Top Albums of 2021: 21-30

30. SILK SONIC- AN EVENING WITH SILK SONIC

A fun collaboration between pop superstar Bruno Mars and multi-instrumentalist and genre jumping Anderson .Paak. It’s a throwback to seventies soul replete with all of the touchstones of the era, even including Bootsy Collins spoken word intros. It’s sure to dominate radio for years and can be enjoyed by everyone from your kids to your grandma.

Best tracks- Skate; Put A Smile On Me

29. POM POM SQUAD- DEATH OF A CHEERLEADER

Great debut album from Brooklyn four piece indie rock band who subvert female stereotypes, pulling inspiration from Riot Grrrrl punk, Motown and 60’s girl groups.

Best tracks- Drunk Voicemail, Head Cheerleader

28. GOJIRA- FORTITUDE

Seventh album by French Prog-Metal band Gojira, is their first since 2016’s amazing “Magma”. A thinking man’s metal band, Gojira tackle environmental and societal issues while pummeling your ear drums.

Key Tracks- Amazonia; New Found

27. SQUID- BRIGHT GREEN FIELD

Debut album by buzz-worthy Brit band Squid, may be my favorite of their scene this year. Each of these London bands bring their own unique take on post-punk and are able to carve out their own niche. Squid add both eighties new wave and seventies krautrock to give them both a slightly more accessible yet other times droopier sound than their counterparts. Four of the albums eleven tracks are over six minutes.

Best tracks- Narrator; G.S.K.

26. ILLUMINATI HOTTIES- LET ME DO ONE MORE

Official debut album by L.A. based indie band fronted by studio engineer Sarah Tudzin. Released after a series of buzz worthy mixtapes. “LMDOM” is a blast from start to finish, especially singles like “Pool Hopping” and “MMMOOOAAAAYAYA”

Best tracks- Pool Hopping; MMMOOOAAAAYAYA

25. INDIGO DE SOUZA- ANY SHAPE YOU WANT IT

Second album by Asheville, NC based indie singer-songwriter is a fun, catchy throwback to nineties grunge-pop like the Breeders, Veruca Salt & Belly, which features absolute standout single “Hold U”.

Best tracks- Hold U; Kill Me

24. KACEY MUSGRAVES- STAR-CROSSED

Unfairly compared to its career peak predecessor, 2018’s “Golden Hour”, “Star-Crossed” may have been slightly disappointing at first but gets better with each listen. Kacey, who started out in Country, has become one of our modern era’s best singer-songwriters and now writes mostly in the pop realm and is only somewhat Country-adjacent. Here she chronicles her recent marriage from its exciting beginnings to disappointing divorce.

Best tracks- Bread Winner; Good Wife

23. FAYE WEBSTER- I KNOW I’M FUNY HAHA

Fourth album by Atlanta indie-folk singer, Webster only reached my radar with 2019’s “Atlanta Millionaire’s Club”. She is s funny, unique and provocative writer backed by a killer band well versed in country stylings. The first half of the album is note perfect with only a slight dip in quality in the second half.

Best Tracks- Better Distractions; Sometimes

22. CHVRCHES- SCREEN VIOLENCE

Fourth album by Scottish synth-pop trio is at least their best outing since their 2013 debut, even as they’ve grown past their biggest era of fame and sales they continue to make very high quality music.

Best tracks- How Not To Drown; Good Girls

21. SNAIL MAIL- VALENTINE

Follow up album to critically acclaimed 2018 debut “Lush” by DC area based singer songwriter who has only in her teen years during the release of “Lush”. “Valentine” may be only a slight step down for her but highlights like the title track and “Glory” are as good as her best songs. And she continues to rip on guitar giving more nods to nineties indie rock.

Best tracks- Valentine; Glory

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