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[FINISHED] bestfiction's BEST OF 2021 | Albums #5-#1 (pg. 3)


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Albums #10 - #6

 

#10

 

Magdalena Bay: Mercurial World Album Review | Pitchfork

 

Magdalena Bay

Mercurial World

 

The music community really had a frenzy over this one! I obviously enjoyed this quite a lot as well, especially after repeated listens, however I’m still not head over heels with Mercurial World. I felt it was way too reverb-y for its own good and in the second half, the album just wears itself out unfortunately. Regardless, it’s still a very strong album, especially its first half. The run from Secrets to Hysterical Us is quite out of this world, I just wish some inessential cuts were left out. 
Favorite tracks: Secrets (Your Fire), You Lose!, Something for 2, Chaeri, Hysterical Us, Domino

 

#9

 

Lady Gaga: Dawn of Chromatica

 

Lady Gaga

Dawn of Chromatica

 

Alright, you all know the deal. The original Chromatica was a yet another mediocre Lady Gaga album with some potential for greatness, however the songs were just way too watered down. Dawn of Chromatica, more or less, fixes this issue. The original album doesn’t exist to me anymore. While many up and coming hyperpop acts invited on here make the project quite disjointed, at the same time they really save some of the songs. Take a look and the universally PANNED Stupid Love – Coucou Chloe , who I actually never heard about before, turned it into a sultry, almost R&B track. Ashnikko adds some sass to the otherwise corny Plastic Doll, Planningtorock turns the drab 1000 Doves into a blissful Eurodance track. Sine From Above remix is my favorite Elton John song now. The only weak points here are unfortunately the Arca remix of Rain On Me, as well as Alice and Enigma remixes. 
Favorite tracks: Stupid Love (Coucou Chloe), Free Woman (Rina Sawayama), Plastic Doll (Ashnikko), Replay (Dorian Electra), Sine From Above (Mood Killer and co.), 1000 Doves (planningtorock)
 

#8

 

Billie-Eilish-Happier-Than-Ever.jpeg

 

Billie Eilish

Happier Than Ever

 

An amazing follow up from Billie. For me this album feels at one hand as her debut but stripped of its “spooky” aesthetic but at the same time you really feel Billie’s growth. I like how most of the album deals with the troubles that her newfound fame brought her yet she doesn’t come off as tone-deaf or entitled (Not My Responsibility, NDA). At times Happier Than Ever feels a bit all over the place sonically, and it’s a bit forgettable in the middle (Halley’s Comet, Everybody Dies), however the final third of the album is a complete collapse, and obviously the title track is her best song ever.
Favorite tracks: I Didn’t Change My Number, Billie Bossa Nova, NDA, Therefore I Am, Happier Than Ever


#7

 

Sleigh Bells: Texis

 

Sleigh Bells

Texis

 

I’ve never listened to Sleigh Bells before they announced their comeback. I knew that they were super acclaimed back then with their debut record Treats and now cited as one of the very first influences on hyperpop music. I’ve listened to Treats before Texis came out and a decade after, it really clicked with me.
Texis is probably not as revolutionary as Treats was back in the day (let alone now), but I enjoyed it from start to finish. It’s so energetic, the opener SWEET75 with its “Aren't you a little too old for rock and roll?” kinda declare the mission statement for this album to prove that actually, no. The energy level never goes down from the opening track. When reviewing Treats, Pitchfork said that the vocalist Alexis Kreauss “remained calm as chaos raged around her”. Here, however, Krauss jumps right into the chaos; her vocals are very passionate on this album. My favorite track here is by far True Seekers, a slower cut that really has the “instant classic” vibes.
Favorite tracks: I’m Not Down, Knowing, Justine Go Genesis, True Seekers
 

#6

 

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Poppy

Flux

 

On Flux Poppy transforms into a true rock star and I’m so here for it! Flux is truly a fitting title for this album, because Poppy’s artistic evolution feels so natural, she’s flowing from one genre to another and does it so seamlessly. While most acts who took part in the pop rock revival (Olivia, WILLOW, to a lesser extent Billie) are reverent to 00s pop rock, Poppy dials back even further, to the 90s alternative, grunge and even shoegaze. Love the underlying theme of freedom from the abusive relationship and dealing with the trauma that is caused by it.
Favorite tracks: So Mean, On the Level, Hysteria, Bloom, As Strange As It Seems

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HTE + Flux :clap3:

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The acclaim for Happier Than Ever and Texis :jonny5: it's what they deserves!

 

I love how Poppy's music is become heavier each release and i love it :clap3: Truly this generation's of Joan Jett methinks

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HTE :clap3: 


Texis and Dawn of Flop were meh :mandown:

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flux :worship2:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Albums #5 - #1

 

#5

 

Evermore - Taylor Swift: Amazon.de: Musik-CDs & Vinyl

 

Taylor Swift

evermore

 

By looking at evermore’s cover, you could tell that this album would exist in the same sonic universe as folklore but still gonna be different. Folklore was dreamy and telling the stories of the past or from Taylor’s imagination, and the blurry black and white artworks added to that feeling. Evermore on the other hand is a brighter album, with more influences from The National (which makes sense since Jack Antonoff has basically taken a backseat here), with more uptempo moments (willow, long story short). Still, Taylor’s pen is as strong as ever, with hard-hitting champagne problems, tolerate it and marjorie. I also appreciate a more direct nod to her country nods on tracks like cowboy like me.
Favorite tracks: champagne problems, tis the damn season, tolerate it, cowboy like me, marjorie
 

#4

 

SPELLLING: The Turning Wheel Album Review | Pitchfork

 

Spellling

The Turning Wheel

 

Just like a fairy, Spellling casts her spell on the listener with The Turning Wheel. Truly an enchanting album with amazing, vibrant production and powerful vocals. Really love the mystical vibes of the second half.
Favorite tracks: Always, Boys At School, Legacy, Queen of Wands
 

#3

 

Arca Announces New Album 'KicK iii,' Shares Single “Electra Rex" - Magnetic  Magazine

 

Arca

KicK iii

 

She went off! After the first song came, I knew it would be a collapse, this is Arca at her most powerful and maximalist. It’s such a hard deconstructed club album that only Arca could deliver, she never stops delivering here. Also cool gender identity themes explored here on tracks such as Electra Rex
Favorite tracks: Bruja, Incendio, Fiera, Electra Rex, Joya
 

#2
 

Slayyyter: Troubled Paradise Album Review | Pitchfork

 

slayyyter

Troubled Paradise

 

Troubled Paradise really proves that slayyyter is more than just a Blackout era Britney tribute act and shows great understanding of what makes pop music great. It’s diverse and just so fun! I also think the concept of going through hell to heaven is quite well executed, with the album starting off with songs similar to the mixtape era slayyyter (with the highlight of this part being Throatzillaaa – “a hard Charli XCX song with cupcakKe lyrics”, as @K$Ellie has put) and then finding slayyyter going into different, exciting directions, be that house music (Butterflies...), noisy pop rock (Cowboys, Over This!) or more conventional hyperpop (Villain, Letters).


Troubled Paradise culminates with the trio of the title track, Clouds and Cowboys. The title track is very melodic, with a passionate bridge, she ate that. Clouds is a special song for me from a lyrical standpoint – it’s very very simple but it executes the idea of always being surrounded by darkness – psychologically – very well. Finally, Cowboys feels like regained confidence, with the sassy response to her ex. Loving the crunchy, Sleigh Bells-esque guitars on it, too. 


Is Troubled Paradise the most deep and conceptual album out here? No, but it’s much better than people give it credit to and I really **** with this record.
Favorite tracks: Throatzillaaa, Clouds, Cowboys, Over This!, Villain

 

and finally...

 

#1

 

St. Vincent: Daddy's Home Album Review | Pitchfork

 

St. Vincent

Daddy's Home

 

Initially Pay Your Way In Pain has caught me off guard by being so jarring and short, however as the time passed it has grown on me; the jarring became appealing and I appreciated the storytelling about going though everyday motions through gritted teeth. Then the instant classics The Melting of the Sun and Down dropped and I hopped on the Daddy’s Home hype train.


I am shook by how strong Daddy's Home is, there’s never a dull moment on this album. Dialing back to 70s was a nice aesthetic choice, Annie and Jack simply killed it. The sound is warm, lush and it’s such a joyful listen with great hooks and melodies. But what draws me to Daddy’s Home the most is its lyrical content. There are so many topics here, but they work together well, from generational trauma (Daddy’s Home) to fame and legacy (Live in the Dream, The Melting of the Sun) to simple human emotions (…At the Holiday Party).


The record peaks in its second half. First here’s Down, such a clever song about confronting an abuser (Tell me who hurt you / no, wait, I don't care to / hear an excuse why you think you can be cruel). The album is generally full of lyrics that punch hard. We may try to rationalize other’s mistreatment of us by saying “oh they must’ve been hurt too” and then go on about this circle of pain bla-bla-bla. St. Vincent doesn’t give two fucks about that. She just says: “whatever, stay the hell away from me” and it’s such a great message. The song being pure fire doesn’t hurt either. Then on a gentle, guitar driven Somebody Like Me (I was told it sounds like In Rainbows, but I cannot confirm nor deny that) St. Vincent is at her most introspective. She compares love to delusion and insanity with a bit eerie imagery. Love is all about taking a leap of faith and believing in your significant other, which might feel like a delusion; you’ll never know if it pays off. But at the same time there’s wisdom in her voice, as if she knows the answer to the questions she poses (Oh, I guess we'll see / who was the freak). The outro to the song is so blissful, it brings me inner peace, really. Finally, the main topics of generational trauma and legacy tie in on My Baby Wants A Baby. St. Vincent here observes her fear of having kids from different angles: there’s a fear to repeat her parent’s mistakes, there’s reluctance to be defined as just a mother first while being a masterful artist. She also wants to have some me time too! God, this song is just so monumental with some of the best lyrics on the entire album (What in the world, what in the world would my baby say? / "I got your eyes and your mistakes"). A perfect culmination for the album, really.


I could go on praising Daddy’s Home, but the bottom line is that it’s truly masterful stuff and throughout the year the record became of great importance to me. Therefore, I’m proud to name Daddy’s Home by AOTY 2021. 
Favorite tracks: Live In A Dream, Down, Somebody Like Me, My Baby Wants a Baby

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ahhhhh and excellent top 5 :jonny5: the top 4 were all in my top 10 as well and evermore was really close :jonny2:

Love In The Dream, Over This!, Throatzillaaa, Bruja, Incendio, Boys at School, Legacy, champagne problems and marjorie are stuns :heart2:

Fiera was easily my least fave on kick iii :mandown: HTE, Mercurial World and Flux are amazing albums as well whew

Texis is good but a bit high :keir: Dawn of Chromatica is well... :fan:

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Thanks for tuning in guys. My top 5 of the year is revealed now

 

On 1/2/2022 at 10:22 PM, Mr. Blue_Shirt said:

The acclaim for Happier Than Ever and Texis :jonny5: it's what they deserves!

 

I love how Poppy's music is become heavier each release and i love it :clap3: Truly this generation's of Joan Jett methinks

Texis is so underrated already!

Omg fhgfhghfgfhgfbg you spilled though :eli: I feel like at this point Poppy can really pull off anything but I wouldn't mind her staying a rock chick for some time

 

On 1/3/2022 at 12:33 AM, dreamofyou said:

surprised to see dawn of chromatica so high

 

HTE:clap3:

Thank you Coucou Chloe, Rina Sawayama, Dorian Electra, Lil Texas, planningtorock and many others :clap3:

 

On 1/2/2022 at 9:57 PM, Reverse Warholian said:

HTE + Flux :clap3:

 

On 1/3/2022 at 3:22 AM, Legend E said:

HTE :clap3: 


Texis and Dawn of Flop were meh :mandown:

Billie really came through!

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evermore :clap3: 

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13 hours ago, K$Ellie said:

ahhhhh and excellent top 5 :jonny5: the top 4 were all in my top 10 as well and evermore was really close :jonny2:

Love In The Dream, Over This!, Throatzillaaa, Bruja, Incendio, Boys at School, Legacy, champagne problems and marjorie are stuns :heart2:

Fiera was easily my least fave on kick iii :mandown: HTE, Mercurial World and Flux are amazing albums as well whew

Texis is good but a bit high :keir: Dawn of Chromatica is well... :fan:

Omg I loved Fiera instantly, it's like a volcano erruption in music form I fear. Goes so hard

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13 hours ago, bestfiction said:

Texis is so underrated already!

Omg fhgfhghfgfhgfbg you spilled though :eli: I feel like at this point Poppy can really pull off anything but I wouldn't mind her staying a rock chick for some time

Honestly Poppy's current music is the best she's ever created and she also very comfortable with it so it makes it very satify to listen to tbh

 

OT:

 

Evermore & KicK iii massive acclaim oh wow :clap3:

 

I haven't listen to Slayyyter new album but i've seen many acclaim from it so maybe i'll give it a try

 

I don't know why but Daddy's Home is really a dissapointing for me nn Even though most of the lyrics are great but the production itself sounds very jarring to me i don't know why. Maybe i should blame it solely to Jack Antonoff to this one lmao

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On 1/12/2022 at 12:14 PM, Mr. Blue_Shirt said:

Honestly Poppy's current music is the best she's ever created and she also very comfortable with it so it makes it very satify to listen to tbh

 

OT:

 

Evermore & KicK iii massive acclaim oh wow :clap3:

 

I haven't listen to Slayyyter new album but i've seen many acclaim from it so maybe i'll give it a try

 

I don't know why but Daddy's Home is really a dissapointing for me nn Even though most of the lyrics are great but the production itself sounds very jarring to me i don't know why. Maybe i should blame it solely to Jack Antonoff to this one lmao

yup and it shows that Poppy really knows the genres she's exploiring! 

don't expect some groundbreaking masterpiece from slayyyter but it's a really fun album for me. I'm intrigued by what she's gonna do next too

hmm maybe you're not a fan of 70s :eli: but I think PYWIP is the only jarring one, maybe title track a bit too but aside from it it's very lush methinks. when I listened to it for the first time I was like "there's not a single bad song here omg"

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Full results:

 

1. St Vincent – Daddy’s Home

2.  Slayyyter – Troubled Paradise

3. Arca – KicK iii

4. Spelling – The Turning Wheel

5. Taylor Swift - Evermore

6. Poppy – Flux

7. Sleigh Bells – Texis

8. Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever

9. Lady Gaga – Dawn of Chromatica

10. Magdalena Bay – Mercurial World

11. Lana Del Rey – Chemrtails Over The Country Club / Blue Banisters

12. Arca – kick iiiii

13. Silk Sonic – An Evening With…

14. Garbage – No Gods No Masters

15. Tinashe – 333

16. Erika De Casier – Sensational

17. Rochelle Jordan - Play with the Changes

18. Olivia Rodgrigo – Sour

19. Lil Nas X – Montero

20. Danny L Harle – Harlecore

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congrats on finishing :heart:

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:clap: cute lisst

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silk sonic, lana, taylor, billie. acclaim and success :clap3::heart2:

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