Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, the powerful and cinematic fourth album by London-born rapper Little Simz, has been named the best record of 2021.

A journey through her family background and artistic struggles, it's been praised for its "razor-sharp lyricism" and "extravagant, orchestral" songs.

The album topped a BBC News "poll of polls" that combined the results of 30 critics' end-of-year lists.

"I've always wanted to make classic albums," she told the BBC this year.

"I've always wanted to make music that stands the test of time, and hopefully I keep doing that."

The victory comes days after Simz, whose real name is Simbiatu Ajikawo, was nominated for four Brit Awards, including best artist and album of the year.

Other artists on the list included Adele, Olivia Rodrigo and Lil Nas X - who all share Little Simz' confessional instincts, drawing on experiences of divorce, self-doubt, racism and homophobia, to create some of the year's most compelling music.

Rodrigo also topped our chart of the year's best singles with Good 4U - a pop-punk putdown worthy of Debbie Harry at her most sneery.

Lil Nas X's coming out anthem Montero (Call Me By Your Name) took second place, while Taylor Swift's expanded and re-recorded version of her 2012 break-up anthem All Too Well came third.

But some of the year's biggest-selling songs failed to meet with the critics' approval.

Ed Sheeran's Bad Habits, which spent 11 weeks at number one, didn't receive a single vote; while BTS's summer dance anthem Butter narrowly missed the top 20 (they are both superbly-written pop songs).

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