You Probably Forgot That These Songs Came Out In 2021

Let's be honest: 2021 has been a long year just like its predecessor. The COVID-19 pandemic brought things to a standstill despite time still moving, and as such, events felt both like they were yesterday and a million years ago. The same can be said for media, including songs.

The best pop songs of 2021 are ones that have transcended this time anomaly and remained fresh no matter how much time has actually passed, but some songs have fallen to the wayside. This is also a product of the pandemic because artists couldn't work much during the earlier parts of 2020, meaning all of their content was pushed back to 2021. Now, a wealth of music has been released this year, and many haven't been able to keep up with it or remember it after its release.

One saving grace this year for remembering music is none other than Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson covers a song on every episode of her talk show series, which has had the potential to reconnect people with songs they've forgotten. Nevertheless, some songs feel like they came out longer than just this year, so let's explore a few.

This song is more than "perfectly fine"

One of the best songs from this year that's coincidentally already been forgotten comes from global superstar Taylor Swift. Billboard named Swift's "Mr. Perfectly Fine" one of the year's 50 best songs earlier in 2021, but she's since released another album. Swift re-recorded her 2012 album "Red" in early November, and the Taylor's Version has 30 songs on it. Each of her re-recorded albums comes with many new "From The Vault" tracks that fans have never heard before, and attention has fully moved on to the ones from "Red." Still, "Mr. Perfectly Fine" is one of Taylor Swift's best songs of 2021.

This song is an expression of queer ownership and happiness

Another groundbreaking track to release this year comes from "Friday" singer Rebecca Black. Her song "Girlfriend" released in January this year and was a huge moment for Black: It saw her claiming her queerness in a big way, and the song is not only very cute but also a total bop (via NME). However, as great as this song is, it feels as though it was released last year due to how long 2021 has felt. Nonetheless, we couldn't be happier for Black owning her happiness.

This song requires no license to listen to it — or cry

Another monumental song to come out in January is none other than "Drivers License" by Disney star-turned-musician Olivia Rodrigo. This song made The New York Times' best songs list, and it's clear to see why. It achieved massive success both on the radio and TikTok, and it led Rodrigo into her debut album, "Sour." However, seeing the song on this list was shocking. This song perhaps more than any other feels like it's been out forever, but it was actually released in the first week of January.

This song had people turning "up" on TikTok this year

Also on The New York Times' best songs of the year list is "Up" by Cardi B. This song is particularly interesting because it feels as though it's been part of the entire pandemic's zeitgeist despite it being released on February 5, 2021. This song became a smash hit on TikTok, and it's garnered over 200 million views on YouTube since its release. No matter what happens in the future, everyone will always think of TikTok dances and the pandemic at large when this song comes on.

This song took over TikTok all year

Finally, one song that feels as though it came out before 2021 is Doja Cat and Saweetie's "Best Friend." This song feels this way for the same way "Up" by Cardi B does. It went wildly viral on TikTok, and everyone knows the chorus even if they don't know the rest of the song. On YouTube, the track has over 180 million views, which isn't far off from "Up" either. Billboard named it one of the best songs of the year, and for its cultural impact alone, it may very well be.

So, which of these songs is your favorite and which will you be taking into 2022?