‘Tis that time of year again. The time when I present my favourite new albums of the year for general scrutiny and perusal. And, just like last year, there are 45 of them. Forty-five: the number of rpm of the old seven-inch singles that started my love of music a very long time ago. Looking through this list now that I’ve compiled it all, I realise that I must have spent much of 2021 listening to albums of tasteful American acoustic guitar instrumentals. This wasn’t a conscious choice; it just happened.
Sometime before the end of December I’ll post my list of Favourite Reissues and Archival Recordings of the year, but, as I say, we start with the new albums of 2021. It’s been an okay but not great year for new albums, I think. There’s been an abundance of albums that I’ve enjoyed well enough, but not one record that has really stood out as being brilliant, making me want to shout from the rooftops. I’m sure I WILL eventually find a 2021 album that blows my mind … but I won’t discover it until about 2023 or later.
I hope you find an unfamiliar album or two here that you enjoy investigating. As ever, the chart is presented in reverse order, to create a tangible air of excitement and intrigue as we count down. We start with the first third of the chart: numbers 45 to 31. Eyes down for a full house; we begin about 520 years ago…