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Feature: The 40 Best Albums of 2021

The time has come for me to spend a frankly absurd amount of time agonising about not only which albums are worthy of TWP’s acclaim, but exactly where in the table of acclaim said albums should lie. It’s been a hand-wringingly tense experience, but we are finally here. Thank fuck for that.

Of course, the enormous elephant in the room is Traumprinz, or DJ Irini to be more specific. A couple of months back the anonymous producer posted a 3 hour set comprising brand new material on the Planet Uterus Soundcloud. Not quite a mix, definitely not a full album, it doesn’t really qualify for this list. And literally as I was writing this up today they posted another four separate sets of music that so far is amongst the most extraordinary stuff I’ve heard in this or any other year. Sufficed to say, if there had been anything approaching a proper ‘album’ from all these various drops, it would have almost certainly topped this list.

Regardless, once again it’s been yet another incredible year for music, and more specifically the album: a year of highs and lows; of huge artists underdelivering; of previously unknown artists completely blowing me away. Music continues to give me more joy than pretty much anything in my life, and I am continually grateful for its constant presence.

Here, then, are TPW’s picks for the very best albums of 2021.