Oh, I do love this time of year – my annual exposé of my taste in music. I couldn’t enter 2022 without looking back on my year in music in 2021, could I? So, in honour of my tradition, let’s take a look at what my top 100 most listened to songs of 2021 were. You’re in for a treat.
2021 (Faye’s Version)
In what has been yet another chaotic year, I think we can all agree that music has played a key part in getting us through it all. Here are the 100 songs that I loved and listened to the most throughout 2021.
Analysing my top 100 songs of 2021
There’s definitely a clear influence from film and TV in my top songs from 2021. At the beginning of the year, I watched a couple of really great K-dramas on Netflix, so it’s fun seeing that some songs from their soundtracks made it into my 2021 playlist. A few songs from Bo Burnham’s Inside also made a feature, as well as UK Hun? by UK Drag Race’s United Kingdolls and Life’s Incredible Again from the Incredibles soundtrack (thanks TikTok for reminding me it existed).
I’ve also found that, just like last year, there are a lot of tracks from my workout playlist that have made it into my top 100. In fact, half of my top 10 tracks are from it and almost a quarter of the entire playlist is from my workout playlist. It’d be interesting to see what my top 100 songs playlist would look like without any of my workout songs on it. Maybe that’s something to try for next years playlist!
Expectations and surprises
Usually, there are a few tracks that I know will end up in my top 100 most listened to songs. But, this year, I felt as though I really didn’t know what to expect. Looking at it now, I guess the songs on there make a lot of sense. But, I was surprised to see Taylor Swift’s the last great american dynasty only at 13. I thought it would be up there in the top three. In contrast, star-crossed by Kacey Musgraves was much higher up than I thought it would be. I only started listening to the album in November and didn’t really listen to it that much. I absolutely love the track but was expecting it to sit at around number 75 – so interesting!
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I always find it fascinating to see that amongst all the new discoveries throughout the years, there are always a few songs that repeat in my annual playlists. Compared with my 2020 playlist, there were 10 songs that appeared again in 2021:
Day Dreaming – Aretha Franklin
Versace on the Floor – Bruno Mars
positions – Ariana Grande
august – Taylor Swift
Face to Face – Rex Orange County
Nothing Revealed/Everything Denied – The 1975
Wonder – Shawn Mendes
That’s What I Like – Bruno Mars
Step Into My Life – Jessie Ware
Prisoner – Miley Cyrus ft. Dua Lipa
Rounding things off, we’ve got the special mentions. These are songs that have really stuck with me this year, and represent where my music taste was at in 2021. Special mention number one is I Don’t Want to Wait by Paula Cole. 2021 was the year that I finally decided to watch Dawson’s Creek for the first time. It had been sat in my watchlist for a pretty long time and, this year, I finally ended up watching it. If you’re a fan of the show, then you’ll know that I Don’t Want to Wait is the theme song for the series. You’ll also know that it’s an absolute TUNE. It’s no surprise to me that it ended up taking number 44 in my top 100 in 2021 – I couldn’t get enough of it (or the show, for that matter).
Number two goes to Skate by Silk Sonic. Honestly, the entire An Evening with Silk Sonic album is a masterpiece in my eyes – so much show that all nine tracks made it into my top 100. But, Skate is the track that stood out to me the most of them all. Also, I’m pretty sure that the song samples Bruno Mars’ Treasure. Sampling your own music? I can totally get on board with that energy. The final special mention is for Herbie Hancock’s Tell Me a Bedtime Story. I feel as though I listened to this track most frequently while I was writing. It’s the perfect balance of funk, soul and jazz all in one, whilst still keeping things quite calm and relaxed – a great tune for background listening and active listening.
So that ends my 2021 in music AND blog posts. I’ll see you all in 2022. But before we all head off to celebrate the last day of this chaotic year, I want to know…what tracks made it into your top 100 songs of 2021? Were there any rogue tracks that surprised you? Send them my way.
Read next: My top 100 most listened to songs of 2020.