Best albums of 2021 (so far)

And finally, we’ve come to the end of the first half – and, like last year, 2021 has turned out to be a big year for music, whether it’s rescuing disco and punk-rock elements, or through the continuous search for originality. .

In just six months, Olivia Rodrigo made her long-awaited official debut with the hard-hitting “SOUR”, shortly after taking the world by storm in “High School Musical: The Series: The Musical”; Lana Del Rey released another amazing album with ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’; and The Pretty Reckless returned years after its last outing with a deep and engaging narrative.

To celebrate another important moment in music, CinePOP has put together a list of the top ten albums of the year to date.

Check out our picks below and tell us which is your favorite:

“When you think of artistic novelty, you don’t exactly talk about revolutionary stories or something like that – quite the opposite: you know that the plots will be very similar and that the way of telling them should prevail. Ally with Geffen Records, Olivia decides to generate an intimate adolescent journey, calling for a simple and deep dialogue with the anguish that young people experience and which are normally discredited by adults. Therefore, it is obvious that we will find many loving thoughts about betrayal, dating, disappointments, and feeling that we always want to move on and strive for happiness. What’s interesting is how Rodrigo crafted each of the eleven short tracks, mimicking various influences ranging from Avril Lavigne’s pop-punk to Joan Jett’s rebellious rock – all of which are already present in the opening track. – Thiago Nolla


“The best moments in ‘Color’ come when the duo don’t limit themselves to building something simplistic – as is the case with ‘Te Amar is too much.’ The obviousness of the title is quickly swept under the carpet when we are presented with a conflicting and passionate explosion of samba and bossa-nova that takes us back to the 1920s of the suburbs of Rio, while leaving room for inflections à la Tom Jobim and Maria Gadú, with reflections away from the more down-to-earth Elis Regina stadium (and such characterizations explain why this is one of the highlights of the iteration). On the other hand, “Try to Believe” is a lair where vulnerability and theatricality find a common specter in a circus and a personal explosion. “- Thiago Nolla

“‘Chemtrails over the Country Club’ is just another passionate and revered addition to the discography of an artist who still has a lot to tell us – whether it’s for her unique style, contemporary yet nostalgic at the same time, pushed by the need to emerge as something different in the midst of similarity. Lana Del Rey has found herself in the midst of folk and American to express her style and an identity that, year after year, becomes more complex. – Thiago nolla

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“In fact, when you think that the performer has always done what she wanted with her career, the compilation of originals turns into an antithetical declamation of freedom, in which she feels obligated to support the marginalized (“ it burned me at the stake, thought I was a witch ”is perhaps one of the most welcome discoveries of the iteration). But when the tiring frenzy of this austerity is put aside, we are drawn into little musical gems that take shape in the ballad “Highly Emotional People”, perhaps an ode to the melancholy of friend Lana Del Rey, perhaps just a fancy way of saying what to need. “

In several interviews to promote the album, the performers commented on the line they wanted to take – something a little elusive considering that would bring the experimental rock scene back to the fore. Choices for the tracks were not random, but based on a simple, detail-oriented thoroughness that turns each track into an ode to a genre whose roots go back some time: “Lucky to Get Him” ​​as well that other iterations, mimetically save the aesthetic chosen by Edgar Froese and his band, Tangerine Dream; “Symptom of Your Touch”, one of the best tracks of 2021, perhaps even has a more commercial perspective, of course. , reiterated by the punchy use of synthesizers – but he’s produced so well that it makes us think of him as a jovial personification. of the explosion of “Dancing on My Own”, including the intrigue about a complicated relationship – Thiago Nolla

Jazmine Sullivan’s first full album was a great sequel to their previous iterations. Described by the artist herself as the most obscure entry to her career, ‘Heaux Tales’ brings the best of R&B without losing touch with what she really means: investing effort in some sort of conceptual construction that part of the meaning of hip hop. As if that weren’t enough, the EP has many collaborations including Ari Lennox and HER.

If you’ve missed an album that saved the revolution Fiona Apple conceived last year for now, fear not: indie band Japanese Breakfast has come to quench our thirst. Led by the unexpected voice of singer Michelle Zauner, who even dived headlong into her own memoir “Crying in H Mart”, the explosive mix of pop art and lo-fi is what makes “Jubilee” a work not like the others. that’s why it ranks fourth on our list.

“Moments of extravagance purposely and galore explode across twelve beautiful tracks – and the first glimpse of this whimsical inflection occurs in” Broomsticks, “a sort of interlude that closes in on itself, but at the same time, in preparation for the narcotic 80s journey of “Witches Burn”, one of the peaks of the production which is guided by the voice of Taylor and which restricts the guitar and the bass to the atmospheric background. In the plot, the singer embodies an unscrupulous woman who will not be belittled by others and who has cataclysmic destructive power – reflected in a full, well-structured vocal range. “Turning Gold” embraces certain elements of Arabian pop to a familiar and uplifting country-rock architecture – which also reveals one of the best pre-choirs ever delivered by the group through verses which speak of the inexorability of time. “

Four years after the release of their last album, the English group Wolf Alice returns without too much noise with an impeccable production “Blue Weekend”. Without a doubt, one of the most underrated works of 2021 and one that deserves to be included in the list of alternative rock and indie pop lovers, the construction of the eleven short tracks represents maturation and complete understanding. of what it means to be an artist today, with singles like “The Last Man on Earth” and “No Hard Feelings”.

“St. Vincent demonstrates that the past has a strong place in his life – subtly hinting at the styles his own father initiated him as a child, as he revealed in several interviews promoting the artwork. “Down And Out Downtown” is an elegy of empowerment, a hymn to independence and a sinister journey, in which she “flew around the Empire State, then you kissed me and I fell again”. In “Laughing Man”, she demonstrates a passionate and applauding versatility that extends both to the phrasing rhythm of the blues and to a John Cassavetes-style plot (which is even recognized in one of the verses). “Somebody Like Me”, as the performer herself explained, is a candid and intimate portrayal of the mutual illusion of love, going through the different stages of a relationship and building a deep and mutual understanding. . – Thiago Nolla

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