First of all here is my criteria/rating scale:
I have taken categories and gave each of the 127 giving them each a rating of 1-10, here are the categories
- Replay Value - How often did I feel compelled to go back and listen to this album throughout the year?
- Vocal Performance - For hip hop albums this included flows, rhyme schemes, cadences, etc. For rock albums melodies, quality of vocals, harmonies, etc.
- Production - How good were the beats/ music.
- Subject Matter - Lyrical content, song topics
- Songwriting - Ability to structure a good song, includes quality of choruses/hooks and bridges
- Cohesion - How well did the album flow? Did it sound like one piece of music, or just a bunch of random track?
- Originality - How original or creative was the album?
- Gut feeling - My initial instinct on what I thought the album should rand 1-10
In addition, I also added a "Fillers" category, which took off a negative point for every song I rated 2 or less stars in my iTunes.
I also had a category called "The Big 300" which awarded a bonus point to an album for every track that was picked as the best 300 songs of 2011.
40.) Pac Div - The Div
Finally after years of sitting on Warner Brother's shelf, the Cali trio unleashed their debut album to world, and it's the group's best work.
39.) Grieves & Budo - Together/Apart
On Grieves' Rhymesayers debut he didn't quite show as much artistic growth as I had hoped for, but his 3rd full-length has plenty of great tracks and phenomenal production from Budo.
38.) The Antlers - Burst Apart
The Antlers follow up their groundbreaking, Hospice album with the beautiful Burst Apart. A few steps back in storytelling, but a few steps forward in musicianship.
37.) Young Jeezy - Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition
Jeezy fights off career obscurity by sticking to the basics.
36.) Yonas Michael - Lost in Hollywood
The former UNI emcee's solo debut is a genre bending, rough around the edges journey through L.A.
35.) Apathy - Honkey Kong
The Connecticut emcee pokes fun at his whiteness, while lyrically beasting over top notch production from the likes of DJ Premier and Evidence.
34.) Action Bronson - Dr. Lecter
The Ghostface-sounding rapper drops his delectable rhymes over some great break beats.
33.) Freddie Gibbs - Cold Day in Hell
The Gary, Indiana rapper drops his first project since joining forces with Young Jeezy, and it shows the promise of the new marriage.
32.) Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto
Chris Martin and company dabble in narratives, electronics and Rihanna, and the results are shockingly good.
31.) Killer Mike - Pl3dge
Killer Mike's 3rd installment of his Pledge Allegiance with the Grind series is among his best and most political work, and the ATLien is finally getting the credit he deserves.