The Best Albums of 2021? Let’s Discuss.

Our critics spar over their year-end lists (and agree on Olivia Rodrigo and Tyler, the Creator) in a wrap-up of the year in LPs.

#audio-neutral-informative, #black-midi-music-group, #bomba-estereo-music-group, #del-rey-lana, #folk-music, #moctar-mdou, #moneybagg-yo-1991, #playboi-carti-rapper, #pop-and-rock-music, #rap-and-hip-hop, #rodrigo-olivia-2003, #snail-mail-music-group, #two-thousand-twenty-one, #tyler-the-creator

Best Songs of 2021

Sixty-six tracks that tell the story of the year: a posthumous political statement, a hyperpop star finding his footing, an emerging force’s debut smash and a superstar’s 10-minute redo.

#adele-singer, #arts-year-in-review-2021, #barnett-courtney-1988, #bieber-justin, #bridges-leon-1989, #c-tangana-1990, #camilo-singer, #cardi-b-1992, #carll-hayes, #dacus-lucy-1995, #del-rey-lana, #drake-rapper, #drexler-jorge, #felice-brothers, #fivio-foreign-1996, #glaive-singer, #half-waif-music-group, #harding-aldous, #howard-charlton-the-kid-laroi, #irreversible-entanglements-music-group, #james-loraine, #jlin-musician, #kasai-allstars-music-group, #lil-baby-rapper, #lil-nas-x-rapper, #linda-lindas-music-group, #lizzo-1988, #low-music-group, #montero-call-me-by-your-name-song, #musgraves-kacey, #patria-y-vida-song, #poarch-bella, #polachek-caroline, #pop-and-rock-music, #prince-1958, #rap-and-hip-hop, #richard-dawn-1983, #rodrigo-olivia-2003, #rostam-1983, #silk-sonic-music-group, #smith-abbey-yebba, #snail-mail-music-group, #spotemgottem-rapper, #swift-taylor, #sza-singer, #teddy-afro-1976, #tems-1995, #two-thousand-twenty-one, #tyler-the-creator, #ware-jessie, #wave-rod-1999, #weather-station-music-group, #yendry-singer, #youngboy-never-broke-again-rapper

Best Albums of 2021

Less isolation didn’t mean a return to normalcy. Albums with big feelings and room for catharsis made the most powerful connections.

#adele-singer, #aftab-arooj, #alejandro-rauw, #arts-year-in-review-2021, #baker-julien-1995, #benny-the-butcher-rapper, #bitchin-bajas-music-group, #black-midi-music-group, #blues-music, #bomba-estereo-music-group, #conway-the-machine-rapper, #cortez-jhay-singer, #dacus-lucy-1995, #del-rey-lana, #dlamini-amala-zandile-doja-cat, #dry-cleaning-music-group, #eilish-billie, #floating-points-music-group, #folk-music, #guyton-mickey, #illuminati-hotties-sarah-tudzin, #jazz, #kidd-g, #laferte-mon, #low-music-group, #moctar-mdou, #moneybagg-yo-1991, #moriondo-chloe, #mustafa-1996, #pearce-carly-1990, #pinkpantheress, #pop-and-rock-music, #rap-and-hip-hop, #rodrigo-olivia-2003, #russell-allison-singer, #sanders-pharoah, #snail-mail-music-group, #spalding-esperanza, #two-thousand-twenty-one, #tyler-the-creator, #walker-summer-singer, #weather-station-music-group, #west-kanye, #wise-josiah-serpentwithfeet, #wolf-remi

Snail Mail Turns a Bleeding Heart Into a Spectacular Album

On her second LP, “Valentine,” the singer and guitarist Lindsey Jordan delivers direct lyrics and wrenching melodies in the service of vivid emotional truths.

#jordan-lindsey-singer, #pop-and-rock-music, #snail-mail-music-group, #valentine-album