Arts and Entertainment

The Most Anticipated Albums of 2021

Here are some of the most anticipated albums of 2021 to look forward to. Art/Photo Request: Just a picture of some of the artists mentioned

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By Yaqi Zeng

Though 2020 was unanimously considered a dumpster fire of a year, the one realm in which it did succeed was music releases. From Fiona Apple’s Pitchfork-10-receiving “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”' to Phoebe Bridgers’s poetic and heart-wrenching “Punisher” to Lil Uzi Vert’s transformative, intergalactic “Eternal Atake,” there was something for everyone to enjoy. Yet, just as we hope to be the case in every other realm of culture, society, and epidemiology, 2021 has the potential to one-up the past year. To guide you in your fulfilling musical journey over the next 12 months, here are some of the most anticipated albums of this year:


After admitting that her album wasn’t done during an October episode of “Saturday Night Live,” Adele has been rather quiet about the state and potential release of her next project. Despite rumors of an impending release, given the quality, success, and time between releases of her past projects (2011’s “21” and 2015’s “25”), fans shouldn’t get their hopes up too high for a follow-up in the near future.


Following a series of successful mixtapes and her debut album “Ctrl” (2017) receiving universal acclaim, SZA fans and music buffs alike are highly anticipating her next move. Despite allusions to the album’s imminence throughout the past year, all we got was the release of “Good Days” on Christmas. Whether this is a teaser track to her next album or a one-off drop is unclear. But, given her ongoing conflict with her record label Top Dawg Entertainment, the timing of the release of new music is anyone’s guess.


Following the smash hit of 2016’s “Blonde,” Frank Ocean has released a series of singles in 2018 and this past year. His uncharacteristic activity on Instagram, Apple Music radio show “Blonded Radio,” and his website have led fans to speculate that his next album will be coming soon. Yet, with such a mysterious, private and elusive figure like Frank, it’s just as likely to drop tomorrow as it is to drop in a decade. All we can do is hope and wait.

DRAKE: “Certified Lover Boy,” Coming January

It’s been a while since Drake released a widely well-received project, but hopefully his upcoming album will change that. Last year’s release of “Dark Lane Demo Tapes,” a compilation of unreleased tracks, left fans largely unsatisfied and looking for more. With a teaser video including many scenes from past albums (including fan favorites like 2011’s “Take Care” and 2013’s “Nothing Was the Same”), hopefully this album will reestablish Drake in his prime. We’ll find out later this month if that ends up being the case.

LANA DEL REY: “Chemtrails Over the Country Club,” Coming March

While Lana Del Rey has always had an active fan base, her music received scant critical acclaim until 2019’s “Norman [EXPLETIVE] Rockwell!” With deeply personal and evocative poetry, her last album marked the beginning of a new era for Del Rey, one that will hopefully continue for years to come. Announced alongside the release of her spoken-word album “Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass,” “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” promises to be a profound, moving project. After all, being named “one of America’s greatest living songwriters” by Pitchfork doesn’t come without high expectations.


Without any formal confirmation of a 2021 release, trying to predict a Kendrick drop is… risky. But, after a number of planned (and later canceled) music festival performances and solid features, 2021 could be the year. It’s been four years since 2016’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “DAMN,” so fans are hungry for more. Fingers crossed he delivers.