Elite Albums of 2021 – The Cavalier Daily
After the events of 2020 placed a pause button on the music industry, dampening tours and delaying releases, 2021 offered the first glimpse of live music audiences in over a year. Amid a seemingly endless pandemic, it’s clear that music is essential during times of division and loneliness.
This list ranks the five most cohesive, inspired, and distinctive projects released in the past year, celebrating those that provided cultural nourishment and reflection when all else seemed to stagnate.
1.”CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” by Tyler, the creator
“CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” is a conceptual masterpiece that follows Tyler, the alter-ego of creator “Tyler Baudelaire”, the embodiment of luxury, sophistication, travel and mastery of the world. lyrical art. “Baudelaire” is a nod to the French poet and critic Charles Baudelaire who, like Tyler, was highly regarded for his experimentation, controversy, and explicit writing.
The genre performer showcases the height of his aesthetic achievement, immersive storytelling, and sharp production skills. Tight drums, funky baselines, harmonious synths and keyboards, and exultant horns saturate the soundscape with nostalgia.
The sound and lyricism are both gritty and sweet. Tyler’s delivery of witty, distinctive bars about pride and luxury complement unpolished vocal melodies about love and desire.
After one of the best album rollouts of the year, the project solidifies Tyler, The Creator as one of the most compelling and gifted creative geniuses of the decade.
2.”SHINE ON” by Tourniquet
Released from Baltimore in 2010, Turnstile are a hardcore punk rock band that have braved comparisons to ’90s alternative rock bands like 311 and Red Hot Chili Peppers for its fusion with funk, pop and R&B. The album’s catchy riffs and screaming choruses cut through soaring, soaring chords and groovy beats. “GLOW ON” has earned the respect of punk and mainstream publications due to its dynamic and sharp execution, experimentation, creativity and innovation.
3.”The house is burningby Isaiah Rashad
Following the release in 2016 of “The tirade of the sun», Tennessee rapper Isaiah Rashad returns with an introspective album that explains his five-year retirement from the spotlight.
“The House Is Burning” masterfully fuses Southern rap with R&B. Rashad features artists such as SZA, Smino and 6LACK, comfortably navigating a warm, soulful atmosphere of guitar, piano and synths. The project stays true to the hallmarks of Southern rap – 808 and bouncy bass – while sampling legends like Juicy J, Project Pat and Three 6 Mafia.
Rashad incorporates a mix of religious references into the album, confessing his painful awareness of using addiction and escape as coping strategies for personal trauma, issues with his father, and paranoia. Its captivating delivery is relaxed and sophisticated, reminiscent of Outkast’s fluid, dynamic flow.
4.”valentine” By letter
Between the release of “Valentine” and her first indie rock album “LushLindsey Jordan – also known as Snail Mail – graduated from high school, won critical acclaim and took a trip to rehab.
After enduring the pressures of fame and withdrawing from the drunkenness of a failed relationship, Jordan returned to her childhood home in suburban Maryland to reflect and recalibrate, which resulted in “Valentine.”
The album is scary and vulnerable. Jordan’s authentic and often gruff voice cuts through gritty, whimsical guitar chords as she details the obsession, naivety, anger, alcohol abuse and grief she endures as she loses herself in devouring relationships.
5.”Tales of Heauxby Jazmine Sullivan
“Heaux Tales” is an R&B album that denounces the pervasive stigma and shame about female sexuality. She offers honest and empowering perspectives on sexual liberation, equality and physical agency while strengthening her voice with the testimonies of other black women. The polished production is complemented by the duality of Sullivan’s voice, mirroring that of Lauryn Hill’s grating and warmth. The “Break your windowThe singer embraces and challenges the duality and hypocrisy of the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ narrative written by men, seizes it, and then plays the game to her advantage.
Honorable mentions, in elite order
“Collapsed in the rays of the sun” by Arlo Parks
“Jubilee” by Japanese Breakfast
“melodic blueby Baby Keem
“30” by Adele
“I know I’m funny hahaby Faye Webster
“SOUR” by Olivia Rodrigue
“to hell with thatby PinkPantheress
“New long leg” by Dry Cleaning
“Mercurial WorldMagdalena Bay
“happier than everby Billie Eilish
“lately I feel EVERYTHING” by WILLOW
“valiant mood” by Hiatus Kaiyote
“An Evening with Silk Sonic” by Anderson .Paak & Bruno Mars
Let’s all pray for a drop in SZA this year.