TIME Magazine Has Announced Their 10 Best K-Pop Albums Of 2021

TIME Magazine has some really good taste!

Earlier today, TIME Magazine posted an article about what they believe to be the best K-Pop albums of 2021. While there were numerous albums released during the year that deserve to be recognized, it’s impossible to deny that their choices are definitely great ones! Here are the 10 albums that the popular magazine believe to be the best of K-Pop this past year.

1. Waterfall by B.I

Waterfall was released on June 1 with the title song “Illa Illa”, and is B.I’s debut studio album. It has currently made 99.7k sales!

Across the 12 tracks written by B.I are aching expressions of pain and sorrow as well as apathy. Most gutting are the lyrics in “Help Me,” a clear cry of desperation: ‘The boy in the empty room is lonely/ I want to run away/ Get me out of this abyss,’ B.I sings. But a message of hope ultimately emerges, because where there are images of loss across the album, there are also opportunities for fresh beginnings.

— TIME Magazine

2. Querencia by Chungha

Querencia was released on February 15 with the title song “Stay Tonight”, and is Chungha’s debut studio album. It has currently made 31.8k sales!

While the album—boasting a generous 21 songs lasting an hour in total—melds influences from R&B and EDM to disco and house, Chung Ha ventures most boldly into the sounds of Latin music.

— TIME Magazine

3. Atlantis by SHINee

Atlantis was released on April 12 with the title song “Atlantis”, and is SHINee’s repackaged version of their seventh studio album, Don’t Call Me. It has currently made 447.5k sales!

But it’s Atlantis, the group’s repackaged version of Don’t Call Me, that reigns superior for two simple reasons: the introduction of lead single “Atlantis,” a kinetic electropop song that shows SHINee at its best, and the addition of the breezy “Area” with falsetto flourishes that is the strongest B-side on the album.

— TIME Magazine

4. NOEASY by Stray Kids

NOEASY was released on August 23 with the title song “Thunderous”, and is Stray Kids’ second studio album. It has currently made 1.29 million sales!

Elsewhere on the album, it’s often the sounds that could be dismissed as mere noise that are the main attraction of songs. The most striking example: ascending and descending scales of shrill xylophone-like dings in “Domino” reminiscent of a row of the rectangular tiles falling.

— TIME Magazine

5. End Theory by Younha

End Theory was released on November 16 with the title song “Stardust”, and is Younha’s sixth studio album. It has currently made 7.4k sales!

The established singer-songwriter, who first debuted in Japan in 2004 before launching a career in Korea two years later, has an ethereal voice. In “Stardust,” as she sings of a fateful intergalactic meeting, her words conjure a cosmic scene made more magical by her airy, angelic tone.

— TIME Magazine

6. The Chaos Chapter: Fight or Escape by TXT

The Chaos Chapter: Fight or Escape was released on August 17 with the title song “LO$ER=LO♡ER”, and is TXT’s first reissued album. It has currently made 745.0k sales!

If there’s any group with numerous contenders for best K-pop song of the year, it’s TXT (short for Tomorrow X Together). Luckily for fans, three of those tracks appear on the same album: The Chaos Chapter: Fight or Escape. “LO$ER=LO♡ER,” “Anti-Romantic” and “0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You)” vary in genre—emo pop punk, electronic pop and hybrid pop rock, respectively—but all are variations of a boy’s musings on love, and all ooze with teen angst and a rebellious spirit.

— TIME Magazine

7. Lilac by IU

Lilac was released on March 25 with the title song “Lilac”, and is IU’s fifth studio album. It has currently made 393.0k sales!

Across 10 tracks that muse on the fleeting nature of relationships and the lasting feelings they inspire, IU’s masterful vocals are on full display. And while “Lilac,” “Coin” and “Celebrity” are all singles worthy of individual music videos, the meditative “My Sea” is the standout of the album. It’s a stirring ballad about self-discovery, as IU sings of healing from past wounds and learning to find and love herself.

— TIME Magazine

8. Devil by ONEUS

Devil was released on January 19 with the title song “No Diggity”, and is ONEUS’s first studio album. It has currently made 210.6k sales!

But while the fantastical remains a prominent element on the album, it’s the facet most grounded in reality—specifically, messages about humankind’s universal race against time—that is the album’s highlight. ONEUS sings pensive words about seeing an unfamiliar reflection in the mirror while transitioning to adulthood (“Youth”), falling behind others after reaching the starting line late (“Incomplete”) and longing to reunite with someone from the past (“Rewind”).

— TIME Magazine

9. Formula of Love: O+T=<3 by TWICE

Formula of Love: O+T=<3 was released on November 12 with the title song “Scientist”, and is TWICE’s third studio album. It has currently made 632.5k sales!

After releasing a Korean EP and a Japanese album earlier this year, the nine-member powerhouse dropped this full-length project with a deep trove of 16 songs. Formula of Love: O+T= <3 is a feast of genres—from dance-pop (“Scientist”) to disco (“Moonlight”) to R&B (“Rewind)”—and moods, as the tracks convey the spectrum of emotions experienced in the different stages of love.

— TIME Magazine

10. ONF: My Name by ONF

ONF: My Name was released on February 24 with the title song “Beautiful Beautiful”, and is ONF’s first studio album. It has currently made 75.3k sales!

After debuting in 2017, ONF has consistently released theatrical, dramatic bops. This year, the six-member act dropped its first full-length album ONF: My Name. It’s a project that, as suggested by the title, acts as a bold introduction for new listeners while reinstating the group’s musical strengths to existing fans.

— TIME Magazine

Source: TIME