Best Kpop Albums of 2021

2021 gave us some fantastic music to wild out to. From SHINee releasing their anticipated album ‘Don’t Call Me’ to LISA taking over TikTok with her viral hit “Money.” 2021 was an excellent year for kpop! With the year coming to a close, we wanted to share a few artists who had us in a chokehold all year.

If you’re interested check out our Spotify playlist for this list.

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Baekhyun – Bambi

℗ SM Entertainment

Steering away from his youthful pop sound. Baekhyun released a sultry R&B album packed with a strong title track and an equally solid set of B-Side tracks, making this a memorable body of work.

1. Love Scene
2. Bambi
3. All I Got
4. 놀이공원 (Amusement Park)
5. Privacy
6. Cry For Love

Stream/Buy: | Amazon | Spotify | YouTube | Deezer | TIDAL | SMGlobalShop



ⓒ CUBE Entertainment Inc

“I Burn” takes fans on a wave of emotional bliss. Each track makes the listener feel like they’re traveling through a storybook, filled with heartbreak and sanguineness.

1. HANN (Alone in winter)



4. Where is love



Stream/Buy: | Amazon | Spotify | YouTube | Deezer | TIDAL |

Lee Hi – 4 Only


The retro-inspired album gave listeners a look into what can happen when an artist is given creative freedom. Lee Hi talks about 4Only being a project; she could express herself through and experiment with different sounds. And we loved every minute of it!

1. Savior [Feat. B.I]
2. Intentions
3. Waterride
4. Bye
5. Red Lipstick [Feat. Yoon Mirae-T]
6. H.S.K.T. [Feat. Wonstein]
7. Safety Zone
8. What is Love?
9. Darling
10. ONLY

Stream/Buy: | Amazon | Spotify | YouTube | Deezer |


ⓒ Very Cherry

I can tie a cherry! CL’s alpha album is a sonically diverse piece of art, that anyone can bop to. Each b-side has a distinguished personality and could act as a title track. The artist herself has had these songs in a vault waiting to be unleashed, and boy were we glad she set them free!

1. Spicy
2. Lover Like Me
3. Chuck
4. Xai
5. Let It
6. Tie A Cherry
7. Paradise
8. My Way
9. Siren
10. H₩A
11. 5 Star

Stream/Buy: | Amazon | Spotify | YouTube | Deezer | TIDAL |

SHINee – Don’t Call Me

℗ SM Entertainment

SHINee’s back! Something Shawols were delighted to say this year. They were also thrilled to listen to the groups’ comeback album and title track, “Don’t Call Me.” With SHINee’s signature, 90s/ early 2000s sound matched with their amazing vocals. The princes of kpop released a timeless body of work. Each b-side being better than the next. SHINee is definitely back in 2021.

1. Don’t Call Me
2. Heart Attack
3. Marry You
5. I Really Want You
6. Kiss Kiss
7. Body Rhythm
8. Attention
9. 빈칸 (Kind)

Stream/Buy: | Amazon | Spotify | YouTube | Deezer | TIDAL | SMGlobalShop

Somi – XOXO

ⓒ YG Entertainment Inc

In 2021, Somi gave us an endless amount of high-quality content! First, the pop princess released her highly anticipated album XOXO that covered the topics of young love and heartbreak. The most memorable thing about this project is the storyline; she didn’t just release a ton of meaningless bops but a storybook. ‘DUMB DUMB’ follows the start of a new relationship, ‘XOXO’ talks about the breakup of said relationship, and ‘Anymore’ describes the aftermath.

1. Dumb Dumb


3. Don’t Let Me Go (feat. Giriboy)

4. Anymore

5. Watermelon

6. Birthday

7. What You Waiting For

8. Outta My Head (어질어질)

Stream/Buy: | Amazon | Spotify | YouTube | Deezer | TIDAL |

Glen Check – Dive Baby, Dive

ⓒ EMA Recordings

Glen Check’s music embodies the spirit of an in-between adult in the early 2010s. Their project Dive Baby, Dive is a mellow rock-inspired EP about looking back on past relationships. And how carefree, young, wild, and free the two were back then.

1. Dazed & Confused
2. Dive Baby, Dive

Stream/Buy: | Amazon | Spotify | YouTube | Deezer | TIDAL |

KEY – Bad Love

℗ SM Entertainment

In a small post on my FB wall, I said that Key would release one of the best kpop albums of the year, and in my opinion, he did. With David Bowie influence, Key seamlessly reinvents himself with ‘Bad Love,’ an experimental album moving the retro concept to new heights. We genuinely feel the passion and greatness of this EP through lyrics like “There isn’t a piece of you in me. Nothing but bad love.” and “So hold me tight. Because the End will come, I would love to watch the End of my, End of my world with you.”

2. Yellow Tape
3. Hate that (Ft. TAEYEON (태연)
4. Helium
5. Saturday Night
6. Eighteen (End Of My World)

Stream/Buy: | Amazon | Spotify | YouTube | Deezer | TIDAL |



Sarah is the founder and content manager of TokkiStar. She has been a K-pop fan since the age of 13 but began as a J-pop fan at 11. Some of her favorite groups include SHINee, Wonder Girls, Red Velvet, SVT, WJSN, NCT, Day6, The Rose, and SNSD. She is currently anticipating the day Pristin reunites.