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This Was 2021 | WINNER!


supaspaz
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Can you remember the inkling of hope you felt as 2021 dawned? Amid the worst surge yet of the coronavirus pandemic, there seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel as the government launched its mass vaccination campaign. The sense that things could finally be getting better was affirmed when, all of a week into the new year, Jazmine Sullivan dropped Heaux Tales, the woman once held aloft as R&B’s next great hope emerging from half a decade in the wilderness with the confirmation of her genius that we had all been waiting for.

 

Of course, things would rapidly go south – an insurrection at the Capitol when we had barely gotten over our New Year’s Eve hangovers was followed by the resumption of mass shootings, a deadly concert hosted by one of music’s biggest names and the slow-dawning realization that this virus was just going to keep coming back again. But the music never stopped being great! January wasn’t even over when we had already found the breakout star of the year, Olivia Rodrigo, a pop supernova who exploded onto the scene with the fully-formed vision of her instantly iconic debut album, Sour.

 

Billie Eilish returned in the summer with Happier Than Ever, deftly avoiding the sophomore slump with a stunner that soared past the artistic heights – if not the commercial success – of her Grammy-sweeping debut. And the indie breakthroughs of Japanese Breakfast’s Jubilee and Little Simz’s Sometimes I Might Be Introvert earned them both well-deserved Best New Artist celebrations, albeit several albums into their careers. Then, as we entered another socially-distanced holiday season, Adele returned at last to wipe away (or perhaps indulge) our blues with the most-anticipated release in years: her divorce album, 30, a blockbuster that also took her lauded career to new creative triumph.

 

Now things turn over to you, the good voters of ATRL. Which of 2021’s biggest and best albums was your favorite? You can help decide the winner by ranking each of these 85 songs on a scale of 1-10 and then sending me your ballot by Sunday, July 3. Please listen to everything again at least once before submitting. I want honest assessments, not scores based on your memory or biases. Up to two decimal points are allowed. Feel free to include commentary if you are so moved. And no trolling or your vote will be tossed. Happy listening!

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Results

Spoiler

1. "Happier Than Ever" Billie Eilish

2. "Pick Up Your Feelings" Jazmine Sullivan

3. "Introvert" Little Simz

4. "Lost One" Jazmine Sullivan

5. "Woman" Little Simz ft. Cleo Sol

6. "Good 4 U" Olivia Rodrigo

7. "Billie Bossa Nova" Billie Eilish

8. "Oxytocin" Billie Eilish

9. "My Little Love" Adele

10. "Protect My Energy" Little Simz

11. "The Other Side" Jazmine Sullivan

12. "Brutal" Olivia Rodrigo

13. "Posing In Bondage" Japanese Breakfast

14. "Be Sweet" Japanese Breakfast

15. "I Love You, I Hate You" Little Simz

16. "Deja Vu" Olivia Rodrigo

17. "Put It Down" Jazmine Sullivan

18. "Slide Tackle" Japanese Breakfast

19. "Rollin Stone" Little Simz

20. "Bodies (Intro)" Jazmine Sullivan

21. "Fear No Man" Little Simz

22. "Price Tags" Jazmine Sullivan ft. Anderson .Paak

23. "Paprika" Japanese Breakfast

24. "I Didn't Change My Number" Billie Eilish

25. "Jealousy, Jealousy" Olivia Rodrigo

26. "Point and Kill" Little Simz ft. Obongjayar

27. "Kokomo, IN" Japanese Breakfast

28. "Little Q, Pt. 2" Little Simz

29. "All Night Parking" Adele and Erroll Garner

30. "On It" Jazmine Sullivan ft. Ari Lennox

31. "NDA" Billie Eilish

32. "How Did You Get Here" Little Simz

33. "Speed" Little Simz

34. "I See You" Little Simz

35. "Tactics" Japanese Breakfast

36. "My Future" Billie Eilish

37. "Girl Like Me" Jazmine Sullivan ft. H.E.R.

38. "Oh My God" Adele

39. "Miss Understood" Little Simz

40. "Therefore I Am" Billie Eilish

41. "Standing Ovation" Little Simz

42. "To Be Loved" Adele

43. "Two Worlds Apart" Little Simz

44. "Getting Older" Billie Eilish

45. "In Hell" Japanese Breakfast

46. "Posing For Cars" Japanese Breakfast

47. "Your Power" Billie Eilish

48. "Cry Your Heart Out" Adele

49. "OverHeated" Billie Eilish

50. "Drivers License" Olivia Rodrigo

51. "Lost Cause" Billie Eilish

52. "Love Is a Game" Adele

53. "Strangers By Nature" Adele

54. "Goldwing" Billie Eilish

55. "Woman Like Me" Adele

56. "Male Fantasy" Billie Eilish

57. "Can I Get It" Adele

58. "Traitor" Olivia Rodrigo

59. "Easy On Me" Adele

60. "I Drink Wine" Adele

61. "Sit" Japanese Breakfast

62. "Favorite Crime" Olivia Rodrigo

63. "Savage Good Boy" Japanese Breakfast

64. "Halley's Comet" Billie Eilish

65. "Wild Wild West" Adele

66. "The Rapper That Came to Tea (Interlude)" Little Simz

67. "Rashida's Tale" Jazmine Sullivan

68. "Hold On" Adele

69. "Donna's Tale" Jazmine Sullivan

70. "Enough For You" Olivia Rodrigo

71. "Ari's Tale" Jazmine Sullivan

72. "Gems (Interlude)" Little Simz

73. "Happier" Olivia Rodrigo

74. "Hope Ur OK" Olivia Rodrigo

75. "Everybody Dies" Billie Eilish

76. "Amanda's Tale" Jazmine Sullivan

77. "Can't Be Together" Adele

78. "Never Make Promises (Interlude)" Little Simz

79. "Not My Responsibility" Billie Eilish

80. "1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back" Olivia Rodrigo

81. "The Garden (Interlude)" Little Simz

82. "Antoinette's Tale" Jazmine Sullivan

83. "Little Q, Pt. 1 (Interlude)" Little Simz

84. "Precious' Tale" Jazmine Sullivan

85. "Easy On Me" Adele and Chris Stapleton

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Replace Sour with Blue Weekend, also surprised by Daddy's Home absence :swan:  

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where is Planet Her? :biblio:

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Finally! The bitch is back!

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1 minute ago, dangerousalex said:

where is Planet Her? :biblio:

Critically acclaimed albums babe. Planet Her will be in THIS WAS POP 2021, alongside Lil Nas X, Silk Sonic, and Bieber!

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3 minutes ago, dangerousalex said:

where is Planet Her? :biblio:

Not at the top of critics' list. Doja belongs in the This Was Pop 2021 rate.

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6 minutes ago, BlackoutZone said:

Replace Sour with Blue Weekend, also surprised by Daddy's Home absence :swan:  

But you're going to participate anyway, right?

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Sour and 30 should make up the entire bottom 10/15

 

Expect my votes!

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Oh and we can only vote in whole numbers i.e. no .5's, right?

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6 minutes ago, supaspaz said:

But you're going to participate anyway, right?

yessir!

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"Happier Than Ever"/"Brutal"/"Can I Get It"/"Lost One"/"Rollin Stone"/"Posing In Bondage" for top six. Please and thank you!

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4 minutes ago, Invisibility said:

Oh and we can only vote in whole numbers i.e. no .5's, right?

Decimal points are definitely allowed!

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13 minutes ago, Ace Reject said:

Critically acclaimed albums babe. Planet Her will be in THIS WAS POP 2021, alongside Lil Nas X, Silk Sonic, and Bieber!

 

11 minutes ago, supaspaz said:

Not at the top of critics' list. Doja belongs in the This Was Pop 2021 rate.

well i will be tuning in for THAT! :coffee:

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HEAUX TALES

 

“Pick Up Your Feelings”10

 

“Put It Down” 8

 

“Lost One” 9

 

 

 

HAPPIER THAN EVER

 

 

“My Future” 7

 

“Oxytocin” 6

 

“Lost Cause” 8

 

“Halley’s Comet”

 

“Your Power” 7

 

“nda” 6

 

“Therefore I Am” 9

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I want to participate, so sign me up :WAP:

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17 minutes ago, Invisibility said:

Sour and 30 should make up the entire bottom 10/15

 

Expect my votes!

Let's not with this!!! 

 

Bodies for top ten please.

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wow, there's 3 albums/artists that i've NEVER heard about 

they were probably very local, USA only. literally never heard about it.

going to check some songs later. :alexz:

 

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Oou I’m interested, need to listen to two of the projects tho lol 

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7 minutes ago, Selegend said:

wow, there's 3 albums/artists that i've NEVER heard about 

they were probably very local, USA only. literally never heard about it.

going to check some songs later. :alexz:

 

Well, now is your opportunity to tap into the zeitgeist!

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Happier Than Ever deserves #1 (the song)

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This is a weird set of albums, I fear Adele Billie and Olivia should have been saved for this was pop 2021. :biblio: 
 

I might participate anyway, Posing in Bondage for #1

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18 minutes ago, greento said:

This is a weird set of albums, I fear Adele Billie and Olivia should have been saved for this was pop 2021. :biblio: 

Too acclaimed and successful!

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Oh poptimism lmao. Though it 100% makes sense why all of these did so well critically even if I don't agree.

 

Heaux Tales, Jubilee, Happier Than Ever :clap3:Definitely panning one of the other three. 

 

I need to just push all of this out sometime next week or the week after but I'll hopefully be working on this soon!

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Not 30 :biblio:

 

No way it is actually more acclaimed than Home Video, Mercurial World or Blue Weekend, right? :duck:

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1 hour ago, supaspaz said:

Not at the top of critics' list. Doja belongs in the This Was Pop 2021 rate.

I hope to see Solar Power on there 

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