2021 In Review
2021 was a weird year for me as a music fan. I wrote earlier this year, about the “month I hated music.” I had come to the point where I was listening to music in terms of “how can I use this to pitch a story to a publication?” instead of truly enjoying the music for its own sake and celebrating its place in my life as an instrument of community, growth, and joy. That had to end. Through much of this year, I’ve wrestled with how to be a better listener and how to practice healthy, life-giving listening habits. I stopped obsessing over keeping track of every album played. I read (and am continuing to read) a lot about the intersection of music and faith and am hoping to strengthen that integration for myself in the years to come.
All this to say, my writing necessarily slowed down this year as I did some essential spiritual work (work that is certainly ongoing) to grow as a faithful engager of culture. I hope to build up the practice of writing about music again in 2022, not as a journalist who is always needing to stay on the cutting edge, but as an avid, nerdy lover of music and commentator on musical and religious cultures.
Anyways, enough rambling. The main reason I’m writing is that, despite the growing pains, there was still a ton of music in 2021 that encouraged me, made me cry, made my jaw drop, etc. in 2021. So here’s a playlist and rundown of some of my favorite albums of the year. See you next year!
Some Great Albums
Here’s a complete(ish) list of new releases I enjoyed this year!