What were the best albums of 2021?

Tiffany Kye

2021 was a year of growth: recovery from the peaks of the pandemic, and adjustment to normal and newer ways of life. This growth was expressed through a multitude of outlets, including art, scientific discoveries, and music. With many music albums of various genres being released last year, Ayala students share their opinions on the best albums of 2021.

“I think the best album of 2021 was Sour by Olivia Rodrigo,” said senior Ethan Musni. “Every song on the album is catchy, and three of the songs hit #1 on Billboard. The album itself was also #1 on Billboard for quite a long time.” 

Rodrigo is a prime example of growth, soaring to success with her debut album that led to her nomination for four Grammy awards. However, 2021 was not only a year of growth for newer artists, but also for experienced artists in the music industry. 

“I think Donda by Kanye West was the best album of 2021,” said senior Caleb Hong. “This album was unique in the way that different pieces of the album were released at different times, and the style of Donda really reflects Kanye and his personality. For example, the intro of the album is simply a chant of its name.” 

Hong’s favorite song on the Donda album is Remote Control – he appreciates its musical appeal, unqiue beat, and relatable lyrics. In fact, Hong claims that Donda is Kanye’s best album so far, beating his previous albums such as Graduation and The Life of Pablo. Due to its catchy rhythms and meaningful lyrics, hip-hop and rap seem to be popular genres amongst students at Ayala. 

“My favorite 2021 album was Call Me If You Get Lost by Tyler, the Creator because it was very versatile, featuring a variety of styles and rhythms in each song,” said senior Camille Reyes, “WUSYANAME is my favorite song on this album because it has a bright and catchy melody that reminds me of happy times.”

How exactly do these albums and artists rise to popularity – words from friends, trends on social media, or pre-existing knowledge about the artist?

“I heard about the release of Call Me If You Get Lost because my sister told me about Tyler’s new album, and I also keep up with Tyler in general,” said Reyes.

Pre-existing support for the artist seems to be a major factor for fans’ recognition of new albums. “I’ve always liked Olivia Rodrigo, even before the album, because I had a crush on her from a TV show,” said Musni.