Warrior’s Wrapped: Albums of the Year


Maddox Wade

A New Year’s Music Wrap-up: This year has seen new music releases from artists from all genres, each impressing their listeners.

2021 has been a monumental year for the music industry, from record-breaking debuts to long-awaited returns, history was made time and time again. Featuring a diverse collection of artists and genres, the charts satisfy the cravings of music enthusiasts everywhere, simultaneously leaving them hungry and excited for what 2022 has in store.

Headlining the end of a 40-year hiatus (apologies to the One Direction fans), ABBA boasted the biggest return of the season. The dual release of their singles “I Still Have Faith in You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down” set the stage for their ninth studio album “Voyage.” So far the album has reached the number one spot in nineteen countries and been nominated for a Grammy as Record of the Year. In competition for the Grammy is Adele’s “30.” The album signaled the star’s return to the public eye after a five-year break from the industry. She sailed to the top of the Billboard charts, where she remained for three consecutive weeks as the most sold and streamed album. Both artists are preparing for a year of sold-out shows in venues tailored just to their liking in London and Vegas (respectively). 

Among the chart toppers are several familiar faces, such as Billie Eilish, Kanye West, Dua Lipa, and Doja Cat. Among the most tenured—and controversial—of the singers lies Kanye West. In the 18 months of delays and theatrics leading up to the release of West’s “Donda,” hopes grew and anticipation skyrocketed, only to be disappointed by 27 jumbled—and somewhat spooky—tracks. The album lacked connectivity in theme and an ironically low production quality considering its extended stay in the editing booth. 

Met with all the love withheld from West were the debuts and renews. Fresh face Olivia Rodigo broke Rolling Stone records for the biggest ever debut with her album “Sour.” Led by single, “Drivers License,” the track rose to fame on the social media app TikTok following an all too public breakup with co-star Joshua Bassett. The excitement around the relationship and theories about its demise created the perfect storm for her upcoming album. Taylor Swift is trailblazing a new category in the industry: renews. After losing ownership of her songs consequent to parting ways with her former label, Swift re-recorded and released her previous albums, along with unreleased songs written for each album. “Red (Taylor’s Version)” and “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” are the first two in the series of renews. Her most anticipated song, “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” broke records as the longest song to ever reach the top stop on the Billboard Hot 100. 

2021 was a year of superlatives in the music industry. Whether novice or veteran, these artists have big things to come in the year 2022. Be on the lookout for the next big debut or return as Dubs ring in the New Year.