You can find the Collective List as well as all our Best of 2021 content including contributors’ individual lists, podcasts and radio DJ shows here: CGCM’s Best of 2021 (Year in Review)
BEST OF 2021
ANDY LAFON 🇺🇸
Welcome, 2022! Seems like I said the same thing last year, but 2021 was another challenging year. While 2021 finished better than it started for me, musically it was a bit overwhelming. I cannot recall a year with more album releases. Of course, that makes sense coming out of year multiple forced quarantines. In theory, this seems great, but the reality was it was a lot of material to go through. That said, these are the ten releases that I enjoyed the most, and felt I played the most.
THE L.A. MAYBE 🇺🇸
Dirty Damn Tricks
This five-piece band out of North Carolina really gives off 80’s sleaze rock vibes. Love the vocals, and I am glad AC/DC did not pick him as their next singer! I think “Oh Sugar” is the song that best represents this album.
CGCM album review by Tom Cornell HERE
I am not sure why it took to the fourth album for me to hear of these guys, but I am glad I finally did! Great melodic rock on this one from front to back. “The Last One” is my favourite song off this release.
ALICE COOPER 🇺🇸
I have to admit that whatever Alice puts out these days I just buy and listen to. I also have to admit that there hasn’t been much material that I have really gotten into on his last few releases. With Detroit Stories he really hunkered down and wrote some quality material. There is so much diversity on this record, and I find hard to believe there isn’t something for everybody on this release. I absolutely love the song “$1000 High Heel Shoes”.
DAVID REECE 🇺🇸
Yet another quality release from David Reece, and the third in a row under the Reece moniker. This is just great heavy metal plain and simple. I think the song “I Can’t Breathe” really demonstrates Reece at its best.
Too Mean To Die
Speaking of consistent great heavy metal, I give you Accept‘s sixteenth album, and fifth with Mark Tornillo – Too Mean To Die. TMTD, for me, beats their last two albums, and I think Tornillo is overlooked as a lyricist. Check out the song “Overnight Sensation” it is my favourite off this release.
CGCM album review by Tom Cornell HERE
Full disclosure the last two Eclipse albums have been very “meh” for me. Wired, to my ears, covers some new ground while still retaining the catchy sound Eclipse is known for. I love the song “Run for Cover” off this release.
NIGHT RANGER 🇺🇸
Of all the albums I listened to this year, this release took the greatest number of listens to get into. Once I did it also stayed in my CD player the longest. IMO Night Ranger has been on a roll with their last three releases and this album deviates from that formula. While I do not understand everything about the record I do know these songs work and are hard to get out of your head. I love the song “Cold As December”.
Buckcherry has always been a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, however, their last couple of releases haven’t really done it for me. Enter Hellbound which kicks ass from start to finish! The songs oFf Hellbound check all the boxes for a great Buckcherry album. Check out the title track if you don’t believe me.
KICKIN VALENTINA 🇺🇸
The Revenge of Rock
The Revenge of Rock was the first new album I heard in 2021, and it stuck with me the whole year. I love what they did with this album and the new singer is a perfect fit. This album is great from start to finish, but I think the song “Rat Race” is my favourite here.
CGCM album review by Trevor McDougall HERE
All The Right Noises
A band that is woefully underappreciated in North America, Thunder is simply brilliant. All the Right Noises is just another quality album in the Thunder catalogue. Their song “Destruction” is probably my favourite of 2021!
These ten albums in no way define all the great music that came out in 2021. It is simply a snapshot of what really resonated with me. My hope of hopes is that someone out there reads this article, finds something new to listen to, and goes out and buys it. Looking forward to another musical adventure in 2022!
ANDY “Maddog” LAFON
Don’t forget to take a look at all our Best of 2021 content including the COLLECTIVE BEST ALBUMS LIST (culminated via the ratings in the individual lists), all our contributors’ individual best lists, podcast episodes and Radio DJ shows CGCM’s Best of 2021 (Year in Review)