Top Albums 2021 — by Sports & Media People

As I know that some of our friends in the Sports & Media community share with me a dedicated passion for music, I thought that it would be fun to aggregate in a end of year post their top albums list for 2021.
Sports and Entertainment are more and more converging as lifestyle experiences become an aggregator for people interests.
Crossovers and joint initiatives, F1 growing value due to a Netflix series, music starting to appear as a constant component of sport digital experiences.

So let’s see what caught the attention of our friends this year, and as a plus, discover how they listen to music.
Music. Any music. No judgement. Just fun.

In order of priority, I listen to High Resolution downloads / Vinyl / CD / Spotify.
My collection is 46,000 records!

Quick list, full version at the bottom of this article.

Pop/Rock

  1. Nick Cave — Carnage
  2. Little Simz — Sometimes I might be introvert
  3. Ghetts — Conflict of Interest

Jazz

1. Floating Points & Pharoah Sanders — Promises

2. Kenny Garrett — Sounds from The Ancestors

3. John Coltrane — A Love Supreme Live in Seattle

World Music

1. Rhiannon Giddens — Calling me Home

2. Balimaya Project — Balimaya

3. Angelique Kidjo — Mother Earth

Classical

1. Florence Price Symphonies 1 & 3 — Yannick Nezet-Seguin

2. Daniel Trifonov — Bach. The Art of Life

3. Vikingur Olafsson- Mozart and Contemporaries

I listen on vinyl and Spotify.

  1. UNKLE — Ronin I

A remix album that’s better than the originals. Having let the songs breath, James Lavelle builds epic cinemascapes to chill out or dance to.
Favourite tracks — Feel more / with less (Ronin Reconstruction), Cath me when I fall (Ronin vocal mix)

2. The War on Drugs — I don’t live here anymore

An album for wide open spaces. Deeply textured cinematic songs with a hypnotic feel. Hardly earth shattering lyrically, the words take second place to the music. Heavily influenced by 80’s soft rock and synthpop, there is nostalgia with an edge.
Favourite tracks — I don’t live here anymore, Victim, Harmonia’s dream

3. Yola — Stand for myself

A beautiful, soulful record tinged with rock and country. Produced by Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys. A warm, bittersweet blanket. Not a bad track on the album.
Favourite tracks — Starlight, Like a photograph

4. London Grammar — California soil

Icy electronic pop at its finest. An orchestra on most of the tracks make for a cinematic, lush sound topped off with the Hannah Reid’s alto voice. Each listening reveals new aspects.
Favourite tracks — Lord it’s a feeling, How does it feel, Baby it’s you

5. Israel Nash — Topaz

Wide open Americana country rock. A beautifully produced album with touches of Pink Floyd, Nashville country, Neil Young and Muscle Shoals horns. You are transported to the back porch of a shack in the warmth of a Texas prairie evening.
Favourite tracks — Down in the country, Stay, Dividing lines

I listen on Spotify.

  1. Kanye West — Donda (Heaven and Hell).
  2. Sam Fender — Seventeen Going Under (Good Company).
  3. James Blake — Friends that break your heart (Friends that break your heart).
  4. The War on Drugs — I don’t live here anymore (I don’t live here anymore)
  5. Celeste — Not your muse (Strange).

(Fav tracks in brackets)

I listen on vinyl and Spotify

  1. Sault — Nine
  2. Greentea Peng — Man Made
  3. DJ Tira — Rockstar Forever
  4. Teni — Wonderland
  5. Common — A Beautiful Revolution
  6. El Michels Affair meets Liam Bailey — Ekundayo Inversions

I listen as follows: vinyl in the office / cds in the car (stops me fiddling with my phone!) / iTunes subscription through Sonos round the house & Bluetooth headphones when running.

  1. I Don’t Live Here Anymore — The War on Drugs
  2. Pressure Machine — The Killers
  3. Seventeen Going Under — Sam Fender
  4. Blue Weekend — Wolf Alice
  5. Katy Kirby — Cool Dry Place

My main platform is Spotify but I also have a subscription to SoundCloud Go — it has a diverse collection of audio and music content and always discover new underground releases from new upcoming artists)

  1. Nas — King’s Disease II
  2. Nao — And Then Life Was Beautiful
  3. Silk Sonic — An Evening with Silk Sonic
  4. Jenevive — Division
  5. Adele — Easy On Me

I listen during the day, on Apple Music with my Sennheiser HD650 headphones. In the evening or weekends vinyl via Technics turntable, Denon amp and Super Pavarotti speakers.

  1. Tool — Ear Inoculum.
  2. Chick Corea Akoustic with Patitucci and Weckl live.
  3. Terence Blanchard — Tool.
  4. Pat Metheny — Side Eye.

I listen on Spotify mainly but also listen to a lot of new artists, sets and obscure stuff on YouTube, Soundcloud and Mixcloud, as well as the occasional bit of vinyl.

  1. Cristian Loffler — Parallels: Shellac Reworks
  2. Floating Points + Pharoah Sanders — Promises
  3. Tor — Oasis Sky
  4. BADBADNOTGOOD — Talk Memory
  5. Little Simz — Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
  6. Not an album from one artist but still on my list as favourite mix of the year is Anjunadeep 12 mixed by James Grant and Jody Wisternoff

I listen mostly on Spotify.

  1. Giveon — when it s all said and done… Take time

2. Avaion

3. Tame impala — Currents

4. Bruno Mars — An evening with silk sonic

I listen on Spotify on Sonos and to my son blasting it out on his DJ decks over my record amp via YouTube!

  1. Elbow — Flying Dream 1
  2. Idles — Crawler
  3. Sleaford Mods — Spare Ribs
  4. Damon Albarn — The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows

I listen almost exclusively Spotify via Sonos, carplay or AirPods!

  1. Rodrigo Amarante — Drama
  2. Hiss Golden Messenger — Quietly Blowing It
  3. Arlo Parks — Collapsed In Sunbeams
  4. Julian Lage — Squint
  5. Weval — Changed for the Better
  6. Shame — Drunk Tank Pink
  7. Noga Erez — KIDS
  8. Aaron Lee Tasjan — Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!
  9. Gold-Diggers Sound — Leon Bridges

I listen mainly on Spotify through my Cambridge Audio CXN (V2) and vinyl.

  1. Divide and Dissolve — Gas Lit
  2. Lady Blackbird — Black Acid Soul
  3. Space Afrika — Honest Labour
  4. Nana Adjoa — Big Dreaming Ants Remixes
  5. F.S. Blumm — 2x1=4

I listen on vinyl, Tidal, Spotify (and Alexa), YouTube and Apple Music.
I create electronic music as An Ignorant Soul and Abe Murakami on multiple platforms.

  1. Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra — Promises
  2. Joy Orbison — still slipping vol. 1
  3. Sons of Kemet — Black to the Future
  4. Sault — Nine
  5. Bicep — Isles

Yiannis Exarchos Full List.

As Yiannis is such a huge collector and passionate music lover he deserves the full list to be expanded here below.

4 genres, Top 10 lists.

POP / ROCK

1. Nick Cave — Carnage

2. Little Simz — Sometimes I might be introvert

3. Ghetts — Conflict of Interest

4. Tyler The Creator — Call Me If You Get Lost

5. Wolf Alice — Blue Weekend

6. The Weather Station — Ignorance

7. Turnstile — Glow On

8. Lord Huron — Long Lost

9. St. Vincent — Daddy’s Home

10. Self Esteem — Prioritize Pleasure

JAZZ

1. Floating Points & Pharoah Sanders — Promises

2. Kenny Garrett — Sounds from The Ancestors

3. John Coltrane — A Love Supreme Live in Seattle

4. Charles Lloyd & The Marvels — Tone Poem

5. Wollny/Parisien/Lefebvre/Lillinger — XXXX

6. Theo Croker- Blk2Life // A Future Past

7. Archie Shepp & Jason Moran — Let My People Go

8. Keith Jarrett — Budapest Concert

9. James Francies — Purest Form

10. Arturo O’Farrill — Dreaming in Lion

WORLD MUSIC

1. Rhiannon Giddens — Calling me Home

2. Balimaya Project — Balimaya

3. Angelique Kidjo — Mother Earth

4. Christine Salem — Anou

5. Mdou Moctar — Afrique Victime

6. Peggy Seeger — Gotta Get Home by Midnight

7. Toumani Diabate And the London Symphony Orchestra- Mamadou Kanda Keira

8. Canzione Grecanico Salentino — Orfeo

9. Susana Baca — Negra Del Alma

10. James Blount — Goodbye Honey, you call that Gone

CLASSICAL

1. Florence Price Symphonies 1 & 3 — Yannick Nezet-Seguin

2. Daniel Trifonov — Bach. The Art of Life

3. Vikingur Olafsson- Mozart and Contemporaries

4. Igor Levit — Shostakovich, Stephenson

5. Tanguy De Willienvourt, Theotime Langlois De Swart — Proust. Le Concert Retrouve

6. Hilary Hahn — Paris

7. Michael Spyres — Baritenor

8. Andras Schiff — Brahms Piano Concertos

9. Johan Dalene, Christian Ihle Hadland / Nordic Rhapsody

Janine Jensen — 12 Stradivari

I hope, that if you reached this final part you may have discovered new music or new people or both!

Want to appear in this list?
Please contact me directly or DM me on twitter @CDM.

@CDM / Chief Evangelist @deltatre