Top 8 albums of 2021
There is pop music a majority of the unfounded people. It lives in times, and their most influential purgers respond to the times or make predictions.
That’s true for music production and consumption. The regulatory statement for the 2010s was about streaming. Spotify and Apple Music completely overhauled how we test popular music and taste boundaries. Singles and playlists were the main idea of anyone who applied. Records became an afterthought. The ultimate goal of music climbers, who are nothing more than tech oligarchs in attraction, was to reconnect connections - to carve our habits, interests, and desires into a curated listening experience. In the decade behind us, that meant rewriting as we listen. It meant that records in the future utopia would have less money.
But species can be stagnant. They push back. R&B in particular. That felt extraordinarily true this year. For me, 2021 was a time when R&B made records again. I found a unique, almost refreshing comfort in pursuing art as a whole, in the creative freedom released by artists like Tirzah and Jazmine Sullivan. Perhaps because R&B has its roots in Black music traditions, it embraces so much of how sound moves, grows, and regenerates itself. The genre is both analog and post-internet, seemingly unaware of how social platforms like TikTok have made an impact on today’s sound and aware that it remains only as influential as its 'foundation he built. The heart of the R & B's cause was here before the internet. He will be here after. The genre, as we have seen this year, is at its best when it's incredible, motionless - so it is not.
You may be thinking: But that does not contradict all that I know about Black music, and black culture in general - how it innovates and creates and come up with in so many skilful, and sometimes threatening, ways? Well, yes (as Black Twitter always reminds us). But the opposite is also true.
R&B is a genre of futures. It acknowledges the future and is firmly rooted in the past. He looks inside. This is what I like to think of as foundation music. That way, it acts as a matrix. The music moves on, across, back, and through - but it's never in a big hurry. R&B is a reminder that we may not have to be so difficult in the future. Dystopia Gaps. For others, it's already here. R&B urges us to pause, to breathe, to identify ourselves with blunt and deep bone introspection, to rethink the way forward.
Of course, one genre cannot fully withstand exciting innovation - projects from Dawn Richard and L'Rain were sharp studies in texture and offer revenue - but what best records of the year commonly (with two exceptions) are the threads of R&B as their DNA, the backbone, the big heartbeat.
Top 8 albums of 2021
8. 30, Adele
Six years away from 25 and Adele returns in a rare and rarefied form. A repository of love boys, oscillating love-and-woe, 30 influencing his candid and candied approach to heartbreak, pain, and vulnerability. Adele soars.
Suggested songs: “My little love”; "Hang on"
7. Colourgrade, Tirzah
More than anything, Tirzah’s projects are cheap and attractive. They are spatial thoughts on intimacy and relationships, on how we adjust the distance between bodies, emotions, and experiences. Will, her debut, one of the best in 2018 (put “Fine Again” on the curve right now) and Colourgrade never mind. The singer never deals with formality, which he does Colourgrade specific geometry: It's about absence and the interior. It explains the unexplained.
Suggested songs: “Beating”; “Sink in”
6. Vince Staples, Vince Staples
Vince Staples is from North Long Beach. It gives it a unique worldview. He has seen a lot and lived a lot more. The self-titled project - its most exciting full-length since 2015 Summertime '06- a journey through memory: In retrospect, what do we take with us? How heavy is the weight of memory? Essayistic and low-key, the 10-song album deals with mortality, violence, and the bonds that both bind and shake.
Suggested songs: "Are you with that"; “Sundown Town”; "Take me home"
5. Still over, Summer walker
The third release from R&B classic Summer Walker is a hilarious masterpiece of awareness of her failed relationship with the London producer on da Track. What the album does best - not to mention any of its miraculous production - is to celebrate the hardships of lost romance in the thirsty thirsty age of Insta. In Walker 's translation, it's a real stir of emotion and catharsis.
Suggested songs: Circus ”; An "amateur" activity. Ari Lennox; A "poisonous" trick. Lil Durk
4. Speak Memory, BADBADNOTGOOD
It's hard the shapes of Speak Memory in the case of conventional music because the album is not music, in the abstract. Although completely instrumental, its scale is much larger. I think this is what dreams are like. What the Toronto BADBADNOTGOOD testers have designed is sacred. Together with colleagues Terrace Martin, Laraaji, and the famous Brazilian writer Arthur Verocai, they have reached impossible heights. The best view is up here.
Suggested songs: All of them
3. If Orange were in its place, Tems
Tems donated the fingertips to the unofficial song of the year 2021: it is unique and unlicensed by Wizkid's "Essence". As a solo act, the Nigerian singer is somewhat of a breakthrough, already on her way to global Afrobeats stardom. This five-song EP not only reinforces Tems ’growth mastery, it rightly impresses everyone. She is not letting go.
Suggested songs: “Outdoor Vibe”; “Found” ft Brent Faiyaz
2. Tired, L'Rain
Tired basic in a field of work. It grinds, lies, heals, and hums. He meditates and crouches and coerces. It thunders. He wakes up. For a Brooklyn fusion, Tired is a spiritual passage - blending country music, gospel, soul, and experimental pop into a masterpiece of tone and text. L'Rain has created one of the most beautiful albums of the year.
Suggested songs: “Find it”; “Suck Teeth”; "Two Faces"
1. Heaux Stories, Jazmine Sullivan
When Jazmine Sullivan released Heaux Stories 11 months ago, we had no idea where the year would take us - through times of deep famine and intense passion, through lies of remorse and joy. Just like 2021, the album expands in a series of complex chapters, a sensible mix of songs and testimonials, each building on the previous track. What Heaux Stories skillfully doing is map sex group. It will give power and a voice to the desires of Black women. It's a record, in particular, about recalls - it's to persuade listeners to pay what they have, and much more. Think of it as a lesson for us all.
Suggested songs: “Raise your emotions”; Price Tags activities. Anderson Paak; "Lost one"
Honorary References: Second line, Dawn Richard; Call me if you get lost, Tyler the Creator; Planet Her, Cat Doja; Navy reproduction, Navy Blue; Far in, Black Ice Cream; At times I can get confused, Simz beag
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