Brett Bodner’s Top Albums of 2021

Best of 2021

Farewell 2021. While the year was yet another weird/scary one, we had the return of concerts and were given plenty of great music to power us all through the highs and lows of 2021. Turnstile dropped GLOW ON, which proved heavy guitar driven music is far from dead, Olivia Rodrigo burst onto the scene with SOUR, Weezer released two good albums in the same year with OK Human and Van Weezer, and we had the return of both Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, who both put out excellent new records.

2021 was a year where we continued to navigate our way through the pandemic, but it was also a year where I became a homeowner for the first time, got a new job and my wife and I became proud puppy parents. Throughout the many moments of joys and challenges, I was fortunate to have many great albums to guide me through. With so many great releases, it was tough to narrow the best-of list down to 30 but I did my best. As we turn the page onto what I hope is a better 2022 for everyone, here are my top 30 albums of 2021: 

  1. Turnstile – GLOW ON
  2. Olivia Rodrigo – Sour
  3. Modest Mouse – The Golden Casket
  4. Origami Angel – GAMI GANG
  5. Weezer – OK Human
  6. Wild Pink – A Billion Little Lights
  7. Foxing – Draw Down the Moon
  8. Lucy Dacus – Home Video
  9. Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever
  10. Weezer – Van Weezer
  11. Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God
  12. Dave Hause – Blood Harmony
  13. Rise Against – Nowhere Generation
  14. Halsey – If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power
  15. Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
  16. Taylor Swift – Red (Taylor’s Version)
  17. The War On Drugs – I Don’t Live Here Anymore
  18. The Killers – Pressure Machine 
  19. Julien Baker – Little Oblivions
  20. The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – Illusory Walls 
  21. Drake – Certified Lover Boy
  22. Limp Bizkit – Still Sucks
  23. Kali Masi – [laughs]
  24. Tigers Jaw – I Won’t Care How You Remember Me
  25. Thrice – Horizons/East
  26. Cloud Nothings – The Shadow I Remember
  27. Angels and Airwaves – Lifeforms
  28. The Hold Steady – Open Door Policy
  29. Beartooth – Below
  30. Wage War – Manic