– My Favorite Albums / EPs 2021

2021 definitely lifted to another level. The community is steadily increasing – days with less than 2,000 page hits her day became extremely rare. The more frequent postings also lead to a huge increase of album and EP reviews. My selection of favorite releases is finally supported by roughly 475 music reviews I did this year. Here are my best ones 2021 – you might like to compare them to my 2020 selection. And if you are rather into singles, there are also my Favorite Songs of the Year 2021.


My Favorite EPs in 2021

Like in 2020, I do not separate between country and non-country when it comes to selecting my five favorite EPs of the year.

5. Honky-Tonk Hippes by LANCO

LANCO did an amazing party music EP in July 2021. Just five tracks, but filled with a lot of fun – Cheers!

LANCO – Honky-Tonk Hippies EP

4. 29 by Carly Pearce

29 by Carly Pearce had a lot of potential to be at the very top of my “Best of EPs” list this year. Unfortunately, she spoiled it by “upgrading” the amazing EP to an album – I could also say cheating her fans. Nonetheless, an amazing release..

Carly Pearce – 29 EP

3. Love, Kylie by Kylie Morgan

Love, Kylie has been my first contact with Kylie Morgan music – and the June 2021 EP is just an amazing collection of very versatile songs.

Kylie Morgan – Love, Kylie EP

2. Die Songs, die ich nie schreiben wollte by Alex Diehl

Finally, Alex Diehl is the only non-country music artist in my list. This rather reflects that country music is still the key genre of – and EPs feel to become more and more popular in Nashville. Alex Diehl recorded an amazingly straight set of songs in his November 2021 release – I absolutely loved it.

Alex Diehl – Die Songs, die ich nie schreiben wollte EP

My Favorite EP in 2021:

Behind The Bar by Riley Green

There were two EPs this year, which received the full 5.0 rating. One of them is Carly Pearce’s 29 – and the other one is the amazing Behind The Bar by Riley Green. Seven amazing songs, which simply lead to my most favorite EP of the year. Thanks, Riley!

Riley Green – Behind The Bar EP


My Favorite Non-Country Albums in 2021

Even though country stays the main genre of, I feel that I had a really nice and wide range of genres this year. This also leads to a very high quality in my favorite non-country albums in 2021, which this year all have been reviewed on my blog. From Hawaiian instrumental sounds to hard rock – enjoy my suggestions.


7. Ka Honua Maluhia by Jim “Kimo” West

Jim “Kimo” West has so much emancipated from “just” being the guitar player of Weird Al Yankovic. His releases have amazing quality. Just having won a Grammy, Ka Honua Maluhia is another wonderful instrumental album. Absolutely worth a listen.

Jim “Kimo” West – Ka Honua Maluhia (Peaceful World)

6. The Weight of Man by Ray Wilson

Ray Wilson is an amazing performer on stage – and with The Weight Of Man, he proofed (again) that he is great in the studio as well. Absolutely loved his 2021 album.

Ray Wilson – The Weight Of Man

5. Labyrinth by Stefanie Heinzmann

The Swiss Stefanie Heinzmann is in the music business for so long now – but I still feel she is underrated and not just “the talent show girl”. Labyrinth shows great pop songs. I loved to listen to her 2021 release and spent quite a while with it.

Stefanie Heinzmann – Labyrinth

4. Chez Kane by Chez Kane

This ten song release (by the way, one of the albums which received the full 5.0 scorings this year) is maybe the one I feel most gifted about that I ran into it at all. What an amazing collection of rock tracks with a retro style – and it is even her debut album! Love it!

Chez Kane – Chez Kane

3. 80 plus by Dieter Hallervorden

I was really skeptical when I read that German actor and comedian Dieter Hallervorden will release an album. Bad luck that it felt to be promoted as German schlager, as his very personal 80 plus is so much deeper and comes with great stories. One of the best hidden gems of the German music scene this year.

Dieter Hallervorden – 80 plus

2. Wenn die Kälte Kommt by Santiano

Santiano are not at all a “hidden gem” in the German music scene any more. They are established and they deliver great music. So they did in 2021 with their Wenn die Kälte kommt again. Fantastic and unique shanty-folk-rock style.

Santiano – Wenn die Kälte Kommt

My Favorite Non-Country Album in 2021:

The Lockdown Sessions by Elton John

To me, the 2021 release by Elton John was the best album of the year, also regardless of the genre. Elton is a musical genius – and the way he is working with his own songs and sounds but finally also allowing his guest musicians to give their touch of music to the tracks is simply amazing. Great listen!

Elton John – The Lockdown Sessions



My Favorite Country Albums in 2021:

Last, but not least, here are by top long-play listens in country music.


7. Travelin’ Kind by Ashland Craft

If I look to the album side, it did not feel to be a really good year for the ladies to me. Finally, Ashland Craft is the only artist who made it into my Top 7. Great September 2021 album by the South Carolina artist.

Ashland Craft – Travelin’ Kind

6. What Is Life? by Brett Kissel

Great country music from Canada: Brett Kissel did this lovely album with a beautiful atmosphere in April 2021. Very good one.

Brett Kissel – What Is Life?

5. High Country Sound by Canaan Smith

One of the best lyrics in an album in 2021 to me. Canaan Smith’s High Country Sound has also been released in April 2021 and I really loved to listen to his stories.

Canaan Smith – High Country Sound

4. Pelagio by Ryan Hurd

Ryan Hurd did an amazing job with Pelagio – and I just cannot stop emphasizing that the album is his debut release. Definitely look forward to his future releases.

Ryan Hurd – Pelago

3. Country Again: Side A by Thomas Rhett

With his Country Again: Side A, Thomas Rhett again illustrates his vast musical talent. That’s superb country music.

Thomas Rhett – Country Again: Side A

2. Room To Dream by Ryan Kinder

Maybe the most beautiful atmosphere in all country albums I reviewed in 2021: Indeed, Ryan Kinder’s Room To Dream is a musical room to dream in. Lovely production, which just has been an easy choice for this list.

Ryan Kinder – Room To Dream

My Favorite Country Album in 2021:
Heart by Eric Church

Eric Church released the amazing triple album Heart & Soul in April 2021. While I slightly struggled with & (and) and absolutely enjoyed SoulHeart has been the outstanding part of this release to me. Fantastic album, which finally made it to my album of the year.

Eric Church – Heart


Most Special Music Release in 2021:

Lordiversity by Lordi

I just could not close this posting without giving a very special award and praise to my favorite band Lordi: the seven album box Lordiversity comes with ups and downs – but just being able to release seven albums in one and thereby also doing music far away from their comfort zone (like in the amazing album Superflytrap) is just fantastic. To me, the most remarkable release of the year.

Lordi – Lordiversity (Full Box Review)


Media Reviews – 2021 Debut EPs/Albums

Here are all my 2021-released Media Reviews about Debut EPs and Albums:


“Rides on Rail” Postings

Here is everything about trains, trams and other rail vehicles:



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