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Best albums of 2011

It’s hard to designate 12 months’ worth of musical releases as “weak,” but if any year can boldly claim the title, it’s 2011. The homogeneity of radio favorites is almost ridiculous: add some dubstep and you’re guaranteed to go platinum. “Sexy And I Know It” has now spent three solid months in the top three of the Billboard Hot 100–enough said. There were catchy releases and a smattering of good songs, but when entire albums were great, they were almost impeccable. Here are a couple examples of what we mean.