NPR listeners choose the best albums of 2021: All songs considered: NPR

Clockwise from top left corner: Japanese Breakfast, Lil Nas X, Olivia Rodrigo, Little Simz, Lucy Dacus

Courtesy of the artists


hide caption

toggle legend

Courtesy of the artists

After nearly two years of a pandemic, with lives still disrupted, listeners in 2021 turned to music that was largely about persevering through hard times, or songs that celebrated the joy of living even in the peak hours. darker of life. You see it all over the list of albums that NPR audiences have chosen as favorites.

Jubilee, from Japanese Breakfast, topped our online poll, with deeply personal thoughts on loss, grief and recovery. that of Adele 30, who also deals with lost love and loneliness, arrived at No.2, starring Olivia Rodrigo Sour, Lil Nas X’s Montero, and the Lucy Dacus album Home video completing the first five. These albums, and many others on this list, are often beautiful, sometimes loud, and all poignant reminders of human resilience, the fragility of life, and the wonder of being able to experience it.

You can hear us count the top 20 albums with the listen link at the top of the page and read the list below. We’ve also included an extensive playlist with songs from the top 70 albums selected in the listeners survey.

Top 20 Listener Choices:

  1. Japanese breakfast – Jubilee
  2. Adele – 30
  3. Olivia Rodrigo – Sour
  4. Lil Nas X – Montero
  5. Lucy Dacus – Home video
  6. Tyler the Creator – Call me if you get lost
  7. Taylor Swift – Red (Taylor version)
  8. Sonic Silk – An evening with Silk Sonic
  9. Postal mail – Valentine
  10. Brandi Carlile – In these days of silence
  11. The war on drugs – I don’t live here anymore
  12. Little Simz – Sometimes I could be introverted
  13. Billie Eilish – Happier than ever
  14. Julien Boulanger – Little oversights
  15. MEUGLER – Hey what
  16. Chvrches – Screen violence
  17. Arlo Parks – collapsed in the rays of the sun
  18. Saint-Vincent – daddy’s house
  19. Kacey Musgraves – Cross star
  20. Lorde – Solar energy