The year 2021 was a whirlwind due to Covid-19, the death of the rapper DMX, the 2 new viruses, coming back to school, and more chaotic events. One of the things that got us through 2020 and 2021 is music. We were introduced to new artists, new albums, new songs, and genres we have never heard of. During social distancing, a lot of us listened to songs and artists we never thought we would ever listen to. These are some of the albums that helped us through the pandemic.
One of the top albums that went viral worldwide was ‘Sour ‘ by Olivia Rodrigo. Olivia is 18, and was an American actress, and now a songwriter. A large number of people know of Olivia from her past acting role as Paige Olvera on the Disney Channel series Bizaardvark and Nini Salazar-Roberts on the Disney+ mock documentary series HSMTMTS (High School Musical: The Musical: The Series). Everyone knew that Olivia could sing but no one knew she was an outstanding songwriter. In HSMTMTS the first season Olivia wrote a song called ‘All I Want, and after the episode, Olivia came forward and said she created the song. A few people didn’t believe that she wrote it because no one thought an 18-year-old could write a song with so much emotion.
One word to describe Olivia’s album is a rollercoaster, or, an emotional rollercoaster to be exact. The album writers are Olivia (of course,) and her producer Dan Nigro. Olivia‘s songs that were in “Sour” are “Brutal”, ‘Drivers License”, “deja vu”, ‘enough for you, ‘Good 4 U ’, ‘jealousy, jealousy’, ‘hope ur ok’, ‘traitor ’, ‘1 step forward, 3 steps back ’, ‘happier’ and lastly ‘favorite crime’. The album was released on May 21, 2021. The first song to be released on January 8 2021 was driver license. She broke the internet with that amazing song, even SNL ( Saturday Night Live) used the song in a skit, and the song was all over social media. Driver license was even a Grammy nomination. That song gave people a taste of Olivia’s talent, and celebrities like Cardi B, Kim Kardashian, and a large number of other celebrities were blown away by her talent. Then she released deja vu on April 1, 2021, and Good 4 U on May 14, 2021.
In one of Olivia’s interviews, she mentioned that Taylor Swift was a big inspiration to her. Taylor Swift even helped co-write one of Olivia’s ‘Sour’ album songs. Not only was the album listened to around the world but there were conspiracy theories on why it was made. People believe it was because she had a recent Olivia breakup from co-star Joshua Bassett from High school the musical the musical the series which is not true. The idea that created ‘1 step forward, 3 steps back’ was a text message that was sent to her and she never heard that saying before so it just stuck with her. The song ‘brutal’ represents her teenage years but I feel as if it represents everyone’s teenage and pre-teen years. Also the song ‘hope ur ok‘ is very personal to Olivia. There are a lot of inspirations that made ‘Sour’ what it is today.
Not only was this album made by a talented young woman but she created it during the pandemic and she had to record this marvelous feat in isolation with her producer. Their hard work led to a lot of nominations and awards. The album can create a lot of emotions but not only the album so can one song. Every single one of Olivia’s songs is relatable, even people that ever felt a heartbreak somewhat know what it feels because we experienced it through her eyes. That’s what makes ‘Soul‘ and Olivia’s talent so powerful. So Olivia isn’t just an actress or a singer but an astounding songwriter.
The second top-of-charts album is ‘Call Me If You Get Lost ‘ by Tyler, the Creator . Tyler is one of the most creative people in our generation. One of his creations is the album ‘Call Me If You Get Lost’ is the sixth studio album that was made and produced by Tyler. Tyler’s fan base would describe his music to be immaculate, show-stopping, and most would say amazing ( Dodson students opinions ). The album was released on June 25, 2021, through Columbia Records. The songs on ‘Call Me If You Get Lost‘ include ‘SIR BAUDELAIRE‘, ‘CORSO’, ‘LEMONHEAD’, ‘WUSYSANAME’, ‘LUMBERJACK’, ‘HOT WIND BLOWS’, ‘MASSA’, ‘RUNITUP’, ‘MANIFESTO’, ‘SWEET / I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE’, ‘MOMMA TALK ‘,’ RISE! ‘, ‘BLESSED’, ‘JUGGERNAUT ’, ‘ WILSHIRE’ and finally ‘ SAFARI’.
The first song to be released from the album was ‘SIR BAUDELAIRE’. It was released one day before the album came out altogether. The song SIR BAUDELAIRE is about Tyler catching us up on where he has been. Then we transition to track 2, CORSO which is about his success, and towards the end of the song he talks about a love triangle with the woman he loves. Then it comes to your understanding that she chose the other man over Tyler, which left Tyler devastated, and now he is trying to use material possessions to numb his pain but it’s not working. Next is the song ‘WUSYANAME’ which ft YoungBoy Never Broke Again and Ty Dolla Sign. Tyler talked about how he met a girl at a bakery and she would be the first girl that would leave him yet again. In the song, he dreamed about what they would do together. Then YoungBoy Never Broke Again comes in and stays his verse, their audience would have never expected this collaboration. In the ‘WUSYANAME’ music video, the girl isn’t acknowledging him, which left people with the opinion that it was Tyler’s fantasy and that it was Tyler’s friend’s girlfriend. Tyler the Creator’s new album is focused on a failed relationship, heartbreak, and fame.
An addition to the group is the one and only Adele. Adele is known for being a powerhouse, she is also one of the best-selling artists. She has won Grammy awards and more major music awards. This year Adele made one of the best comebacks ever in the music industry. She gave her fans what they wanted for years and that’s to listen to her stunning voice. She released the album on November 18 2021 People saw a new side to Adele on her new album ‘30’. People got a classic feel to the album, especially to the song ‘Strangers By Nature’.
Next is ‘ Easy on Me’. ‘In an interview, Adele stated that the song is about her divorce from her ex-husband Simon Konecki, it was the first song to be released. The songs that include the album are Adele’s third track ‘ My Little Love ‘which is about her divorce. The song also includes recordings of her talking to her 9-year-old son about her divorce and her feelings about it. Adele is showing a vulnerable side to her. The song is very emotional, all those emotions move into the fourth track which is ‘Cry Your Heart Out ‘. This song is a great song to listen to after ‘ My Little Love’. I say this because the song is one of my comfort songs. Also, it tells you what to do after your heart has been shattered and how you will probably feel. The lyrics are‘’ Cry your heart out, it’ll clean your face, when you’re in doubt, go at your own pace ‘’. This is a great song to listen to after a heartbreak.
The upcoming song ‘Oh My God’ is a song people thought Adele would never do because it’s different from what she would ordinarily do. The song is more upbeat than her past songs. The upcoming song ‘Can I Get It’ shows us a glimpse of what she went through with her breakup. There are six more heartbreaking and heart-healing songs in that album. You can tell when Adele made the album she was heartbroken and feeling major emotions that’s what makes the album indomitable. The album is now the best-selling album of 2021, this goal was achieved in just 3 days.
Another top of the chart is Billie Eilish’s second studio album ‘Happier than Ever’. The seven-time Grammy award-winning album was top of the charts for at least three weeks and maybe more. Billie and her older brother Finneas wrote the album. Finneas also produced the album and it was recorded in his studio. In the ‘Happier than Ever’ album, Billie showed us a different side to her. Billie made her fans so proud when she went out of her comfort zone when it comes to fashion and music.
The songs that are her album are ‘Getting Older’,’ I Didn’t Change My Number’, ’Billie Bossa Nova’,’ my future’,’ Oxytocin’,’ GOLDWING’,’ Lost Cause’, ‘Halley’s Comet’, ‘Not My Responsibility, ‘OverHeated’, ‘Everybody Dies’, ‘Your Power’,’ NDA’, ‘Therefore I Am’,‘ Happier Than Ever, and to end the album ‘Male Fantasy’. The most listened-to song is of course ‘Happier Than Ever. The first album was released on July 30, 2021. The first song to be released was ‘Your Power ‘ on April 29, 2021. The song ‘Your Power’ speaks on a relationship from her perspective. Next is ‘ Billie Bossa Nova’, Bossa nova is a style of samba that was made in the late 1950s and the early 1960s in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I couldn’t help but see other people’s comments from her music video and I saw that Brazilians haven’t heard Bossa Nova songs in a long time. The song quickly began Brazilians favorite song. Following after ‘Billie Bossa Nova ‘ is ‘Halley‘s Comet‘, which is about a comet that comes back around more than her boyfriend.
Overall, these albums helped us through this hard year. Also, the majority of the albums that were at the top of the chart were made by talented women. But there are also way more albums that were made by exceptional artists. The albums that I listed are some of the most relatable albums from this year and were also the most listened to in 2021.