Jump to content

MARRY THE NIGHT ANNIVERSARY T-SHIRT

opinion

Best and worst music of 2021


StrawberryBlond

Featured Posts

StrawberryBlond

Ever and always, here is my annual sum-up of the best and worst music of the previous year from your friendly GGD neighbourhood amateur music critic. I've compiled this one a little bit later than I would've liked, but then, life gets on top of you sometimes. I'm also making an announcement with this list: this will be the last time I ever make a worst of list. That is because I decided, mid-way through the year that the constant reviewing of all albums from my faves to my least faves, was all too much and an unrealistic way to live my life. I've been listening to so much bad music for the last 10 years that I've been doing this that I've had limited time for the music I actually enjoy, it was all taking up too much time, I was no longer enjoying myself and at least professional critics are getting paid, I'm doing all of this in my spare time for free! So, my plan is to only listen to music that I actually want to listen to now. I will still make a habit of listening to music whenever I can and still compose my annual lists but it will all be positivity based, no more worst singles and albums. Living in positivity is going to be so much better for me as well. So, with that in mind, here is my annual sum-up of the year's music, all ranked and evaluated. I've also added some new categories this year and removed one (worst album artworks, there weren't enough this year to even make a good top 5 anyway) to make it more like an awards show, including a very interesting new category which I hope you'll love. I'm also pleased to see that my list is the most international its ever been with artists from over 10 countries being represented in best of categories, proving that not all good music comes from the UK and USA or even needs to be sung in English. Enjoy the last ever worst of lists and I hope I still compiled them well enough considering that I was so over it by the time I got around to it. Most of the tracks have the same ranking, which is why I don't bother listing ratings for singles.

So, here we are, the best and worst music of the year. Spoiler heavy, to save on space, so there's a fair bit of clicking involved. Don't take offence if your fave is in the worst, this is all just fun and games and opinion. Hope it helps you find some new names and hidden gems. Enjoy!

 

Best singles of the year (it must be an official single, promo singles do not count and even if the track was released before 2021, it only counts when it became a single)
 

Spoiler

 

40. Elena Tsagrinou - El Diablo

39. Royal Blood - Limbo

38. Måneskin - I Wanna Be Your Slave

37. Efendi - Mata Hari

36. BTS - Butter

35. Christina Aguilera & Becky G, Nicki Nicole & Nathy Peluso - Pa Mis Muchachas

34. MARINA - Purge The Poison

33. Adele - Oh My God

32. Billie Eilish - Lost Cause

31. Julia Michaels - All Your Exes

30. MARINA - Venus Fly Trap

29. Billie Eilish - NDA

28. Birdy - Deepest Lonely

27. Rita Ora & Imanbek feat. David Guetta & Gunna - Big

26. Little Mix feat. Saweetie - Confetti

25. Billie Eilish & Rosalía - Lo Vas a Olvidar

24. Dua Lipa - Love Again

23. Biffy Clyro - Unknown Male 01

22. Little Simz - Introvert

21. Sam Fischer & Demi Lovato - What Other People Say

20. Olivia Rodrigo - good 4 u

19. Iron Maiden - The Writing On The Wall

18. Lorde - Stoned at the Nail Salon

17. Taylor Swift feat. HAIM - No Body, No Crime

16. Måneskin - Zitti e Buoni

15. Olivia Rodrigo - Traitor

14. Barbara Pravi - Voilà

13. Little Mix - Love (Sweet Love)

12. The Pretty Reckless - Only Love Can Save Me Now

11. AURORA - Heathens

10. Billie Eilish - Happier Than Ever

09. Lana Del Rey - Blue Banisters

08. Imelda May feat. Noel Gallagher & Ronnie Wood - Just One Kiss

07. The Pretty Reckless feat. Tom Morello - And So It Went

06. Lana Del Rey - White Dress

05. Lana Del Rey - Arcadia

04. Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails Over The Country Club

03. Diane Warren, G-Eazy & Santana - She's Fire

02. Jessie J - I Want Love

01. Demi Lovato - Dancing With The Devil

 

Worst singles of the year (it must be an official single, promo singles do not count and even if the track was released before 2021, it only counts when it became a single)
 

Spoiler

 

40. Ed Sheeran - Shivers

39. Maroon 5 feat. Megan Thee Stallion - Beautiful Mistakes

38. Olivia Rodrigo - deja vu

37. ABBA - Just a Notion

36. Anne-Marie & Little Mix - Kiss My (Uh Oh)

35. Zayn - Vibez

34. Lil Tjay feat. 6LACK - Calling My Phone

33. Years & Years - Starstruck

32. ABBA - Don't Shut Me Down

31. Twenty One Pilots - Choker

30. Nathan Dawe, Anne-Marie & Mostack - Way Too Long

29. GAYLE - abcdefu

28. Harry Styles - Treat People With Kindness

27. Kings of Leon - The Bandit

26. Kings of Leon - 100,000 People

25. Maroon 5 - Nobody's Love

24. Imagine Dragons - Follow You

23. Twenty One Pilots - Shy Away

22. The Black Eyed Peas feat. Saweetie & Lele Pons - Hit It

21. Demi Lovato - Melon Cake

20. 24kGoldn - 3, 2, 1

19. Slowthai & Skepta - Cancelled

18. Lil Nas X - Montero (Call Me By Your Name)

17. Daði og Gagnamagnið - 10 Years

16. Jendrik - I Don't Feel Hate

15. Limp Bizkit - Dad Vibes

14. 24kGoldn - Love or Lust

13. Megan Thee Stallion feat. DaBaby - Cry Baby

12. Lil Nas X feat. Jack Harlow - Industry Baby

11. JLS - Postcard

10. Lizzo feat. Cardi B - Rumors

09. Doja Cat - Need To Know

08. Tyler, the Creator - Lumberjack

07. J. Balvin & Tokischa - Perra

06. Walker Hayes - Fancy Like

05. Slowthai & A$AP Rocky - Mazza

04. ABBA - Little Things

03. Aaron Lewis - Am I The Only One

02. Tekashi 6ix9ine - Zaza

01. Slowthai - Vex

 

Best albums of the year (they must be a full-length original studio release, with EPs, cover albums, greatest hits albums, re-imagined albums, etc not counting)
 

Spoiler

 

20. Iron Maiden - Senjutsu - 3/5

19. The Fratellis - Half Drunk Under a Full Moon - 3/5

18. Delta Goodrem - Bridge Over Troubled Dreams - 3/5

17. Lorde - Solar Power - 3/5

16. Bebe Rexha - Better Mistakes - 3/5

15. Imelda May - 11 Past The Hour - 3/5

14. Nas - King's Disease II - 3/5

13. Madison Beer - Life Support - 3/5

12. Demi Lovato - Dancing With The Devil...The Art of Starting Over - 3/5

11. Charlotte Cardin - Phoenix - 3/5

10. Kacey Musgraves - Star-Crossed - 3/5

09. The Killers - Pressure Machine - 3/5

08. Iggy Azalea - End of an Era - 3/5

07. Olivia Rodrigo - Sour - 3/5

06. Halsey - If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power - 3.5/5

05. MARINA - Ancient Dreams in a  Modern Land - 3.5/5

04. Billie Eilish - Happier Than Ever - 3.5/5

03. Lana Del Rey - Blue Banisters - 4/5

02. The Pretty Reckless - Death By Rock and Roll - 4/5

01. Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails Over The Country Club - 4.5/5

 

Worst albums of the year (they must be a full-length original studio release, with EPs, cover albums, greatest hits albums, re-imagined albums, etc not counting)
 

Spoiler

 

20. ABBA - Voyage - 2/5

19. Lil Nas X - Montero - 2/5

18. Slayyyter - Troubled Paradise - 2/5

17. Limp Bizkit - Still Sucks - 2/5

16. Anne-Marie - Therapy - 2/5

15. Chvrches - Screen Violence - 2/5

14. Laura Mvula - Pink Noise - 2/5

13. Westlife - Wild Dreams - 2/5

12. Zayn - Nobody is Listening - 2/5

11. Kings of Leon - When You See Yourself - 2/5

10. Drake - Certified Lover Boy - 1.5/5

09. Migos - Culture III - 1.5/5

08. Sia - Music - Songs From and Inspired by the Motion Picture - 1.5/5

07. Twenty One Pilots - Scaled and Icy - 1.5/5

06. JLS - 2.0 - 1.5/5

05. 24kGoldn - El Dorado - 1.5/5

04. Maroon 5 - Jordi - 1/5

03. Robin Thicke - On Earth, and in Heaven - 1/5

02. Slowthai - Tyron - 1/5

01. Tyler, the Creator - Call Me If You Get Lost - 0.5/5

 

Best music videos of the year
 

Spoiler

 

10. The Killers - Quiet Town

09. Doja Cat - Woman

08. Olivia Rodrigo - Brutal

07. Lil Nas X - Montero (Call Me By Your Name)

06. Doja Cat - Streets

05. Doja Cat & The Weeknd - You Right

04. The Weeknd - Echoes of Silence

03. Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails Over The Country Club

02. Justin Bieber - Hold On

01. Demi Lovato - Dancing With The Devil

 

Worst music videos of the year
 

Spoiler

 

10. Iggy Azalea & Tyga - Sip It

09. Julia Michaels - All Your Exes

08. Dua Lipa - Love Again

07. Years & Years - Starstruck

06. Ed Sheeran - Shivers

05. Bella Thorne - Phantom

04. Slowthai & A$AP Rocky - Mazza

03. J. Balvin & Tokischa - Perra (official channel upload taken down, other channels have uploaded it)

02. Tekashi 6ix9ine - Zaza

01. Slowthai - Vex

 

Best non-single album tracks of the year (they can have never been a single, although that could change if the album is still active the following year)
 

Spoiler

 

10. Alicia Keys - Is It Insane (Originals) (from the album, Keys)

09. Lana Del Rey - Yosemite (from the album, Chemtrails Over The Country Club)

08. Bonnie Tyler - Call Me Thunder (from the album, The Best Is Yet To Come)

07. The Pretty Reckless - My Bones (from the album, Death By Rock and Roll)

06. Lana Del Rey - Beautiful (from the album, Blue Banisters)

05. Halsey - The Lighthouse (from the album, If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power)

04. The Killers - Terrible Thing (from the album, Pressure Machine)

03. Kacey Musgraves - Star-Crossed (from the album, Star-Crossed)

02. Imelda May - 11 Past The Hour (from the album, 11 Past The Hour)

01. Kanye West feat. Vory - No Child Left Behind (from the album, Donda)

 

Best album artworks of the year
 

Spoiler

 

05. Halsey - If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power (won't post it here as it displays her nipple, you'll have to look for yourself)

04. James Arthur - It'll All Make Sense In The End

James_Arthur_-_It'll_All_Make_Sense_in_t

03. Billie Eilish - Happier Than Ever

Billie_Eilish_-_Happier_Than_Ever.png

02. the Offspring - Let The Bad Times Roll

The_Offspring_Let_the_Bad_Times_Roll.jpg

01. Lorde - Solar Power

Lorde_-_Solar_Power.png

 

Best album titles of the year
 

Spoiler

 

05. Passenger - Songs For The Drunk and Broken Hearted

04. MARINA - Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land

03. Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails Over The Country Club

02. Halsey - If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power

01. The Fratellis - Half Drunk Under a Full Moon

 

Best international acts of the year (acts from any country outside the USA)
 

Spoiler

 

05. Rosalía (from Spain)

04. Barbara Pravi (from France)

03. Måneskin (from Italy)

02. Charlotte Cardin (from Canada)

01. Imelda May (from Ireland)

 

Best newcomers of the year (they must have released an album this year or freshly debuted in some form this year)
 

Spoiler

 

03. Madison Beer

02. Charlotte Cardin

01. Olivia Rodrigo

 

Artists of the year (based on how many times they've been nominated in best of categories on this list and including this category)
 

Spoiler

 

05. MARINA - 4 nominations (best single x2, best album, artist of the year)

04. Demi Lovato - 5 nominations (best single x2, best album, best music video, artist of the year)

03. Olivia Rodrigo - 6 nominations (best single x2, best album, best music video, best newcomer, artist of the year)

02. Billie Eilish - 7 nominations (best single x4, best album, best album cover, artist of the year)

01. Lana Del Rey - 11 nominations (best single x4, best music video, best album x2, best non single album tracks x2, best album title, artist of the year)

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this read, even if you didn't agree with everything. Feel free to add your own lists if you so choose!

P.S. Shout-out to my friends who I know appreciate my take on music (even though I haven't spoken to them in quite some time): @Defmix100 @Oriane @Chic

  • Like 5
  • Love 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
Shav33l

Ummmm Troubled Paradise in worst albums? Gwworrrrrrllll...

Red wine, cheap perfume and a filthy pout.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
SCHEISSEMONTRE
53 minutes ago, StrawberryBlond said:

08. Sia - Music - Songs From and Inspired by the Motion Picture - 1.5/5

 

deserves the number one spot cause she was profiting of off Autism 

Mychal
  • Like 1
  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
LilyLark

Agree the Nas album was v. good and deserved more love. Lana's consistently put out strong work (I know a lot of stans wish for her old sound, but it's still good). I thought Heaux Tales by Jazmine Sullivan and Daddy's Home by St. Vincent were two of the best albums to come out last year, too.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Oriane

I haven't listened to these except for The Pretty Reckless, Lana and Marina, but I'm mostly fine with their placements. You know what I thought about TPR's album this year, so maybe I wouldn't have put it so high.

You popped my heart seams, all my bubble dreams
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
M i K E Y

The radio here played that Iko Iko song to death and if I hear it one more time… :saladga:

☠︎︎
Link to post
Share on other sites
StrawberryBlond
22 hours ago, Shav33l said:

Ummmm Troubled Paradise in worst albums? Gwworrrrrrllll...

I find her music quite jarring, to say the least. The weird, experimental stuff isn't quite my taste and some of the instrumentals are a bit irritating. Just because of its low score doesn't mean it was terrible, I just only liked a small portion of it. I liked Venom the best and a handful of others but the rest just wasn't for me.

21 hours ago, SCHEISSEMONTRE said:

deserves the number one spot cause she was profiting of off Autism 

I just judge it by the actual music and what ones I'd rather listen to over others. I stopped making overly moral judgements based on outside factors some time ago. Let's face it, so many artists aren't the best of people that if we only listened to ones who'd never done anything wrong, we'd barely be able to listen to anyone.

20 hours ago, LilyLark said:

Agree the Nas album was v. good and deserved more love. Lana's consistently put out strong work (I know a lot of stans wish for her old sound, but it's still good). I thought Heaux Tales by Jazmine Sullivan and Daddy's Home by St. Vincent were two of the best albums to come out last year, too.

His last-minute album released just before Christmas (Magic) was ok too, but I had to make cuts for the top 20 and this was the better one. Because he's older and not seen as a relevant name anymore, I don't think he gets the attention he deserves now. Lana is just unstoppable in terms of her output. BB let me down a bit but I hope she can get the quality back again, although in a weird way, I hope she chills out on this hyper releasing. For one thing, it means few other artists have a chance at the number one spots on my lists as long as she's releasing! Heaux Tales is technically an EP so I didn't hear it and her name isn't on my immediate radar, so I missed it when it initially came out and I like to record all my findings in chronological order, so if I miss something, there's no going back. Daddy's Home was overall just a bit under-par for me. Pay Your Way In Pain almost made the top 40 best singles but I had 60 singles to go through so I had to make some painful cuts.

14 hours ago, Cello said:

Agree with a lot of this but you did ABBA real dirty :partysick:

I know, I just didn't expect their comeback to be so...mediocre and dated. Their sound hasn't changed in all this time but whereas their old stuff was a product of its time, this is brand new but sounds old-fashioned. And the cringe of some tracks was off the scale, in particular, Bumblebee and of course, Little Things. I don't know what they were thinking for the majority of these songs. I only liked 2 out of the entire album. I feel like they're getting praised and selling just because of who they are and if anyone else released this, they'd be laughed out the door.

Link to post
Share on other sites
PartySick

Aside from Billie I barely even heard about music coming out in 2021.

Just in case anyone wants to bookmark this so they can call me uncultured if I slander their faves :bear:

The remix
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Anderson123

The ABBA shade.  :rip: I can understand Little Things but Don’t Shut Me Down and Just A Notion are amazing. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
StrawberryBlond
22 hours ago, Anderson123 said:

The ABBA shade.  :rip: I can understand Little Things but Don’t Shut Me Down and Just A Notion are amazing. 

They just sound too dated for me to connect with. Just A Notion is literally an unreleased track from the 70's which is something in its favour as it's just what music sounded like back then but what's the excuse for everything else being stuck in this time warp? People who lived through the 70's don't listen to music like this now and can realise that a lot of what they listened to back then doesn't hold up on anymore so I don't know how a 70's band's vision of good music is still stuck in the same place as it was decades ago.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Oyster

Tyler the creator call me if you get lost worst album? Really? Where the taste babe

Edited by Oyster
Link to post
Share on other sites
Anderson123
17 minutes ago, StrawberryBlond said:

They just sound too dated for me to connect with. Just A Notion is literally an unreleased track from the 70's which is something in its favour as it's just what music sounded like back then but what's the excuse for everything else being stuck in this time warp? People who lived through the 70's don't listen to music like this now and can realise that a lot of what they listened to back then doesn't hold up on anymore so I don't know how a 70's band's vision of good music is still stuck in the same place as it was decades ago.

I don't think they were trying to sound different or "experiment". They clearly said they have nothing to prove and this is just them getting together to work on music. A reunion that started with just two songs, I Still Have Faith In You and Dont Shut Me Down. Then they had enough material for an album.

ABBA is just being ABBA and I've seen that most fans of back then were absolutely in love with Voyage because it took them back there. 

I think we're just used to current artists being "experimental" or switching it up here and there with each album that maybe that's the way we think everyone should be doing but ABBA was just giving the fans the gift of an album 40 years later, something they really didn't have to. They're legends after all.

Edited by Anderson123
Link to post
Share on other sites
AUARAOFSHEISSE
On 1/29/2022 at 9:37 PM, StrawberryBlond said:

I find her music quite jarring, to say the least. The weird, experimental stuff isn't quite my taste and some of the instrumentals are a bit irritating. Just because of its low score doesn't mean it was terrible, I just only liked a small portion of it. I liked Venom the best and a handful of others but the rest just wasn't for me.

That explains the KICKs erasure:partysick:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...