As 2021 comes to a close, many begin to reflect on the moments of significance from this crazy year. Live music made its way back into the norm after a year hiatus and new acts like Olivia Rodrigo and Silk Sonic joined the familiar faces, such as Adele, Kanye, Drake, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift, to create an unforgettable year of album releases.

The FOX 44 creative team decided to listen to over 50 albums released this year to bring you the ultimate ranking of the albums and most influential singles. This was a tough decision that may have sparked some playful disagreement but in the end, is all in good fun. 

If 2021 is any indication of the state of music in 2022, we think we are in for an exciting new era of sound.

Michael’s Top Album Picks

5. Tyler, The Creator: Call Me if You Get Lost

4. Kanye: Donda

3. Adele: 30 (Tie)

2. Leon Bridges: Gold-Diggers Sound

1. Silk Sonic: An Evening with Silk Sonic

Atira’s Top Picks 

5. Red (Taylor’s Version): Taylor Swift

4. Montero: Lil Nas X (tie)

3. Sour: Olivia Rodrigo

2. Planet Her: Doja Cat

1. Silk Sonic: An Evening with Silk Sonic

Most Influential Songs Released in 2021

Here is a list of what we consider to be the most influential songs of this year. Some of these we are still playing on repeat and some of these we hope not to hear again until 2031. Overall, these are the ten we think will define 2021 for years to come.

  1. Pepas- Farruko
  2. Leave the Door Open- Silk Sonic
  3. Good 4 U- Olivia Rodrigo
  4. INDUSTRY BABY (feat. Jack Harlow)- Lil Nas X
  5. Kiss Me More- Doja Cat
  6. Bad Habits- Ed Sheeran
  7. Save Your Tears (feat. Ariana Grande)- The Weeknd
  8. All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)- Taylor Swift
  9. Butter- BTS
  10. Good Days- Sza

Some songs, like Heat Waves by Glass Animals, Beggin’ by Måneskin and Essence (feat. Tems) by WizKid dominated our TikTok For You Pages, radio stations and playlists to define this year but were not technically released in 2021 so we decided we should leave them out.

Here’s to a new year of new anthems to grace our Spotify Wrapped and TikTok For You Pages from artists we’ve grown to love and have yet to meet.