Ringer's top albums of 2021
A closer look at Ringer's favorite albums of the year that was 2021
2021 was another solid year in music. We finally got some much anticipated albums from some of our favorite bands and artists but we also got some gems and quality albums from across the music world including another big year for the pop genre. In a world that has been chaotic and stressful with the pandemic, music has continued to prevail and pull us through. Here are some of my favorite and top albums of 2021.
1. Royal Blood, Typhoons. This was one of my most anticipated albums of 2021 and once again, Royal Blood did not disappoint. They continued to explore new sounds and styles with their third studio album yet stayed true to the heavy rock riffs that brought notoriety to the band in 2014. Noticeably dance driven, this album certainly leans on the popular electronic dance music of today without patronizing the sound. This record, like their first two albums, is listenable from front to back with no song worth skipping. This was certainly one of my highest rated albums of the year coming in at 5b out of 6 strings.
2. Mdou Moctar, Afrique Victime. Mdou Moctar is one of those artists that I take pride in "finding" on my own, so bow down to me plebeians. After watching a Youtube video about the Saharan Rock genre, I took it upon myself to listen to many of the artists in the scene and Mdou was one that stood out to me. Afrique Victime is Mdou's 5th studio album so he isn't exactly a brand new artist but he's just now beginning to pick up steam as this record has also appeared on many other notable publications' top albums list. Mdou's guitar playing style on this album is unlike anything I've ever listened to. It's rooted in American blues but is distinguished by the sounds and styles of African music. This album is perhaps the best album of the year in terms of song construction and execution. This one was also one of my higher rated albums of the year coming in at 5b out of 6 strings.
3. Greta Van Fleet, The Battle at Garden’s Gate. After a bit of a let down with the band’s debut album, my expectations were mild as the band from Michigan was set to release their sophomore album in spring of 2021. After my first listen through to this album, I was concerned. Initially, it seemed as though the band didn’t learn anything from their first album but upon further inspection, my fears were assuaged. This album is a new step forward in prog rock. Really, it could be prog rock, epic rock, theatrical rock, and so much more. When listening to it with that in mind, and letting go of expectations based on their debut EP that set the world on fire, this album is pretty good. I gave it 4 out of 6 strings.
Honorable Mentions. Olivia Rodrigo - Sour, Billie Eilish - Happier Than Ever, mike. - the highs, Adele - 30, Paul McCartney - McCartney III (technically 2020 but it was released late December)