What’s the Best Album of 2011? Vote in Our Poll.

Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 3 2012 2:02 PM

What’s the Best Album of 2011?

Adele performs last August.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Last week Slate readers chose Skyrim as the best video game of 2011, and this week—following up on Slate’s annual Music Club—we want you to weigh in on the best music.

The 2011 album top-ten lists from Music Club participants Jody Rosen, Jonah Weiner, Ann Powers, and Nitsuh Abebe only overlapped occasionally: w h o k i l l by tUnE-yArDs made it onto three lists, while Hell on Heels by Pistol Annies, Take Care by Drake, Black Up by Shabazz Palaces, and XXX by Danny Brown each appeared on two.

Some of the best-reviewed albums of 2011 didn’t appear on any of the lists. One of the big conversations in this year’s Music Club, for instance, was whether or not Adele is boring; there was some disagreement on this point, but her wildly successful 21 did not show up on any of the top-tens. Another conversation starter: How bad a lyricist is Bon Iver? His self-titled album did not appear on anyone’s list either.


Those two are in our poll, however: Given both their popularity and their critical acclaim, it seemed only right to include them. We also added Bad as Me by Tom Waits (according to Metacritic, “the best-reviewed major album” of the year), as well as Radiohead’s King of Limbs, Wilco’s The Whole Love, Stone Rollin’ by Raphael Saddiq, The Harrow and the Harvest by Gillian Welch, House of Balloons by The Weeknd (one of three mixtapes The Weeknd put out this year), Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes, Feist’s Metals, The King is Dead by The Decemberists, and David Comes to Life by Fucked Up.

So which of these nearly 50 albums was the best of the year? Vote in our poll below. And if it was none of these, let us know your own pick in the comments.

The poll will close on Friday at noon. If you need to brush up on the year’s music before voting, head over to our Spotify playlist.


David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 



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