Unlike this past year, we’re going to keep the year-end lists short and sweet. Nothing here should surprise long-time readers of the blog, nor do I expect anyone to see anything that hasn’t appeared on thirty other, much better, lists. Curating these lists was tough, as much that this year had to offer was good, but a lot less was excellent. That doesn’t mean it was all bad, but it was harder to find albums and singles that really impressed and stayed with me — some categories have been fleshed out with work that wouldn’t have made an Honorable Mentions list in previous years.
We’ve got all eight categories this year, including the return of hard rock/metal, which was absent last year. Each category features ten of my favorite albums, followed by five Honorable Mentions where available. The complete list, posting schedule, and further information are as follows (note: this list will be updated with links as the posts go live):
(12/27) Top ten 2020-misses: Any album, in any genre, released in 2020 that I didn’t hear until this year.
(12/28) Top ten most disappointing: Any album, in any genre, that failed to meet expectations.
(12/29) Top ten remasters/reissues: Any remastered or reissued album from anywhere in the world, whether CD, vinyl, box set, etc.
(12/30) Top ten debut albums: Any artist who released an original studio album, or comparable EP, for the first time in 2021 from anywhere in the world.
(12/31) Top ten original soundtracks/original scores: Any original soundtrack or score composed exclusively for film, television, or video game from anywhere in the world.
(01/01) Top ten hard rock/metal: Any hard rock or metal album released by an English-speaking and/or Western band/artist.
(01/02) Top ten pop/electronic: Any pop or electronic album released by an English-speaking and/or Western band/artist.
(01/03) Top ten East Asian pop/rock: Any pop or rock album released in East Asia (especially Japan and South Korea).
Once again, these lists are not meant to be exhaustive, nor absolute: they are simply a reflection of the genres I listened to the most in 2021. In addition, a lot of great songs that never appeared on albums, or that were featured on just-okay ones were released, and I won’t be getting the chance to highlight them in this year’s lists.
Thank you to everyone who continues to visit this tiny corner of the Internet. I appreciate you all sticking with me immensely. I can’t wait to start looking back with you all, and wish everyone the best in what will hopefully be better times for all of us.