8 best albums of 2021


Pop music is An unstable province. It lives in the era, and its most influential suppliers either adapt to the era or predict them weirdly.

For the production and consumption of music, this is indeed the case. The dominant narrative of the 2010s was all about streaming. Spotify and Apple Music have completely changed the way we determine the boundaries of popular music and taste. Singles and playlists are the main considerations for any insertion. The album became an afterthought. The ultimate goal of music streaming is nothing more than a cross-dressing technology oligarch. Their ultimate goal is to re-establish contact-to shape our habits, interests, and desires into a carefully planned listening experience. In the ten years behind us, this means reshaping the way we listen. This means that albums will reduce circulation in future utopias.

But the genre can be stubborn. They pushed back. Especially R&B. This year feels very real. For me, 2021 is when R&B makes albums important again. In the creative freedom released by artists such as Tirzah and Jazmine Sullivan, I found a special and almost refreshing comfort in my pursuit of holistic art. Perhaps because R&B is rooted in the tradition of black music, it is hesitant about how sound moves, evolves, and reshapes itself. This type is both analog and post-Internet. It doesn’t seem to care how social platforms such as TikTok affect modern voices, and realize that its influence depends on the foundation it builds. The core that produced R&B was before the advent of the Internet. Will be here later. As we have witnessed this year, this genre is at its best when it is not malleable and unmoved-until it is not.

You may be thinking: But this does not violate my understanding of black music and black culture as a whole-how does it innovate, create and improvise-with so many techniques, sometimes even threatening ways?Um, yes (as a black tweet Keep reminding us). But vice versa.

R&B is an anti-future genre. It recognizes what is about to happen, while firmly positioning itself on what happened before. It looks inward. This is the basic music I like to think. In this way, it works like a matrix. The music moves forward, across, backward, and through—but never in a hurry. R&B reminds us that maybe we don’t have to be so eager to meet the coming future. Dystopia is imminent. For others, it is already here. R&B asks us to stop, take a deep breath, acknowledge ourselves with frank and deep introspection, and perhaps reconsider our future path.

Of course, no genre can completely resist inspired innovation—Dawn Richard and L’Rain’s project is a keen study of texture and gentle futurism—but this year’s best albums all have one thing in common (there are two The exception is that R&B is their DNA, their backbone, and their beating heart.

8 best albums of 2021

8. 30, Adele

Six years later from 25 Adele returns in rare and rare form. A moody, vacillating love and tragic ballad, 30 It triumphed by dealing with heartache, pain and vulnerability in a frank and frank manner. Adele soared.

Recommended songs: “My Little Love”; “Persevere, wait a minute”

7. Color scale, Texa

Most importantly, the Tirzah project is idle and attractive. They are spatial meditations about intimacy and relationships, about how we coordinate the distance between body, emotion, and experience. DedicationHer debut is one of the best of 2018 (now “Fine Again” will be played in a loop) and Color scale no difference.Singers never care about formalism, which makes Color scale Unique geometry: it is about absence and being in between. It gives undefined definition.

Recommended songs: “Beaten”; “sink”

6. Vince Staples, Vince Staples

Vince Staples is from North Long Beach. It provides him with a unique worldview. He has seen a lot and lived a lot.The project of the same name-his most exciting full length since 2015 Daylight Saving Time ’06——It is a journey of memory: Looking back on the past, what have we brought? How big is the weight of memory? The prose and low-key recording of 10 songs address death, violence, and bonds that are both connected and broken.

Recommended songs: “Do you have any”; “Sunset Town”; “Take me home”

5. It’s over, Shawok

The third release of R&B classical musician Summer Walker is a silky and sensual carousel about her failed relationship with producer London on da Track. What this album does best-not to mention its excellent production-is to accurately point out the hardships of losing romance in the thirsty era of Insta. In Walker’s translation, this is a whirlwind of emotion and catharsis.

Recommended songs: “Circus”; “Infidelity” feat. Ali Lennox; “Poisonous” feat.Duke

4. Conversation memory, bad

Difficult to convey outline Conversation memory In traditional musical terms, because albums are not music abstractly. Although it is completely instrumental, it is much larger in scale. I think this is the voice of dreams. The things designed by the Toronto experimenter BADBADNOTGOOD are a sacred thing. Together with collaborators Terrace Martin, Laraaji and the famous Brazilian composer Arthur Verocai, they have reached incredible heights. The scenery here is better.

Recommended songs: They are all

3. If orange is a place, Tems

Tems provides velvety lungs for the 2021 unofficial song of the year: she is unmistakable and not to be missed in Wizkid’s “Essence”. As a soloist, the Nigerian singer is a trailblazer, already on his way to becoming a global Afrobeats star. This five-song EP not only consolidates Tems’s growing mastery, but also correctly gets everyone’s attention. She did not let go.

Recommended songs: “Vibe Out”; “find” the foot. Brent Faiyaz

2. fatigue, Yuer

fatigue The scope is basic. It bleeds, swayed, yelled and buzzed. It contemplates, stomps and summons. It woke up when it thundered. For Brooklyn Fusionists, fatigue It is a spiritual movement-a masterpiece that combines folk, gospel, soul music and experimental pop into a masterpiece of tone and texture. L’Rain has produced one of the most beautiful albums of the year.

Recommended songs: “Find it”; “suction teeth”; “two faces”

1. Heavy story, Jazmin Sullivan

When Jazmine Sullivan was released Heavy story 11 months ago, we didn’t know where this year would take us-experiencing deep hurt and intense passion, experiencing waves of regret and joy of winning. Just like in 2021, this album unfolds in a series of tortuous chapters, with a clever combination of songs and recommendations, each of which is built on the previous track.what Heavy story Unfortunately, it is a map agency. It gives power and voice to the desires of black women. Most importantly, this is an album about recycling—it urges listeners to ask them what they get, and more. Think of it as a lesson for all of us.

Recommended songs: “Pick up your feelings”; “price tag” feat. Anderson Parker; “Lost one”

Honor Award: second line, Liming Richard; Call me when lost, Taylor Creator; Her planet, Add more cats; Advent of the Navy, Navy blue; Far away, Black ice cream; Sometimes I can be very introverted, Little Sim

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