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Year in Review 2021: What’s Happened with our Music this Year?

So, 2021. As another year passes in a blink of an eye, we decide to look back at all things that were presented to us in 2021 in terms of music.

Newsworthy Moments in Music

It was a colossal moment for women in music. Encompassing powerhouses from the popular – soloist debuts for the ages with Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR, charting global history with Billie Eilish and Dua Lipa taking the throne at the Brit Awards with Record of the Years’ Future Nostalgia – to the indie and underrated with Arlo Parks work.

… Not to mention the unruly return of Adele with ’30’, an album showing strong promise with Easy On Me – which has seen become the fastest streamed song in the year – but fell short somewhat the mark. Unforgiving or not, Adele has returned to the world of music and we love her for it. Nostalgia entwined in one, the work of female artists has been empowering and gratifying to an industry that is often quite the opposite for gender equality.

From Olivia Rodrigo’s rise to dominance … to the boycotting of the Grammys from our favourite plastic-surgery star, The Weeknd (who also had a triumphant year as usual) … to our queen of Taylor Swift re-recording her albums … to Foo Fighters ushering in the return of arena shows entering the summer … the work of Ye’s tinkering with Donda that took half a year .. and .. finally the momentous occasion of Adele’s and ABBA’s resurrection to the world of music, what a year it’s been.

Following on from the fanatical favourites throughout the year, we thought it be best to delve into some Man v Music’s favourites of the year.

Albums to Talk About …

Tyler, The Creator emblazoned in emphatic fashion by jettisoning off to paradise with ultimate summer sizzler, CALL ME WHEN IF YOU GET LOST. Charting the course of revolutionising how we perceive mainstream rap and hip-hop with artistic alternative evolution, it topped my ratings with its review.

Another noteworthy album to mention was IDLES‘ composed stifling of CRAWLER that saw the mad punk pack diverting into avenues of understanding and emphatic storytelling – as opposed to an all-out of war of anger.

On to the next with Easy Life‘s life’s a beach – an album that was on constant repeat since its initial release in the Summer. An ultimate lo-fi beat-bop of cult classics in the coming years, Easy Life rise to its debut demands and reach indie peaks. More to come next year!

A surprise entry to the albums of 2021 is MOD SUN‘s Internet Killed the Rockstar which saw the once-mainstream rapper charting into the unknown with pop-punk. Redeeming an otherwise lost genre, MOD SUN joins the entrails of other punk colleagues to revitalise the shaping and shifting of the pop-punk genre .. which has been a sight to see in itself!

2021 as a year … THAT pandemic.

Among the impressive quality of music on show throughout the year – to the young and hopeful, to the simply expected and underwhelming – the year had its restrictions. More specifically, the restrictions with the COVID pandemic. It temporarily hindered the development of the live music sector since the initial panic in 2020 from the pandemic, and more disappointment was to follow. As many events and gigs were postponed again – with no assurance of the insurance guaranteed for either this time around. Despite this, those brave ones among us managed to catch a glimpse of summer festival music with the likes of Tramlines and Reading + Leeds going ahead as usual – with reduced attendance – this year which, was quite overwhelming to see again after so many departed fields across the spectrum of UK over the summer period. However, deja vu struck again with postponements, as winter came and sought to take out as much live music entertainment as possible. With this in mind, 2022 sees more opportunity with activity in the live music sector almost reaching a full year as we see gigs return in January 2022.

For patches in 2021, it was a normal year for the music industry. Hopefully 2022 will see us within the industry follow a more consistent pattern with creating albums and being able to tour thereafter with confirmation – and no hesitations in the near future.

HERE’S TO MORE WONDERFUL MUSIC IN 2022 – AND HERE IS TO US BLOGGERS DOING THE DEVIL’S WORK AND SHARING THE LOVE. GOD BLESS YOU ALL – THANK YOU FOR THE SUPPORT OVER THE YEAR OR SO. Here’s to 2022!

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Angels & Airwaves: “Lifeforms” Album Review

Europhic with such a love of driven electronica and synth to push it across the line, Angels & Airwaves “Lifeforms” – the first album from A&A where Delonge is no longer a formal member of Blink-182 – is a highly driven, highly powerful pop-punk album of vindication.

Similar to that of the Da-Vinci inspired artwork, Lifeforms is a direct impasse to the theory of The Virtuvian Man where –

“everything connects to everything else.”

Drawing on DeLonge’s past project-influences with Automatic something out of Barker’s side project of Box Car Racer, Restless Souls feeding on a roaring number charting hope and escapism, Time Bomb straight out of the debut-on of We Don’t Need To Whisper and power-house standout Europhia sneaking out of the B-sides of Blink-182’s 2011 album of Neighbourhoods.

Unlike anything released before, this album comes with a gratifying purpose and a cocksure approach to writing larger-than-life songs that weigh up well against one another. Despite a lazier tact by sticking two pre-singles from 2019 on the backend of the album with Rebel Girl and Kiss & Tell, it’s something that can be let off as the album is impressive as it is power-hungry with very little flaws of execution.

Despite upset among Blink’s fans since DeLonge’s departure in 2015, it was certainly a educated ploy – especially if we were to receive Lifeforms off the back of it …

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Travis Barker’s House of Horrors: Halloween Special

In all to celebrate the works of pop-punk, punk and alternative rock/rap collaborations, Barker brings along a list of punk confidantes including Machine Gun Kelly, Avril Lavigne, Mark Hoppus and Iann Dior.

Happy Halloween folks! You can grab it on stream afterwards until midnight tonight only if you wanted to share the live experience.

This show didn’t certainly do things by halves either – with mass projections brought into costume and make-up, lighting rigging, set props and camera work. With Barker adhering to many costume changes during the night – including a Squid Game-inspired performance set with Blackbear – it is certainly worth all the spooky twists and turns it takes throughout the hour and half or so length.

ENTER IF YOU DARE: https://nocapshows.com/artist/houseofhorrors

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Artist Spotlight: Kenny Hoopla

– Pop-punk lives// –

In a state of punk decorum and expertise, Kenny Hoopla is the adventurist into the grandeurs of alternative rock, new-wave and …

pop-punk.

With the figurehead of pop-punk, Travis Barker behind the sticks, Hoopla became first known to us with his first debut EP, how will i rest in peace if I’m buried by a highway?// in 2020. With plastic door and sore loser, it was a more misanthropic, personal exploration of Hoopla’s ideas of lyricism and sorrowful tones, in terms of musicality.

how I rest in peace if I’m buried on the highway?//

For 2021 – with Barker no doubt barking orders for it to feature more angst and energy – SURVIVORS GUILT: THE MIXTAPE//, features a stronger competency to writing catchy and anthemic punk powerhouses that certainly has speckles of fellow punk counterparts of nothing.nowhere. and Blink-182 in the 8-track EP listing.

SURVIVORS GUILD: THE MIXTAPE//

Featuring the song that pushed Kenny into this genre in the first place, estella//, aswell as hollywood sucks// and my personal favourite, smoke break//, it is an exciting turn of events for this new-wave 23-year-old Ohio-born singer and rapper.

Worth a listen for any avid punk fans and for anyone who wants to let loose For this week, worthy under Artist Spotlight.