At this stage, it would be hard to argue that there was a better, more universally acclaimed and globally received album than Adele‘s 21, featuring consistently on “Best” and “Top” lists for 2011. Rolling Stone named the album #1 in their 50 Best Albums Of 2011 list that came out today, saying that the magic of 21 was all in the voice, both literally and figuratively; “More than any other album this year, 21 made you feel its pain – from the triple-hankie tear-jerker ‘Someone Like You’ to ripsnorting revenge songs like ‘Rumour Has It,’ where Adele rides a roiling groove and flattens everything in her path.”
Strangely enough, however, Rolling Stone gave the #2 spot to Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s Watch The Throne which, while possibly being the most hyped album of the year, wasn’t as well received as Kayne’s 2010 effort, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The Top 10 also features Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way at #6, which also failed to strike a chord with the critics this year, despite its epic release and subsequent run of artful, shock-value Gagaist videos. Predictably enough however, Rolling Stone fit Radiohead‘s King Of Limbs in at #5, controversial because it was considered a sub-par Radiohead offering, but believable enough given that despite criticism, the album has still found its way into an overwhelming number of Top 50 lists.
Rolling Stone comfortably treads the line between the year’s mainstream, veteran and indie releases, giving credence to all in fairly equal proportion. Nods to Fleet Foxes (#4), tUnE-yArDs (13), Feist (18), Das Racist (28), Kurt Vile (39) and Wavves (49) covering the year’s most talked about “alternative” releases. Places given to Paul Simon (3), The Beastie Boys (14) R.E.M (16) and PJ Harvey (47) covering the veterans, Rolling Stone had plenty of room for the oft overlooked big names including The Foo Fighters (20), Drake (22), Beyoncé (25), Florence + The Machine (27) and Gnarls Barkley (48). Oh, and just like everyone else, Rolling Stone had Bon Iver in there, snuggled up nicely at 21.
50 Best Albums Of 2011 [Rolling Stone]