2021 was a long year. The music released this year was just as crazy. This year was full of comebacks and come-ups. We saw the return of Swedish pop legends ABBA, the return of British hit singer Adele and the return of one my favorite groups We Are Scientists. We also saw some new faces in the music game. PinkPantheress came out of nowhere, completely dominating TikTok and Oliva Rodrigo released her chart-topping “Sour.” This year was full of surprises and remarkable moments in music. This is my official Top 10, please enjoy.
#10 – “Medicine at Midnight” – Foo Fighters
Foo Fighters have stood the test of time. This solid rock album was a testament of musical perseverance during the hardest time of the year. Sporting solid chorus and classic Pat Smear guitar work, this record deserves a spot in the top ten.
#9 – “Valentine” – Snail Mail
Love and despair go hand in hand. Young artist Lindsey Jordan, aka Snail Mail, entranced me with her second album. This record is very chill and incredibly raw. Jordan gets very real with her audience in a way that feels more invited than invasive. I might be a masicist, but this tragic love story had me grooving.
#8 – “An Evening with Silk Sonic” – Silk Sonic
It’s Silk Sonic. Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak have been hot on the scene for quite a while. A full length album from the lethal duo was not only a gift and a blessing, but a cultural reset for the R&B scene. I didn’t get to review this record this year, but it would have gotten a high rank.
#7 – “Planet Her” – Doja Cat
Just imagine if “Moo” had never blown up. We are blessed to have Doja Cat in the limelight. “Planet Her” is an all around really tasty record. I also love Doja Cat for her social media presence. I might have a bit of a parasocial relationship with her. It’s a bonus that she is a phenomenal musician.
#6 – “to hell with it” – PinkPantheress
Glitchy and exciting, this social media mystery pop artist really blew up in the past year or so. This album was a real win with her massive following. With only a few singles to enjoy we had been anticipating an album. This record was worth the wait, for sure.
#5 – “The Shackletons” – The Shackletons
I can’t say enough good things about these guys and this album. It really was such a wonderful experience finding them and listening to this album. This record is not on Rolling Stone or Pitchfork’s top ten, but this is Mikey’s album reviews, and I adore The Shackletons. Straight from Minnesota, these boys deserve the number 5 spot.
#4 – “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” – Injury Reserve
This felt like it came out ages ago. I took the time recently to relisten to this record and I was impressed with how fresh it still feels. The dark and glitchy tone is still just as satisfying as the first listen. I am excited to see what the future holds for this group. I hope they decide to continue making music.
#3 – “Juno” – Remi Wolf
Remi Wolf does not miss, ever. This album is straight dopamine. There is not a single track off this record that does not slap. This album is incredibly accessible to a common audience. I love Remi and this incredible album will be in my listening rotation for a long time.
#2 – “Sour” – Olivia Rodrigo
This album is gold. I think it’s social impact speaks for itself. Olivia Rodrgo is a mega talent with an incredible knack for relatable music. Olivia Rodrgo’s “Sour” will go down in history with the likes of Paramore and Miley Cirus.
#1 – “Montero” – Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X has consumed my listening feed, my social media feed and the majority of my brain feed. I not only continue to actively listen to this album, but I do my research. I watch the music videos. From top to bottom, this album supplies incredible emotion and energy.