We calculated our top 40 new releases of 2021 based on year-end lists by our writers. They were asked to choose the 10 best new releases and five best historical titles—i.e., albums and box sets consisting primarily of music recorded 10 or more years ago. Each voter’s individual ballot, featuring both new and historical releases, can be seen here. Albums and box sets released between November 9, 2020 and November 12, 2021 were eligible. Some discs may have slipped through the cracks, however, as official release dates shifted or weren’t available.