Audience Picks: Best Songs, Albums and Artists of 2021

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I asked you all about your thoughts on the music of 2021 and you delivered! We had over 30 responses to these questions and a VERY wide variety of answers, so much so that we really only get a top 1 or 2 for some categories because everybody’s was different. I didn’t know a decent amount of these answers and I’m still checking some out, but take a look and look up some of this music yourself, you may find your favorite artist of 2022 on the list! Without further ado, here are your picks. And of course, thank you so much to everyone who responded and shared, I have a blast doing this every year and you guys make it even more fun. Appreciate it!

[If you would like to listen to my more-unedited thoughts, listen to the radio show I did on Spotify where I cover your picks, my picks, and more!]

Top Songs of 2021: Audience Picks

“Are You With That” – Vince Staples

“Better Days” – NEIKED, Mae Muller, Polo G

“Cloudy Day” – Tones & I

“Come to Life” – Kanye West

“Dancing on My Own (Tiesto Remix)” – Calum Scott

“Demeanor “- Pop Smoke & Dua Lipa

“Doomsday” – Lizzie McAlpine

“Driver’s License” – Olivia Rodrigo

“Family Ties” – Baby Keem (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

“Feathered Indians” – Tyler Childers

“Futureproof” – Nothing But Thieves

“Gang Signs” – Freddie Gibbs (feat. Schoolboy Q)

“Good 4 U” – Olivia Rodrigo

“Good Days” – SZA

“Happier Than Ever” – Billie Eilish

“Hell of a View” – Eric Church

“Industry Baby” – Lil Nas X (feat. Jack Harlow)

“Mafia” – Travis Scott

“Montero” – Lil Nas X

“Recap” – Kito with Van Jess & Channel Tres

“So What” – Louis the Child

“Stoned at the Nail Salon” – Lorde

“Think About Me” – Jxdn

“Way 2 Sexy” – Drake (feat. Future & Young Thug)

“What It Takes” – Village 11

2. “Breathe Deeper (Remix)” – Tame Impala (feat. Lil Yachty) (2 Votes)

1. “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” – Taylor Swift (4 Votes)

Top Albums of 2021: Audience Picks

By & By – Caamp

Forge Your Future – Spirit Adrift

Heart and Soul – Eric Church

Juno – Remi Wolf

Justice – Justin Bieber

Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine – BROCKHAMPTON

Sling -Clairo

Sob Rock – John Mayer

4.

An Evening with Silk Sonic -Silk Sonic (2 Votes)

Sour – Olivia Rodrigo (2 Votes)

Dangerous – Morgan Wallen (2 Votes)

3.

Call Me If You Get Lost -Tyler, the Creator (3 Votes)

Donda – Kanye West (3 Votes)

2. 30 – Adele (4 Votes)

1. Red (Taylor’s Version) – Taylor Swift (5 Votes)

Favorite Artists of 2021: Audience Picks

Amine

Baby Keem

Eric Church

Greta Van Fleet

Justin Bieber

Khruangbin

Mac Miller

Phoebe Bridgers

Ripe (the Band)

Silk Sonic

Smino

Surfaces

Sza

The Strokes

Travis Scott

Tyler, the Creator

Village 11

Why Don’t We

2. Taylor Swift (4 Votes)

1. Olivia Rodrigo (7 Votes)

Least Favorite Songs of 2021: Audience Picks

Any Billie Eilish

Any Ed Sheeran

Any BTS

Kanye’s New Album

That Terrible Post Malone Song (Music Video was like a nascar race or something? AWFUL)

“Bad Habits” – Ed Sheeran

“Butter” – BTS

“Dynamite” – BTS

“Industry Baby” – Lil Nas X (feat. Jack Harlow)

“Leave Before You Love Me” – Jonas Brothers

“Lil Bit” – Florida Georgia Line (feat. Nelly)

“Meet Me At Our Spot” – WILLOW, The ANXIETY, Tyler Cole

“Obsessed” – Addison Rae

“Peaches” – Justin Bieber

“Stay” – Kid Laroi

“Way 2 Sexy” – Drake (feat. Young Thug & Future)

2. Astronaut in the Ocean – Masked Wolf (2 Votes)

1.

Good 4 U – Olivia Rodrigo (3 Votes)

All Too Well (10 Minute Version) – Taylor Swift (3 Votes)

Some Thoughts from the Audience on the State of Music in 2021

honestly – a strong year for sad pop/alt pop girlies”, I agree Kevin. Between Red (Taylor’s Version), Sour from Olivia Rodrigo, and Sling from Clairo there was a lot of alt pop out there filled with sadness and angst. All that leftover from 2020 led to some heaters in 2021 though.

I listened to a bunch of pop and 60s pop/rock to try and feel happiness and it only somewhat worked lol” – Feel this Siri haha, 2020 I was a deep into pop music classics and then this year I was diving into some 60s folk and rock and even country. Something about going back to when there weren’t phones and, ya know, a global pandemic, was nice.

UK grime is great” – A simple, yet poignant message Claire. I went through a big UK grime phase at the beginning of this year when I was really trying to get motivated to have a good year and I’d just listen to that hard stuff and feel like a boss….that motivation went away quick though and so did my phase lol.

I also loved the Morgan Wallen album, sad he’s racist :/” yeah people kinda seem to forget he said the “N Word” like less than a year ago. That happened in 2021. It’s weird I feel like any other person in any other job would’ve had their life fall apart but since he’s a pop country artist people were like “yeah it’s…it’s not a huge surprise”. Idk. I didn’t listen to his stuff before and I’m not going to now for sure. It’s not to say I don’t think he can learn and grow from this but to see him barely lose a step and still dominating country music feels…weird?

I wish we got more Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak!” – YES Nick. It is absurd that they didn’t do everything in their power to get at least 10 songs on that album and release it in the summer. Having that kind of album drop in mid November is a travesty. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it more once things heat up but haven’t really been able to enjoy the album given the weather and timing.

Everyone agrees that Taylor Swift is still running the music industry even after over a decade of dominance, that’s undeniable.

Lots of people waiting for big artists to drop. I totally agree I was hoping this year would be the return for big names like Kendrick, Rihanna, or Frank Ocean, however we did get albums from people who hadn’t put out projects in a while like Kanye, Drake, Tyler, Adele, J.Cole and Kacey Musgraves. Not all of which lived up to the hype, but they did drop.

There was a lot of love for Olivia Rodrigo and rightfully so. I think Sour was a really strong debut album for her with some obvious absolute hits. I really liked a lot of the singles and the album was cohesive and showed off her songwriting ability. Really excited to see what she does as she matures and finds her way to her own unique style of music, she’s gonna be huge.

That sums it up! Thanks again for submitting and listening to my thoughts and giving me yours. Already found some new stuff I like thanks to you and your thoughts and submissions made the content much more enjoyable. See ya in 2022!

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