Well, here we are. Nearly a month into 2021, and it looks suspiciously like 2020. Did someone forget to flip the switch? The big ball dropped, right?
Last year, and, yes, the first two weeks of this year, have been personally humbling. I’ve seen multiple family friends die from COVID-19, and that shakes you. It just does. It definitely puts things like year-end lists and rankings and dumb arguments about pop-culture in perspective. And, you know what? That’s alright. Believe it or not, I’m not here to depress you. I turned to music in so many ways last year to get through everything from personal depression and financial hardships to health scares and tragic passings. I honestly feel like I’m still here with all of you, in part, because I had music to comfort me, distract me, and, yes, even get me into some really stupid, meaningless debates. All of it so very much needed.
That said, it’s time for you to do you in 2021, and I believe music, like always, will have your back. Need some fresh faces for your playlist? We got that. Need some of the biggest bands and artists in the world to finally drop that next album? We will probably have that. Need Weezer pretending to be Van Halen and KISS for an entire album? I can almost guarantee you that we’ll have that and sometime relatively soon. And do with all of this what you will: listen, cry, dance, laugh, ride down a hill in a tire like in that one Smashing Pumpkins video. Whatever you need to be healthy, safe, and keep on keepin’ on. That’s my hope for music in your life in 2021, and, as I learned last year, that’s no mean gift.
Here are 40 albums that might make the difference in 2021.
Editor’s Note: Stay up on our favorite new music via our Top Songs and New Sounds Spotify Playlists.