TIME, Rolling Stone Announce Best Albums of 2011

Kanye West and Jay-Z

It’s that time of the year again when critics put out their best of the year lists. The editors at TIME and Rolling Stone have released their picks for the best albums of 2011. Adele’s Grammy-nominated 21 scores top honors on both lists and Jay-Z and Kanye West’s historic joint LP Watch the Throne also ranks in the top 3. Although it was never commercially released, Frank Ocean’s debut Nostalgia, Ultra earns praise from TIME and Lady Gaga’s hit-filled Born This Way lands at #6 on Rolling Stone‘s list.

See the familiar (and unfamiliar) names that made the cut.

TIME’s Top 10 Albums of 2011

1. Adele, 21
2. Florence and the Machine, Ceremonials
3. Kanye West and Jay-Z, Watch the Throne
4. PJ Harvey, Let England Shake
5. Frank Ocean, Nostalgia, Ultra
6. tUnE-yArDs, W h o k i l l
7. Caitlin Rose, Own Side Now
8. The Beastie Boys, Hot Sauce Committee Part II
9. Civil Wars, Barton Hollow
10. Black Keys, El Camino

Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of 2011

1. Adele, 21
2. Kanye West and Jay-Z, Watch the Throne
3. Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What
4. Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues
5. Radiohead, The King of Limbs
6. Lady Gaga, Born This Way
7. The Decemberists, The King Is Dead
8. Wilco, The Whole Love
9. Wild Flag, Wild Flag
10. Robbie Robertson, How to Become Clairvoyant

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99 Comments

  1. JueLz

    adele better be up there! lol such a great album.

    [Reply]

    INCAS Reply:

    @JueLz, They should really put Cassie on that list!

    [Reply]

    booyt Reply:

    @INCAS, only place i want to see cassie is on is playboy naked

    [Reply]

    Joyams Reply:

    @INCAS, ahahahaha cassie really??

    [Reply]

    INCAS Reply:

    @Joyams, yes. TIME, Rolling Stone and even Playboy should know better :)

    [Reply]

    Lauryn Reply:

    @JueLz,

    I’m mentioning this person’s name because of her musical talent: Beyonce! 4 was hands down the most musically diverse driven album of the year. It was incredible and to be 25 on Rolling Stones in a sham! Adele is an incredible artist and deserves it, It was the same (amazing) sound through out the album. Beyonce’s 4 represented real authentic music and these lists and the musical taste of today goes to show R&B (with other mixes) is very much dead. It’s a shame that the matter of the fact is that, 4 will only be recognised for it’s musical genius once Beyonce isn’t making any-more music or either (knocks on wood) Beyonce has passed. Same with Amy & Michael – Clear example Beyonce is a Legend.

    P.S = I Do Not Stan For Mrs.Carter!

    [Reply]

    oily Reply:

    @Lauryn, i agree love queen B 4 is her most soild album

    [Reply]

    Jay Reply:

    @Lauryn, I’m in total agreement. 4 was one of the best albums of the year. Glad Watch The Throne got recognised.

    [Reply]

    Peasant Reply:

    @Jay, 4 was good but when compared to the other albums on the list, they’re better.

    [Reply]

    Sara VanDenElsen Reply:

    @Lauryn, Agreed…don’t know how it is not on the list. Blows my mind.

    [Reply]

  2. UH...HOLD UP LIL BOO!

    Frank Ocean YES!

    [Reply]

    Real Issh Reply:

    @UH…HOLD UP LIL BOO!, Yessssss !

    [Reply]

  3. Shade

    Horrible lists……………………………

    [Reply]

    jasmine Reply:

    @Shade, not really. I have 7 out of 10. Im not saying my taste in music in the best but these albums are pretty amazing.

    [Reply]

    jasmine Reply:

    * 7 out of 20.

    [Reply]

    Trev Reply:

    @Shade, TERRIBLE LIST!!!! What is the criteria for this list? If it is success than this is all wrong!

    The only albums that I 100% agree with is Adele’s 21, Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and Florence’s “Ceremonial”…but where’s “Carter 4″ Double Platinum isn’t too common nowadays…and i don’t care what anyone says, “Watch The Throne” is TERRIBLE! all it is is catchy beats…Lyrically GARBAGE

    what she order? Fish filet…what?! Kanye fell OFF…and JayZ is even worse…so sad to see talent vanish

    follow me @TheTTT333

    [Reply]

    Jaymalls Reply:

    @Trev, lmao… U sound like the type of bitch a nigga would take 2 a good resterante and order a fuckin fish fillet!!!
    P.S. I’m aware you’re a dude and a YMCMB cheerleader!

    [Reply]

    Trev Reply:

    @Jaymalls, Actually I’m not…and if you think that JayZ and Kanye are still good rappers then there’s really no reason to talk to you…Kanye was so great, now he says absolutely NOTHING…same with JayZ…Lil Wayne isn’t as good as he used to be either but he has some content

    and all I said was fact…if based on success of album, this list is not accurate (besides Adele being the obvious #1 album)

    [Reply]

  4. @OMGIts_KhalilD my twitter follow me, ill follow back!

    sooo iguess everybody thought 4 was the worst album Bey did? to me was her best album…

    NO im notta stan i just love music! imma stand for God though!

    [Reply]

    Lauryn Reply:

    @@OMGIts_KhalilD my twitter follow me, ill follow back!,

    Thank You. It Was Incredible with many genres mixed into one. Real Music Is Deeeeeeeeead! Adele does in fact deserve #1, as do The Throne! But Gaga’s album was not musical genius it was good, but not incredible to be listed!

    [Reply]

    _GetLifted Reply:

    @Lauryn, @OMGIts_KhalilD most definitely her best work!

    [Reply]

    @OMGIts_KhalilD my twitter follow me, ill follow back! Reply:

    @Lauryn, yeeaaahhh i hated Gaga’s album some of the music never made sense to me… now bad Kids was good Sheibe made me wonder wtf she was sayin…. i have to figure out waht the words r in english first lol

    [Reply]

    realest Reply:

    @@OMGIts_KhalilD my twitter follow me, ill follow back!,

    I AM A HUGE BEY’ STAN SINCE 1997

    BUT I WILL BE HONEST “4″ WASN’T THE BEST

    I FEEL HER BEST WORK WAS “I AM… SASHA FIERCE” THAT WAS A SOLID ALBUM. IT HAD EVERYTHING. THAT WAS HER MOST ECLECTIC ALBUM.

    EVERY TYPE OF SOUND WAS ON THAT ALBUM

    [Reply]

    @OMGIts_KhalilD my twitter follow me, ill follow back! Reply:

    @realest, thats your opinion! lol everyone is entitled to there own opinion! i love that album to, good production w/ an awesome tour to back it up.

    [Reply]

    Alex! Reply:

    @@OMGIts_KhalilD my twitter follow me, ill follow back!, I love that you said, I’MMA STAND FOR GOD THO! WHOOP!!

    [Reply]

    @OMGIts_KhalilD my twitter follow me, ill follow back! Reply:

    @Alex!, :0 thank you!

    [Reply]

  5. Angieb2b

    Beyonce is no where to be found. :D

    [Reply]

  6. shyne

    what a crap list only one that should be up there is that fat white girl f*** flop the throne

    [Reply]

    iamjones Reply:

    @shyne, get the fuck out of here watch the throne and take care are the only good rap album out sostop just listening to these corny rappers and expand your music

    [Reply]

    latonya Reply:

    @iamjones, Definitely Jay-z and kanye took over 2011 with that album and adele’s voice is amazing. I think 4 by beyonce should have been there but she already run the world so she proabably aint triping!

    [Reply]

  7. Marvin

    I’ve neve heard of some of thse people… But good job Adele! She is wonderful! Everybody likes her music!

    [Reply]

  8. The Truth

    its funny how lil wayne, drake, and all the other fake rappers are nowhere to be found on that list hahaaa

    [Reply]

  9. ...........

    Wheres Take Care?

    [Reply]

    JstAmir Reply:

    @……….., +1

    [Reply]

    BelieDat Reply:

    @JstAmir, hahhahahah they did drake diiiiirty

    [Reply]

    Pushinit Reply:

    @………..,
    Take care is 22 on Rolling Stones full list

    [Reply]

    KingDro Reply:

    @Pushinit, Section 80 best of the year. Bey 4 > Adelle

    [Reply]

  10. JstAmir

    Nahh

    [Reply]

  11. Flexy

    2Me
    It’s NAS AND DAMIEN MARLEY – DISTANT RELATIVES
    ….Cos it’s About real life , Knowledge & wisdom
    Education 4 The Real People Not 4 BliNg BliNg AsS*z

    [Reply]

    cal Reply:

    @Flexy, except distant relatives was released in 2010 lol

    [Reply]

    Flexy Reply:

    @cal, You’re Right , time runs faster
    My bad tho

    [Reply]

    OVOXO Reply:

    @Flexy, Great album tho

    [Reply]

    Word! Reply:

    @cal, so was Adele’s 21….?

    [Reply]

  12. Miszi

    To put Born This Way anywhere on the list is a joke. Where is Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E. or Drake’s Take Care? Glad Frank Ocean is on the list though. Nostalgia, ultra is pretty damn amazing.

    [Reply]

    Key Lo Lo Reply:

    @Miszi, Girl sit down. Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E. had about 3 good songs. Born this way deserved to be on that list. Was it the best album of the year, no, but it was one of the best.

    [Reply]

    Miszi Reply:

    @Key Lo Lo, Why assume I’m a girl? I’m a dude and alright, guess everyone has the right for their own opinon.

    [Reply]

    Joyams Reply:

    @Miszi, i love me some chris brown but to be honest FAME is nothing compared to born this way musically speaking

    [Reply]

    Miszi Reply:

    @Joyams, Gaga…better musically than Chris Brown? Like wow…Only her first album was pretty good but that’s just my opinion. She is a gimmick.

    [Reply]

  13. cal

    can’t believe drake’s take care or the weeknd’s house of balloons isn’t up there. house of balloons was a straight-up game changer and nobody this year matched the hype and out-of-nowhere success that the weeknd had.

    wack lists.

    [Reply]

  14. No Name

    this is shit

    [Reply]

  15. az-ddin chaknat

    Where The Carter IV i th!nk thàt Best Album Of this Year is The C4 ♫♪♫☺….☺♂

    [Reply]

    BelieDat Reply:

    @az-ddin chaknat, you’re like the dumbest mf alive

    [Reply]

    Jaymalls Reply:

    @BelieDat, Co-sign… I swear Wayne fans are delusional!

    [Reply]

    iamjones Reply:

    @az-ddin chaknat, you sooo fuckin stupid that cd was hot toilet shit wack

    [Reply]

  16. Outspoken

    I’m proud of you Frank Ocean! Glad to see you being recognized.

    [Reply]

  17. tom

    carter IV is that some kind of sick joke???, maybe the most disappointing flop of the yea, carter IV got that all sewn up…

    this is time and rolling stone, these are world wide publications.. 90% of this world dont know who drake is let alone the weeknd, who are very niche, this is not bet’s best rap albums of 2011 dipshits…get a friggin clue.

    [Reply]

  18. Diesol

    Tom your an idiot if you think more people know Frank Ocean more than Drake

    [Reply]

  19. yungin

    ‘house of balloons’ by the weeknd is the album of the year hands down…aint no-one changed the game like he has in a minute…im just waiting for mainstream to catch up..they eventually will…

    [Reply]

  20. Cudder

    AHAH,in your face kanye and old jay-zip

    [Reply]

    iamjones Reply:

    @Cudder, um they in the top 3 on both list where your boy wayne……. thought so stupid

    [Reply]

    Randy Reply:

    @iamjones, youre downtalking thenm for winning? ummm okay?

    [Reply]

  21. Chri$

    1. Kanye West & Jay-Z – Watch the Throne
    2. ColdPlay – Mylo Xyloto
    3. Drake – Take Care
    4. Game – The RED Album
    5. Lupe Fiasco – Lasers
    6. Rihanna – Talk That Talk
    7. Wiz Khalifa – Rolling Papers
    8. David Guetta – Nothing But The Beat
    9. Maybach Music Group(MMG) – Self-Made
    10. Big Sean – Finally Famous

    [Reply]

    Randy Reply:

    @Chri$, obviously you dont listen to a wide enough range of music to construct and objective list

    [Reply]

    Chri$ Reply:

    @Randy, I listen to so much different music like hiphop, dance, pop, reggae, reggeton, salsa. Is that side enough for u?

    [Reply]

    P Reply:

    @Chri$, sure u do

    [Reply]

  22. Beyonce is desperate

    4bidden didn’t make the list. I’m excited!!!!

    [Reply]

    KillBill Reply:

    @Beyonce is desperate, 4 made the full list, Asshole. By the way Talk That Talk has fallen on the charts!!

    [Reply]

    KaramelKisses Reply:

    @KillBill, LOL! You better tell him … was it even on the charts? It debuted w/ 180,000 (or less) sold hasn’t even reached 300,000 units yet.

    [Reply]

    Beyonce is desperate Reply:

    @KillBill, WTH is talk that talk? My favorite artist breaks all records that these starving black artists thrive for. Now you look silly, since all the be-yawn-ce stand think a person who doesn’t favor her music is a Rihanna fan.

    Now let me ask, where is your common sense?

    I’ll wait.

    [Reply]

  23. otis

    Watch the throne baby!!!!!! by far album of the year

    [Reply]

  24. WoW_

    Seriously, how can Lady Gaga´s Bron This Way be on this list? Of course, she is a good singer, but, compared to other albums, that album wasnt that good!

    [Reply]

    STFU Reply:

    @WoW_,

    yea over 8 million copies in less then a year isn’t impressive at all…

    ಠ_ಠ

    [Reply]

  25. Real Issh

    Wheres “4″ & “Cole World” ? I’m proud of Frank & WTT .

    [Reply]

  26. Stre3t Danc@

    The list sucks. So many dope albums missing.

    [Reply]

  27. Jfenty

    Wheres Beyonce , bruno mars, and Rihanna?

    [Reply]

  28. wtf

    drake big sean chis brown all got snubbed

    [Reply]

  29. YuYu

    Watch The Throne is really good. Murder To Excellence is one of the best songs I’ve heard this year. :D

    [Reply]

  30. Kyle

    I loved the Beastie Boys’ album so I’m glad TIME recognized it.

    [Reply]

  31. KillBill

    21 was an Okay album it’s kinda boring. But I love 75% of it.

    [Reply]

  32. DrakeTakeCare

    AHAHHAHAHA TAKE CARE IS NOT ON THERE WHAT A SHAME!!!!!! HAHA THEY DONT HAVE NO IDEA …WTT ???REALLY?!?!?? hahahha everyone knows take care was much better than that…drake fans, people who are objective and even fans of the have to accept this…

    sooo sad the list..
    only big names on there..

    [Reply]

    bangPOW Reply:

    @DrakeTakeCare, the best song on drakes album is “lord knows” and theres a couple other good songs on there aswell, but for you to say WTT shouldnt be on here is soo biased of you

    [Reply]

  33. Kayla

    Both of these lists are crap! F.A.M.E. should be on both of those lists! It was better than Watch the Throne and Born This Way! I loved 21 though.

    [Reply]

  34. #MusicNews :: Best Albums of 2011 – Time & Rolling Stone Lists Their Top-10 Albums | TopicPls

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  35. #MusicNews :: Best Albums of 2011 – Time & Rolling Stone Lists Their Top-10 Albums | TopicPls

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  36. Mar

    Shutup about 4, it was “cute” but it wasn’t “Beyonce” And everyone here knows it. Y’all sound like some Rihanna fans, type of fans that are just blind to the truth that sometimes every now and then EVEN THE QUEEN has an off album, was 4 solid? HECK YES, top ten of the year? I’d give it 8-12 so chill the heck out. Watch The Throne deserves that.

    [Reply]

  37. SASHA_fIERCE

    BEYONCE IS COMINNNNNNNNNNG HAARD WITH THE NEXT ALBUM ALL THE SONGS WILL BE WRITTEN BY HER

    [Reply]

  38. b

    nono where,s the CARTER 4 is THE BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR !!!1

    [Reply]

  39. SIDE LINE STORY

    A List without J cole is a list that doesnt deserve to be made. Side Line story! nuff said. doesnt need to number 1 but on the LIST!

    [Reply]

  40. top 10 best lists

    Wow!!! Honestly speaking you are really a great writer. What I required I got it. Thank you so much.

    [Reply]

  41. DA FAN

    WHAT IS IT BASED ON ANY WAY?

    [Reply]

  42. TIME & Rolling Stone Announce Best Albums of 2011 | SMTDaily.com

    [...] RU [...]

  43. Vee

    Kudos to Adele for not trying to insult the consumers ears and intelligence.

    [Reply]

  44. AMP Music Minute: Adele Tops Best Album Lists, Rihanna Gets Grill’d Out And Nicki Minaj Kisses And Tells With Madonna

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  45. TRA

    @Trev, I have to disagree with you, I know that Kanye West/Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne album is not a classic, but Watch The Throne is a good album, and is one of the best albums of 2011. Kanye West is still a great rapper, Kanye West’s last album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was the most critical acclaimed album of 2010, and went certified platnium. It seems like you are comparing Kanye West’s last solo album to Kanye West/Jay-Z’s previous collaboration album. It is wrong to compare a solo album to a collaboration album because an artist has more control on a solo album. To be fair, as much as I respect Young Money/Cash Money Records, all of Young Money artists except Drake put out platinum selling albums that got terrible reviews from unbiased music fans, and unbiased music critics left and right. You need to be more fair when you say certain artists fell off musically.

    [Reply]

  46. Sara VanDenElsen

    Ahum….they forgot Beyonce’s 4….that album is unlike any other out there now- simply amazing I think. The lyricism, messaging, vocals, balance in upbeat tempos and ballads, etc are incredible. I’m glad they got Adele, Jay Z & Kanye & Frank Ocean though.

    [Reply]

  47. romeo

    who the hell are those people fame is a clasic,those people are ass kisser

    [Reply]

  48. Husky

    This List is Stupid!! Both of them are Stupid infact! I dont even know Half the People on the List!

    [Reply]

  49. Last King

    Poor Bey, I guess no one was here for you this era lol

    [Reply]

  50. Fan Of A Fan

    Erm… Why can’t I see Rihanna – LOUD?

    [Reply]

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