Though many may disagree: 2011 was one amazing year for music. It was an even better year for pop music. We received major releases from some of the biggest artist in the game and were introduced to a flock of newcomers ready to spice things up. This year instead of driving myself nuts collecting votes from all my wonderful visitors, I’ve decided to change things up and deliver a list of my personal favorites of the year. Every single album featured on this list I recommend no matter what ranking it received. I love them all for different reasons. Check out my Top 40 list below and comment with your faves of the year below. Thank You.
40. Foster the People – Torches
39. Frankmusik – Do It In The AM
38. Chris Brown – F.A.M.E
37. Example – Playing In The Shadows
36. The Pretty Reckless – Light Me Up (U.S)
35. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
34. Simon Curtis – R∆
33. Natalia Kills – Perfectionist
32. Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
31. Kimbra – Vows
30. Selena Gomez & The Scene – When the Sun Goes Down
29. Oh Land – Oh Land
28. Kelly Rowland – Here I Am
27. Dev – The Night the Sun Came Up
26. The Saturdays – On Your Radar
25. James Blake – James Blake
24. The Wanted – Battleground
23. David Guetta – Nothing But the Beat
22. Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting
21. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne
20. Kaskade – Fire & Ice
19. Cher Lloyd – Sticks & Stones
18. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
17. Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Make A Scene
16. Lights – Siberia
15. Clare Maguire – Light After Dark
14. Rebecca & Fiona – I Love You, Man
13. The Sound of Arrows – Voyage
12. Katy B – On A Mission
11. Wynter Gordon – With the Music I Die
10. Nicola Roberts – Cinderella’s Eyes
Girls Aloud member, Nicola Roberts may have been the quietest of the group but she had everyone talking when it came to the release of her debut album. Co-writing all the songs (apart from Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime) Nicola and her stellar list of producers crafted a fantastic 12-track album. “Cinderella’s Eyes” is bold, fresh, smart, and easily one of the best pop albums put out this year. I am forever Team Ginge!
9. Beyoncé – 4
Beyoncé‘s fourth studio album “4” definitely didn’t break any records or spawn out any massive hits but it remains an incredibly strong package. For the first time we saw the 30-year-old superstar take things back to basics and release an album filled with minimal production and simplistic lyrics. “4” is a gorgeous collection of ballads and throwback mid-tempo cuts. Beyoncé always delivers and “4” is a solid effort from one of the most talented and accomplished singers out now.
BUY Beyoncé’s fourth studio album “4” on iTunes NOW!
8. Will Young – Echoes
Male pop stars are indeed a dying breed. Against all odds, Original Pop Idol winner Will Young has managed to stand the test of time. On his his fifth studio album “Echoes,” Will joined forces with producer Richard X to craft what has easily become his best effort yet. “Echoes” is simply impressive and a overall fantastic listen from beginning to end. The man is one class act.
7. Rihanna – Talk That Talk
Only a year after the release of her chart-topping fifth studio album “Loud,” Rihanna came roaring with more on “Talk That Talk.” Rihanna’s sixth studio album is her tightest, cockiest, and most assured record yet. From beginning to end we’re treated with radio-ready, endlessly quotable, and relentlessly catchy pop jams. She’s already earned herself eleven number ones and has plenty more on the horizon. This is Rihanna (all of her) at her best.
BUY Rihanna’s sixth studio album “Talk That Talk” on iTunes NOW!
6. Kelly Clarkson – Stronger
It’s still hard to believe Kelly Clarkson was crowned the first American Idol ten years ago. Now on her fifth studio album, Kelly is as feisty and straight-forward as ever delivering one of her most cohesive efforts yet. This is her voice at its absolute best. Kelly Brianne Clarkson never change please.
BUY Kelly Clarkson’s fifth studio album “Stronger” on iTunes NOW!
5. Drake – Take Care
In a very short amount of time, Aubrey Graham aka Jimmy Brooks aka Drake has simply taken over Hip-Hop and R&B. With his highly-anticipated sophomore album “Take Care,” Drake has delivered an album filled with honest reflections of a 25-year-old navigating his way through his rapid rise to rap super-stardom. “Take Care” is much more than just a Hip-Hop album; its a captivating listening experience of many kinds. His game has been stepped up.
BUY Drake’s sophomore album “Take Care (Deluxe)” on iTunes NOW!
4. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
One of the hardest things for any artist to overcome is the sophomore slump, especially when your debut album is as wildly successful and critically acclaimed as Florence + The Machine‘s “Lungs.” With Ceremonials, Florence manages to improve and expand upon her distinct sound, all while taking us to church. There is no one in the musical landscape currently who so seamlessly blends different sounds the way she does. Her voice is simply perfection. I’m considering myself baptized.
BUY Florence + The Machine’s sophomore album “Ceremonials” on iTunes NOW!
3. Lady Gaga – Born This Way
Lady Gaga‘s third studio album may not have been the album for everyone but “Born This Way” gave her the chance to reinvent herself and deliver a completely new vision. There was something to love about each track and everyday I had a new favorite. Lady Gaga is far from perfect and definitely is still a work in progress but I think it’s safe to say Born This Way is an achievement in her career. Now bring on the tour!
BUY Lady Gaga’s third studio album “Born This Way” on iTunes NOW!
2. Britney Spears – Femme Fatale
There is not much to explain here. She’s captured our hearts for over a decade and still remains the princess of pop. With her seventh studio album “Femme Fatale,” Britney has managed to prove the skeptics wrong and deliver a solid pop album from start to finish. She introduced dubstep to mainstream America with “Hold It Against Me” and had us dancing for our lives in “Till The World Ends.” Despite all the media attention and rumors, “Femme Fatale” reminds us why we’re all obsessed with Britney, the creator of flawless pop.
BUY Britney Spears’ seventh studio album “Femme Fatale” on iTunes NOW!
1. Adele – 21
Without a doubt 2011 was the year of Adele. From “Rolling in the Deep” to “Someone Like You” the 23-year-old English singer-songwriter has been an unstoppable force. The album has topped the charts in over twenty four countries and is the biggest selling album of the year. Without any gimmicks, the album was able to succeed based solely on her natural talent. The woman’s craftsmanship is beyond her years, I look forward to many more years of great music from Queen Adele.
BUY Adele’s sophomore album “21” on iTunes NOW!