2021 is only at its first half and is already incredibly rich music-wise. We’ve got ANAVITÓRIA’s “good vibes”, a new and improved Justin Bieber, a back-to-life Demi Lovato, a free Taylor and a hurt, but hopeful, Olivia Rodrigo. Here are 5 amazing albums released in 2021. And still counting...
- Cor - ANAVITÓRIA (January 1st, 2021)
Released on the first day of the year, this album started 2021 with a kick! The first verse of the entire album is translated to “let me introduce myself” and, boy, that’s exactly what ANAVITÓRIA does here! The fantastic duo from Tocantins, Brazil, Ana Caetano e Vitória Falcão, sing their truth in fourteen tracks that celebrate their Brazilian selves, their hometown and their love for music. All that, mixed between upbeat songs, with Brazilian rhythms, and their well-known melancholic and beautiful way to tell sad stories and touch our hearts.
Cor has great songs all over it, but my personal favorite is the album opener Amarelo, Azul e Branco (Yellow, Blue and White). A collaboration with Rita Lee, this strong and potent track introduces Ana and Vitória to us, as if it said they are entering a new chapter in their careers, making sure to express their love for their hometown and for music. Also, Rita Lee recites Simone de Beauvoir, which makes this song even more potent.
- Justice - Justin Bieber (March 19th, 2021)
We’ve seen the My World 2.0 pop revelation JB, the problematic and confused Purpose Bieber and, now, we observe a new Justin, the one who has already gone through his Changes and is now grown-up, married and strongly faithful. This way, Bieber is tracing a new path with Justice, a smoother and more meaningful album. A mix of relationships, love, anxiety and faith is what Justice leans on, with pop songs that enter Bieber’s more mature and intimate feelings.
My favorite track is the one which closes the album: “Lonely”. This song talks about Bieber growing-up in front of cameras and being an icon and, therefore, an example from such a young age. It travels to all Bieber’s phases: his first years as a world-known celebrity - “Everybody knows my past now/Like my house was always made of glass/And maybe that's the price you pay/For the money and fame at an early age” -, him growing up as the great Justin Bieber and not as a normal kid with dreams, needs and mistakes - “And everybody saw me sick/And it felt like no one gave a s***/They criticized the things I did as an idiot kid”. That’s a JB we never really got to see before and I just love that about Justice!
- Dancing With The Devil: The Art of Starting Over - Demi Lovato (April 2nd, 2021)
Speaking of intimate strong songs, Dancing With The Devil: The Art of Starting Over is by far the most beautiful album from Demi Lovato. A masterpiece about Lovato’s reconstruction after their near-death experience with an overdose, in 2018. They united nineteen songs to tell a story, the story of how they started over after “dancing with the devil” and almost killing themselves. It starts with “Anyone”, a cry for help from someone who feels alone and invalidated in the world, followed by “Dancing With The Devil”, about the moment they had their relapse with drugs and alcohol. The next songs are about their journey at understanding who they are and who they want to be.
It’s hard to pick only one song to be my favorite, but I guess, if I have to choose, it has to be “Carefully”. A track about the strong side of Demi, which is strong mostly because they can be vulnerable - “'Cause I'm strong in a way/That I know how to show you my fragile”. It shows a human Lovato, who knows how great they are, who asks the person who is going to love them to handle them carefully and stating that they could be this person’s “favorite dream”. This is a Demi Lovato we didn’t see in the past, a raw and pure soul who is only trying to learn with their mistakes and grow.
- Fearless (Taylor’s Version) - Taylor Swift (April 9th, 2021)
Along with Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift is my favorite singer of all time, so, yeah, I’m really excited with this article. Fearless was a great album back in 2008, but it wasn’t truly Swift’s. Actually, it was Scooter Braun’s – who has managed many big names, such as Justin Bieber and Kanye West, and is also known for bullying Swift on social media. This happened because Taylor’s old label, Big Machine Records, sold her master copies to a private equity group owned by Braun. This way, every work by Taylor Swift before Fearless (Taylor’s Version) gives profit to Braun, not to her. This situation, although revolting, paid off with a revival of one of Swift's best works and gave the fans another chance to relate to its songs. Now, we, fans who grew up with Swift, are older and have experienced the situations on the album - growing older, falling in love, heartbreaks and learning how to grow from all that.
One of the songs talks about all this and is my favorite: “Fearless”. It starts the album with the hopes and dreams of the first date, the first love, the first kiss. We all know how rocky Taylor’s love life has been, as I said, us fans grew up feeling all those hurts and sighs of excitement with her, and this song is the beginning of it all, when everything is new and full of possibilities, everything is great and the future is promising, we didn’t know what heartache or delusion and deception were, all we had was hope - “Well you stood there with me in the doorway/My hands shake/I'm not usually this way but/You pull me in and I'm a little more brave/It's the first kiss, it's flawless, really something, it's fearless”.
- Sour - Olivia Rodrigo (May 21st, 2021)
Olivia Rodrigo, what to say about this amazing new name in the industry? The "drivers license” singer released a whole album this year and it is a real masterpiece! Sour has it all: teenage rebellious vibes, betrayal, broken hearts, delusions, anger, sorrow and a little hope at the end. It’s a sad album, but it’s relatable to all of us, everyone had these emotions through life and those who haven't yet, definitely will. We are humans, with hopes, dreams, loves, hates and all in the between.
There are many perfectly amazing tracks in Sour, but “enough for you” hits me differently. It’s about a girl who gives her everything to the boy she loves and he doesn’t recognize that - “Tried so hard to be everything that you liked/Just for you to say you're not the compliment type”. The boy left her for someone “more exciting” and left her crying and wondering what she did wrong. It’s a sad song, but the ending is what makes it beautiful, when she realizes how great she is and says: “But don't tell me you're sorry, boy/Feel sorry for yourself/'Cause someday I'll be everything to somebody else”. And she will!
The article above was edited by Anna Bastos.
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