20.) The Weeknd - Echoes of Silence
On the final installment of the Toronto crooner's trilogy, The Weeknd improves his songwriting and shows that he is no one trick pony.
19.) Jay-Z & Kanye West - Watch the Throne
The epic collaboration falls short of lofty expectations, but still manages to push the hip hop envelope. Talks of a follow up for 2012 are promising, as the final product won't be as rushed.
18.) Asher Roth - Pabts & Jazz
On Pabts & Jazz, Asher flexes his lyrical muscle, and shows that his post-"I Love College" career will be something to follow. This jazzy effort is easily Roth's best work.
17.) Thurz - LA Riots
The other half of UNI drops a politically charged album surrounded around the Rodney King riots.
16.) Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Justin Vernon and company step out of that cabin in Wisconsin are create the anti-"For Emma," with beautiful, lush production and abstract, impressionistic songwriting.
15.) Blue Scholars - Cinemetropolis
Geo and Sabzi's fan-supported, movie-inspired LP, showcases top notch production and socially conscious rhymes.
14.) DJ Quik - The Book of David
The West Coast vet has a late career revival with some excellent post-G-Funk production; a great summer soundtrack.
13.) Saigon - Greatest Story Never Told
The most aptly titled album finally is released, and exceeds expectations.
12.) Adele - 21
The year's best-selling records is also one of the year's best albums.
11.) Atmosphere - The Family Sign
The indie rap vets turns into a quartet, with bluesy guitar-based production and grown man rap songs.