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  • Writer's pictureWill Weise

Top Albums of 2021

10. Hotel Surrender- Chet Faker

Nothing made me happier than the return of Chet Faker this year. After his successful debut in 2014, the artist did a sort of re-invention where he started going by his real name, Nick Murphy, and while it wasn't bad, it didn't hold a candle to his music as Chet Faker. The popularity might not be on the same scale as it was seven years ago, but if you're a fan, you know this was worth the wait. It's the electro-soul, downtempo, and fun while still sort of depressing sound we missed so much. Perfect.

Standout tracks: "Feel Good," "Low," "Whatever Tomorrow"

9. Self Titled- My Morning Jacket

I've written about this one quite a bit over the past couple months, and for good reason! If you're a fan of MMJ, you know 2020 and 2021 marked a tremendous career renaissance for one of the most beloved indie bands ever with two critically acclaimed albums and a very well received tour. This one is a bit slower than their more recent albums and is a bit of a slow-burn, but the song-writing is pristine and Jim James' voice is as amazing as ever.

Standout Tracks: "Regularly Scheduled Programming," "Love, Love, Love," "Lucky to be Alive"

8. Call Me If You Get Lost- Tyler, The Creator

I feel like Tyler really is at his peak right now (and could continue to climb). His festival performances are earning rave reviews. and his new album is widely considered by most critics to be the best album release of the year. Tyler sees a return to the mixtape format from the Dat Piff era as do some of the guest appearances (the Lil Wayne feature doesn't disappoint). The album is all over the place genre wise and changes directions constantly, proving Tyler's versatility.

Standout Tracks: "WusYaName," "Lumberjack," "Hot Wind Blows"

7. Nurture- Porter Robinson

If you know my music taste, you know that 9 times out of 10, I have a big distaste for what I call "feelsy" EDM. Sorry, Illenium fans. Porter is my exception, always. Released after a long, long seven year wait from his smash debut album, "Worlds," Porter's second album is a lot more melodic than Worlds doesn't necessarily have the sound variation or heavy drops of his previous album, but is a great look into an artist going through a metamorphosis looking to strike more of an emotional chord.

Standout Tracks: "Get Your Wish," "Musician," "Something Comforting"

6. Gold-Diggers Sound- Leon Bridges

I think Leon Bridges is hands down one of the best R&B artists of this era and I think he just released his best album to date and in my opinion, it's not getting nearly enough attention. Leon is known from his previous work for his amazing call back to doo-wop and Motown and ditches this sound in favor of something more modern and progressive. The album sounds like someone who finally realized how cool he really is.

Standout Tracks: "Motorbike," "Steam," "Magnolias"

5. Juno- Remi Wolf

Remi Wolf is the most unique and, in my opinion, best pop star making waves right now and I think we're going to see her influence over the next few years. Her voice is one of a kind and her non-sensical lyrics are hilarious, but most of all, this album is repeatable and really, really fun. The music reflects her as a person: weird, upbeat, ecstatic, and refusing to be contained. The future is incredibly bright for this one.

Standout tracks: "Liquor Store," "WYD," "Sexy Villain"

4. Times- SG Lewis

UK super-producer SG Lewis is on fire right now. He's producing for major pop stars like Dua Lipa, had a remix of Bee Gee's "More than a Woman" go viral on Tik Tok, and put out a disco masterpiece with his debut album, Times. With guests like Nile Rodgers and Robyn just adding to what is already an insanely good album, this is one that I feel like flew under the radar and deserves more love.

Standout Tracks: "Feed the Fire," "One More," "Chemicals"

3. An Evening with Silk Sonic- Silk Sonic

Last time I mention this album in 2021, I promise ;-) But it's all been for good reason! I mean, it's pretty obvious that the combination of Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars was going to be great right, but this somehow managed to exceed all my expectations. It's so soulful and fun and just absolutely oozes cool, and even features Thundercat in my favorite track on the album. What's not to love? The long wait for this album was well worth it and my only complaint is that it's not long enough. I sincerely hope they do more music together.

Standout `Tracks: "Fly as Me," "After Last Night," "Smoking out the Window"

2. Private Space- Durand Jones & the Indications

I'm really late to the party on this one, but now, with 2021 coming to a close, I can confidently say that this band was my favorite find of the year. If you've been following this blog or my social media accounts, you know I've got a soft spot for disco and soul and Durand Jones somehow manages to feel straight out of the 70's and modern at the same time. I literally became a cooler person when I heard the song "Witchoo" for the first time. This, like every other song on this album, is an absolute can't miss.

Standout Tracks: "Witchoo," "Ride or Die," "The Way That I Do"

1. Loving in Stereo- Jungle

I caught on to Jungle when they were touring their debut album, but they really have hit higher highs with their third album, Loving in Stereo. This saw the electro soul duo expanding beyond their soulful sound into faster, more club-ready anthems and even expanding into the world of hip-hop with a feature from Dreamville favorite, Bas. I managed to catch Jungle on tour in DC this year and their show since the last time I saw them has gotten truly incredible. Beyond the two producers that make the music, their whole touring outfit is a sight to behold with seven people on stage all contributing something different from bass, to outstanding vocals, to synth, and an energy that envelops you and stays with you. I love the way this album makes me feel and the energy it brings every time it's played.

Standout Tracks: "Keep Moving," "All of the Time" "Romeo"

Thank you to every single person who came to this website, clicked and read an article, and followed any of my social channels. 2021 saw the most success I've had with this platform so far and I can't wait to build on it in 2022.

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