earlier in my childhood, not too much into The Izards (might as well call 'em that from now on) as many of my peers. But here, 3 wrongs make a right. After two half-baked average albums from 2020 and beginning of 2021 (KG and LW), they are back on track in cooking up quality sounding music.
What I've always respected The Izards for, is how environmentally woke they are, and how they express it in their genre-shifting music (with hits and misses). This album, Butterfly 3000, is musically identical to having a great day in a world The Izards are striving for. It suits their style of songwriting; this might be (after Polygond) my favorite of theirs. Nearly all of the songs have a keyboard/synth progression, that sounds straight outta videogame, but coupled with a sunshine pop musicianship (added with neo psychedelic turns and twists), it results in a collection of candyfloss songs. The ones that don't (like the definitively beautiful, sweet wonderland fantasy Yours) induces in a blanket of pure joyful psychedelic pop/rock-isms that has been unmatched and needed this year. Aesthetically is in comparison to the spirit of Pet Sounds anno 2021. [First added to this chart: 07/14/2021]
Finally, yes finally, an art punk album that actually can live up to the hype. Squid, thank you. With Bright Green Field, they kick out the other hyped up bands of the same merit like "step aside, we'll show you how to do it with actual content behind", and Bright Green Field delivers that. So yeah, this gets the credit it deserves, @ least for 2021 albums. The odd vocals sprinting around the unpredictable art punk, kraut rock instrumentation, is a spectacular marriage that I had no idea would enjoy that much. Granted, it's not even close to my alley. But I really dig how the vocalist tries to be as freaky as the rest of the band. And what Squid also does right that others don't do, is that those of Idles, BCNR, Black Midi, try to make a bold statement and sound profound without actually being too owning of their process. Squid, however, doesn't really care, and just want to throw the colors around to have fun and express what's inside the mind - and I tend to prefer those esthetics all the time. Just take Global Groove for instance, the voice moves from stoned talking to pretty aggressive over a round-headed experimentation with picky synths and a loud saxophone - and that ain't even my favorite here. That goes to GSK, perhaps my favorite dance punk song of all time, that transgress into actual punk (and done amazingly) and ending with a playful drum loop. But the focus doesn't fly away from the ambition. Simply put, Squid succeeds in experimenting since their musical chemistry is solid enough. The song Narrator was pushing many buttons for me to dislike it, but I couldn't help myself rocking along with its sadistic nature. And Boy Racer is almost as good, that both features a well put together dance rhythm and at the end sounds like if The Prodigy would make a prog/wave composition. Sour, just like what it strives after.
A deliberately sequenced and thought-out album, one where each track works with the others quite nicely (except for the failed attempt at bringing psychedelic chords into the mix on 2010, or Paddling that has too long a set up that it gets underwhelming (though the last two minute match the rest)). The variety of sound is quite impressive especially considering that it maintains that aforementioned cohesiveness. [First added to this chart: 07/14/2021]
*kisses the sky*
Gone are the buzzy fuzzy synths and melancholic rhythms of her previous two masterpiece (that I hold very dear to my heart), replaced by a warmer pacing of tone, as well as more innocent vocal harmonies.
The Path is arguably my favorite song here. The harmonies are on point (my god her voice is beautiful), and the instrumentation shines like the sun it expresses. There's also something very dreamy about the atmospheric intro, and when the drums gets its time, it's like stepping into a delightful beach where all your closest lies around it. Misplaced or not, it's definitely very well executed. It's a shame that the next song is a deep dive down the ocean; the title track is a pretty chill track, until the "big" chorus comes in, and ruins it: very, very underwhelming outcome. I should probably never let my eyes closed then. The song after that, California, is a liiittle bit better, but songwriting-wise, this is a very unsteady joint; the melodiousness feels unfinished and not in a cool way. That track is best for background beach music. Thankfully, Stoned At The Nail Salon is more than just that. Here, the instrumentation is much more in dynamic with Ella's angelic voice. Its guitar gives it a more memorable emotional outcome than it self expects. My second favorite song on the album, this is 2021's best mellow tune arguably. Not far behind are the uncluttered Oceanic Feeling that closes out the sunny day.
The lowpoints are also the weakest songs in Ella's discography so far; the comparably mediocre Secrets From A Girl is inadequately put together. More specifically the back end of the song is actually pretty damn bad (the out-of-tune instrumentation, the uncalled-for speaking, alongside the irritating "hook" it is really the album's biggest mess). One other song that need to be mention, while we talking about really-not-that-good songs are Mood Ring, which is the definition of filler: there's not one element in this song on the spectrum of passion. But not bad filler, just whatever kind of filler.
Strangely, I can relate to a lot of Ella's lyrical themes. I apply her pressure of being in the spotlight and finding nature as a place with identity, to my own stress and pressure (adding depression in too) of needing to impress and fitting in with the general public surrounding me and then moving out with a new home in the middle of nature has been changing my inner reflection on life and childlike bravery (too much information ik). Though not everybody has the privilege to do such thing, and I'm grateful for actually being one. Anyways, also considering I know the feeling of being manipulated way too much, the song Dominoes bangs (lyrically, because musically it is lackluster and one of the weakest songs in Ella's entire discog). Musically, Fallen Fruit is obviously stronger, but the way the lyrics interpret one's hopes and dreams, as opposed to the climate change (which is 100% am in for and am taking action in!!), is just.. no. "All the golden ones who were lifted on a wing/We had no idea the dreams we had were far too big" is both a shamelessly demotivating line (no dreams are way too big for mankind, we can do anything and I mean ANYTHING!), but also a hypocritical statement, considering that 8 years ago she was literally the face of music; a dream that many musicians still have.
I'm not gonna pretend that there ain't one song here (not even The Path) that matches the average level of PH or Melo, but neither am I gonna hide the fact that I enjoy it more than most, and that it's one of my favorites of 2021 (although it isn't that great a year to begin with). I seriously thought it would disappoint significantly (albeit as mentioned, she exposes flaws but they're not huge), taken in context every other album I've heard by artists I adore this year, and the critics are still lukewarm about Solar Power but no, Ella delivered. Kinda.
A sidenote, this isn't a very good album cover (and no, not for the obvious reasons why the hypocritical US bans it for), but on the vinyl (which I bought the day it came out, cause duh it's one of my all time favorite artists), side B has a similar photo that would be more characteristic and just more.... good-looking. [First added to this chart: 08/20/2021]
Punk Revolution Now!!!
This EP is consistent and (for its length) varied. For anyone diving into 2021 music, give this a quickie. Caio, good job!
....still ain't as fiery as Less Life (by Died), from the year prior. But that album kicked so much ass that OTCoSC doesn't have to. [First added to this chart: 07/14/2021]
This lil debut album by Indigo Sparke is a good un and recommended for those who like this brand of delicate, acoustic, introspective singer/songwriter release. The melodies are, at times, quite soft and float away into strange and dreamy side alleys and those moments of floating freedom are some of the most memorable on this album. The songs that are more constrained and direct are also quite wonderfully sung and played with enough small detail packed in to keep 'em engaging and interesting even if very familiar to anyone who has listened to the classics or hundreds of other great folk songwriters who sing. Echo is like a joy-trip to Desert Shores. And speaking of that place, the first artist that in comparison comes to mind is Nico. But we are by no means talking about an imitator, but more apprentice of the angelic eeriness.
Whatever, what I'm trying to get at is that, this lovely album is not at all groundbreaking but it instead is (with the exception of the confused Carnival) hitting the mark of feeling spiritually connected to its own expression and to the listener. I can listen to this when I am sober or stoned, daytime or nighttime. Either way, I have a pretty hard time trying to pinpoint what Echo does right that other 2021 folk/semi-hazy albums does wrong. I'll probably update when I find out.
The two things that make Echo durable are 1) the authentic production, knowing exactly what instrument that fits and how much reverb and volume it should have; 2) her humane vocals; nothing remotely plastic, or too professional, just sincere and elegantly gliding voice that can sometimes sound like she's singing to you.
I could talk more about some of the fascinating tunes here like Wolf, Everything Everything, Bad Dreams, Dog Bark Echo etc. But I've said my dues for now...Although a few unfocused parts in songwriting, the blemishes of Baby or Golden Age, as well as too many musical segments of the aforementioned Carnival are less joyful to me, ms. Sparke has really written and composed a simple yet engaging and warm album that - when the times are right - can be played over and over. [First added to this chart: 07/14/2021]
Flashback to some of my favorite albums from favorite bands: this is a highlight of 2021.
I really like this. It's right in my wheel house. Works really well this bitter cold time of year. The music is mostly just a relatively direct and stripped down Indie Rock and Indie Folk Singer/Songwriter album. What makes the flaws here exceptional to the remaining 70/100s is that because of the imperfection-asethetic, the sphere welcomes the natural flaws and the listener with new idea to sprinkle around the songs, with open arms. And it's actually really nice to both hear and feel that on My Head Hz. Admittedly, the rockier songs doesn't always strike as they intend to, and the songwriting could use more theme to it (Bus Ride seeerriiiiously sucks next to the remaining). However, Naked Days has figured out some of the intimate elements to why The Microphones are essential, and has done a neat job at carrying it into well-structured, well performed pieces of Indie Folk, that honestly, should get more recognition and props. Cut out aforementioned Bus Ride and every song is enjoyable, and has an evident variety; from the amateur spectacularity a la Daniel Johnston on Mostly Lost; through the beautiful Old Woods that features doses of Blur's sonorous emotional depth; through An Entire Year of Runescape drawing back to the Velvet Underground's humid skyline; to the mixture of Elliott Smith vocals and Gorillaz rap-folk on the comfy Brother. [First added to this chart: 07/14/2021]
How can Quadeca just manage to stay top 10? Well that means this is rap album of the year apparently. After the monumentally horrid Voice Memos, the rapper my age comes out with a bang that blew most of our expectations out of the water. As probably every reviewer has stated, Sisyphus is the best song on From Me To You, but c'mon, it's arguably rap song of the year, if not of the decade. And Burning Bridges/Long Day, as well as the outro of Summit Pt.2 is close behind.
There's not one song that matches the average terrible-level of Voice Memos, but People Pleaser certainly is a close call. Seriously, both aesthetically and as in quality, this should have been left on the cutting room floor.
Outside ethereal trap production, the flows Quadeca delivers are the album's biggest advantage. Even if they can get predictable at times, they are fun to follow along. His pen game has stepped up a lot too. All in all, a very very good album (now underrated) that does its thing. [First added to this chart: 07/14/2021]
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Top 100 Music Albums of 2021 composition
|Tha God Fahim & Your Old Droog||2||2%|
|Psychedelic Porn Crumpets||1||1%|
Top 100 Music Albums of 2021 chart changes
| Up 17 from 32nd to 15th|
| Up 7 from 11th to 4th|
by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
| Down 2 from 5th to 7th|
Overcoming The Cycle Of Sun Collapse
by Fire Man
| Down 2 from 8th to 10th|
From Me To You
| Down 1 from 4th to 5th|
Bright Green Field
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Other year charts (from the 2020s) by DommeDamianTop 100 Music Albums of 2020 by DommeDamian (2021)
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Thanks for shouting me out. This chart is solid so far. Some of the comments (especially the one on Sharecroppers Son and on the best album cover of the year Solar Power) I don’t dig, but it’s great hearing your perspective.
The reason I don’t dig the Sharecropper’s Son comment is I don’t recall any country there. It’s got some country soul but that is very different. And yeah your point stands, most people don’t associate black people with country music. But country soul… well, there are not too many legends of that genre that aren’t black. But alas, I am dwelling. This chart and these comments are solid. I plan on writing something up about the new Mogwai soon. Thanks for the recommendation
. I recommend to you Delta Estácio blues by
Juçara Marçal - have been listening to it a lot lately and it’s awesome. Methinks
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