Ten Best Rock Albums of 2021
- by Greg Cahill
- Feb 18th, 2022
It’s been a year of collaboration, surprises, and party albums. Who thought Neil Young would release a never-bootlegged gem from his bottomless archive? Or expected Lindsey Buckingham to bounce back after getting bounced from Fleetwood Mac? Or had a disco-drenched Bee Gees tribute from the Foo Fighters on their bingo card? Meanwhile, Sir Paul’s fab McCartney III Imagined invited St. Vincent, Beck, Damon Albarn, Blood Orange, Phoebe Bridgers, and other emerging pop artists to remix his 2020 lockdown-inspired, home-recorded McCartney III album. Big Red Machine powered through How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?, living up to its promise as an indie-folk supergroup. Memphis-based singer and songwriter Valerie June tapped folkronica on The Moon and the Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers. Nigerian singer, rapper, and songwriter Wizkid teamed up with H.E.R, Justin Bieber, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, and others on Made in Lagos. And Indiana neo-soul act Durand Jones & the Indications brewed a heady mix of soul, funk and disco on Private Space, a relentlessly catchy, 70s-inspired party album for the pandemic age. Not a bad year, after all.
Paul McCartney: McCartney III Imagined. Capitol.
Big Red Machine: How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? Jagjaguwar.
Neil Young: Carnegie Hall, 1970. Reprise/Warner.
Valerie June: The Moon and the Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers. June Tunes/Fantasy.
Durand Jones & the Indications: Private Space. Dead Oceans.
Various Artists: I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico. UMG.
Foo Fighters: Dee Gees/Hail Satin. Roswell/RCA.
Marcus Mumford and Tom Howe: Songs from Ted Lasso. Water Tower/Warner.
Wizkid: Essence. Starboy/RCA.
Lindsey Buckingham: Lindsey Buckingham. EastWest.
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