12 Lists of Christmas: Top Ten Albums of the Year

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16 December 2021

By Holly W

2021 has been a non-stop year for the music industry, with artists having nothing but time to spend writing new material. This year has been defined by soul-bearing albums and iconic re-records by Taylor Swift – and here is my top ten ranking.

10. Kacey Musgraves – star-crossed


With a slight shift into the pop genre, Musgraves comes back with her fifth studio album discussing her recent divorce. Lyrically, the album is stunning and her vocals are angelic. Where star-crossed lacks for me is that I prefer her fun country music, missing the sound of her 2018 Grammy winning album Golden Hour.

9. MARINA – Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land

Marina’s politically influenced electro-pop album is so dreamlike. The unforgettable choruses from New America and I Love You But I Love Me More capture not only the essence of the album, but also the versatility of the singer. Ancient Dreams is a very cohesive album, challenging society while still being self-reflective.

Read our review here.

8. Doja Cat – Planet Her

Doja has released non-stop hits this year, defining 2021’s summer and trends. Planet Her is a fun listen with creative lyricism. Doja’s versatility is shown from the get go in the first track Woman. The closing song Kiss Me More (feat. SZA) is soft and melodious, becoming a favourite of mine instantly.

7. Silk Sonic – An Evening With Silk Sonic


When two of the smoothest musicians come together it is bound to make a top ten album. Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak’s first of many albums as a duo features the hit single Leave the Door Open and the flawless melodies don’t stop there. Their voices blend perfectly together particularly in Blast Off, making this group one of the best things to happen musically in 2021.

6. Taylor Swift – Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

Swift’s first re-recorded album captures the same youthful essence as it’s initial 2008 release. Yet somehow songs like Fifteen have a much greater impact, coming from 31-year-old Swift’s matured viewpoint on life. The vault songs from Fearless are incredible – Mr. Perfectly Fine being a highlight.

Read our review here.

5. Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over The Country Club

The singer’s seventh studio album is similar to her previous albums but that does not hinder the enjoyment of Chemtrails at all. Amongst her trademark sound, Del Rey manages to experiment with her dulcet tones in the opening track White Dress. A stand-out song for me personally is Wild At Heart, which has a perfect, sultry chorus.

Read our review here.

4. Adele – 30

Adele returns after a six-year-long break with her familiar breathtaking vocals and sincere lyrics. 30 holds some of her most honest work including My Little Love with snippets of a conversation with her son.

While the majority of the album stays true to the style of her previous music, there are songs that have a more upbeat tempo, which is appreciated.

Read our review here.

3. Olivia Rodrigo – SOUR

Eighteen year old Olivia Rodrigo released her debut album after continued success of the singles driver’s license and good 4 u. SOUR is a perfect collection of teenage angst with 2000s pop influence. Rodrigo really showcases her songwriting talents in the heartfelt enough for you.

Read our review here.

2. Sam Fender – Seventeen Going Under


Newcastle’s pride and joy returned this year after his smash hit debut album Hypersonic Missiles with a much more critical album. Seventeen focuses more on Fender himself and how his childhood experiences have shaped the person he is today.

The album has a great balance of rock influenced tracks like Aye and chilled hypnotic tunes like Mantra.

Read our review here.

1. Taylor Swift – Red (Taylor’s Version)


Originally released in 2012, Swift manages to improve on the hits that soundtracked the summer. Between her matured and melodic vocals in The Moment I Knew and the incredible vault tracks like All Too Well (10 Minute Version), of all albums, this is undoubtedly number one.

Read our review here.

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