Music Review

My 21 Favorite Albums of 2021

It’s the second time I’m doing this list and, like 2021, this list is all over the place.

There are so many similarities to 2020. Like 2020, I ended up listening to more groups I didn’t expect to. I found a few new soloists, I’m excited to hear more music from them in 2022. Idk if it’s the panorama changing my perspective. Or maybe I’m not as much of an old lady when it comes to the 4th gen groups as I thought I was. So, like last year, I want to first do a shout-out to my favorite songs of 2021 that weren’t included on this album list:

GEMINI, CAMO, & WOODZ – MIA

NCT 127 – Favorite, Pilot, & Love On The Floor

A.C.E – CACTUS (Remix ver.) & Down (Kor. ver)

VICTON – What I Said

T1419 – ASURABALBALTA

DRIPPIN – Young Blood

VERIVERY – Get Away

Punch & Real.be – I’m Jealous

The Boyz – Hush

Jinyoung (Got7) – Dive

EPEX – No Questions & Sling Shot

Demian & Dawn – LOVE%

AB6IX – CLOSE

Park Jihoon & Lee Hi – Call U Up

DKB – All In & Rollercoaster

WOODZ – Sun or Suck

So many bops ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿพ

Alright, let’s get started with the list! I have this in the order of least to most listened to. But I’ll explain in more detail as we go along. Also, it was kind of difficult to find 21 albums I loved, so next year I’ll probably stick to 20. If I find extras, then I’ll have them in honorable mentions or something. That’s a 2022 Ashliegh problem.


21.) SHINee – Don’t Call Me – The 7th Album

I forgot this album/title track came out in February. I definitely stopped listening to it by March. Idk it was different but the same at the same time. What I mean is I expect SHINee to experiment with their sound. But I still expect some R&B and dance elements that some of SHINee’s catchiest songs have, to still be present. This album was a bit disjointed and other than on shuffle, I wasn’t actively looking for this one.

20.)CIX – CIX 4th EP ALBUM ‘HELLO’ CHAPTER 0. Hello, Strange Dream

This is another album I listened to a few times after initial release and the forgot about it as the year went on. I definitely enjoy it more than their full length album they released later. But yeah, if Spotify isn’t suggesting it, it’s easy for me to forget it.

19.) MIRAE – Splash

It’s so funny. I had a complete change of heart on Mirae and their first two albums. On the initial release of Splash, if you told me this album would be on my faves list of 2021, I’d laugh. This is just another example of 2021. Expect the unexpected.

18.) Wheein – Redd

Now I really love this song and album. This one kinda fell through the cracks though. I listened to my fave playlist much more this year. If I had listened to my K-R&B playlist more, this and another entry on here would have ranked much higher. I was a bit more conservative this year when it came to only listening to my go tos and the new songs that I couldn’t stop listening to. Which would then of course go on the faves playlist.

17.) Yukika – timeabout

So Miss Yukika is a mix of me initially listening to her album a ton when it first came out and then it just not popping up later on in the year unless I had my entire library on shuffle. Another flawless album. I’m just lazy.

16.) Hoody – D-Day

And same story for Miss Hoody. I know I’ll be listening to this album a ton in 2022. I still listen to Departure frequently, and that came out in 2019. I hope she releases another full length album in 2022.

15.) Park Jihoon – Hot&Cold

This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see Jihoon on here. It was very busy this year and continued to slay musically. I want a full length album next year, sir!

14.) Park Jihoon – My Gallery

Lolololol remember how I said I had a hard time filling this list? There were soooo many artists and groups I wanted to put on this list, but they didn’t have more than three or four songs on their albums I loved. And if an album has like 10 songs, 3 or 4 isn’t enough to declare it a fave, sorry. So Jihoon fills two spots. Just like two other groups on here. It was difficult though to decide on which album I enjoyed more.

13.) BDC – THE INTERSECTION: CONTACT

I’m still very obsessed with “Moonlight” and BDC. I don’t listen to them as much as I did in the first half of the year, but I still have a ton of love for them. Can’t wait for new music in 2022.

12.) OnlyOneOf – Produced by [myself]

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to stop sleeping on ooo in 2022. I fooking love this group. All of their music slaps and the members crack me up. So why do I keep kicking the can down the road on watching more of their videos and learning even more about them? Luv, that don’t make no sense. Anyway, “?(questiOn mark)” is my fave off this mini…single(?) album. I almost put Instinct Pt.1 on here too. But Jihoon’s albums had more songs that I liked on them. 3/4 on Instinct, versus 5/6 on HOT&COLD and 5/6 on My Collection. So yeah. I think this could have also been higher up if I paid more attention to ooo this year.

11.) AB6IX – MO’COMPLETE

I used to listen to this album a lot, and then I stopped. So now I forgot what my favorite song off this thing was, lol. But I do love “DOWN FOR YOU” so I included it here.

10.) Stray Kids – Christmas Evel

I’m obsessed with this song and album. I think I forgot to mention it in my November faves because it was released on the second to last day of the month. Plus, I was waiting for SubK to ship my album and time just had me fooked up. I’m going to do a full album review next year. But just know I love this song and group and I can’t believe I became a Stay in 2021. What’s next? I become a Treasure stan in 22′?

9.) ATEEZ – ZERO : FEVER Pt.3

My opinion on this song and album really hasn’t changed since initial release. Every time it pops up on shuffle, or I see someone talk about it on the interwebs I get the same rush as if it was September 13th 2021 again. “Feeling Like I Do” is still my favorite b-side. I still can’t decide if I love this or Part.1 more. Yeah…idk just because 2021 was the Stayification of Ash, doesn’t mean I fook with Ateez less. *Yixing voice* Don’t misunderstand.

8.) Stray Kids – NO EASY

Which speaking freaking ofโ€ฆ I really love this era and album. I’ve done a full review on it. I really don’t have anything new to add. Between listening to this album for a month straight along with the rest of skz music, it’s no wonder I ended up in the top 4% of their listeners this year according to Spotify, lol. Oh well, I guess I can say I’ve swerved more into Lee Knows lane, so my fave member is between him and Hyunjin. That was kinda some growth since my No Easy review…kinda. Let’s move on.

7.) Dreamcatcher [Summer Holiday]

I also don’t really have anything new to say about this album. I listened to it a ton up until about a month ago. It’s so catchy and summery. I love this slight change in Dreamcatcher’s music. I didn’t really listen to them as much this year as I did previously. I missed them.

6.) Wonho – Love Synonym #2 Right for Us

Another one of my fave songs this year by one of my fave peeps. “Devil” is still my fave song from this album. I love “Ain’t About You” still also. Wonho just did the damn thing on this one. So it’s fine that I didn’t care for Blue Letter as much. I’ve said this a lot, but not liking one or two albums (or more if they have a huge discography like Beyoncรฉ for example) from someone you love doesn’t make you less of a stan or take away from the music they’ve made that you love. This is still a Wonho stan account. Don’t worry lol.

5.) Chungha – Querencia

Can you believe this album was released this year? Feels like it was decades ago. 2021 was such a longggg year. This long awaited album was worth the wait and got me through most of the year. Miss Chungha doesn’t miss. I’m so happy she’s been continuing to thrive in 2021, and I hope to see her perform live again in 2022. Out of all the albums on this list, I HIGHLY recommend this one if you haven’t heard it yet. So many genres. Just a breath of fresh air. This is also very much a Chungha stan account still as well.

4.) Kai – Peaches

I hate to admit it, but he did it again, y’all. Kim Jongin made the top portion of my favorite albums list again. This man gets R&B and the importance of drama and aesthetics for an album. Visually, Peaches is stunning. Audibly, this album keeps the status quo. And I’m a million percent okay with that. I’ve been so impressed with both his and Baekhyun’s solo projects.

3.) ENHYPEN – DIMENSION : DILEMMA

I’ve talked a ton (I feel like) about “Go Big or Go Home” and “Tamed-Dashed” so today I wanna give more focus onto “Blockbuster”. Am I a fake Moa for not recognizing Yeonjun’s voice at the beginning? Probably, lol. I wanted a music video for this song so badly. Oh, well. I love this album so much. I don’t really listen to “Just A Little Bit” or the outro, but the rest of this album I listened to every day for about two months straight. Now I’d say I listen to it a few times a week.

2.) ENHYPEN – BORDER : CARNIVAL

Along with becoming a Stay in 2021, I really became an Engene this year too. I love love love “Fever”. One of my favorite songs of life period. I forgot/didn’t realize this album also released this year. It just feels like I’ve been listening to this album for like two years now, lol. It’s a classic. The only songs on here I don’t listen to regularly is the intro and outros. Really, this album is flawless from start to finish.

1.) Yugyeom – Point Of View: U

I said it back in June, and surprise surprise, it’s December, and I was right. Not only was Point Of View: U in my top 3 fave albums, it’s my favorite album of the year. I decided to link the band version. One, I didn’t know there was an it’s Live version he did of this song. Two, because I thought it’d be a fun change. Three, he looks amazing in this all black fit. I talked in more detail about my thoughts on this album. Nothing’s really changed other than my increased hunger for more music by him and AOMG friends. I’m still so impressed with how well this solo debut album is. I can’t wait to see Yugyeom’s growth as a soloist. I’m hoping his second album is like Kai’s. The same style but expanded on.


*Exhales* that was a difficult list to one, put to together and, two, organize. This was a very strange year, but thankfully we had more good music created to get us through the chaos. I’m gonna try this again, I hope next year is a lot better. What were some of y’alls favorite albums released this year? Let me know in the comments. Next up is 2022 wishlist. See ya next post!

Ash๐Ÿ„

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