Its been a busy year for music with hundreds and hundreds albums being released. From Lady Gaga to PJ Harvey to Adele there’s been enough to keep our musical fill throughout the year. ¬†Our music review contributors have each compiled their list of top 10 albums for this year and just as each contributor is unique, so are their lists. Alaina, Jay and Jeffrey each show how their diverse flavor in musical tastes help to make Critic Studio Magazine the ideal mecca for your quality entertainment.

Alaina’s Top Album Picks

  1. Adele – 21
    Perfect songs and extraordinary vocals!
  2. Kanye West & Jay-Z – Watch The Throne
    Two titans embedding their legacy in music hall of fame.
  3. J-Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story
    A debut album as it is supposed to be.
  4. Lupe Fiasco – Lasers
    Political raps and thought-provoking words.
  5. Beyonce – 4
    “Yeah B!” That’s all I have to say!!!
  6. Bad Meets Evil – Hell: The Sequel
    Eminem and Royce da 5’9, hip hop lives…
  7. Marsha Ambrosius – Late Nights/Early Mornings
    The songstress has held her own, powerfully.
  8. Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’
    Something different and refreshing.
  9. Raekwon – Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang
    The Chef cooked up a delicious meal on this one.
  10. Wale – Ambition
    Great sophomoric follow-up and the lyrics got better.

Jay’s Top Album Picks

  1. Wilco – The Whole Love
    Jeff Tweedy and company release a mature and beatiful American epic.
  2. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
    Short and sweet with pretty melodies and complex electronic textures yet suprisingly accessible.
  3. Tom Waits – Bad as Me
    Waits growls and coos in front of a stellar backing band that includes Keith Richards and Flea mourning an America that existed only in his head.
  4. Adele – 21
    Adele avoids the sophmore slump with a monster album full of aching lyrics and powerhouse vocals.
  5. Gary Clark Jr. – Bright Lights EP
    Gary Clark Jr. makes the blues relevant again on a stunning four song EP.
  6. Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
    The boys hit middle age and release their most bratty album in decades.
  7. Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’
    Saadiq celebrates the past while blazing a path to the future on the best R&B album in years.
  8. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
    Ms.Harvey’s agitated and disturbed meditation on war is her finest album in quite some time.
  9. The Strokes – Angles
    New Yorks’ favorite garage rock revivalists get reinvigorated.
  10. The Black Keys – El Camino
    Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney (with a little help from Danger Mouse) throw a party on the most exciting album of the year.

Jeffrey’s Top Album Picks

  1. Five Finger Death Punch – American Capitalist
    With catchy, provocative lyrics over heavy guitar riffs, it’s easy to see why this album is at the forefront of its genre.
  2. Lady Antebellum – Own The Night Lady
    Antebellum escalates their music and lyric writing ability to a new level, but also keep the songs catchy, making this album hard to top.
  3. Rise Against – Endgame
    Rise Against continue to churn out hits, but most astounding is the social relevance of their lyrics and a popularity that usually doesn’t come along with such sophisticated words.
  4. Luke Bryan – Tailgates & Tanlines
    If you can get past the first single being simplistic and devoid of content, the rest of the album is simply amazing and hands down one of the best country albums I’ve heard in a long time.
  5. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
    The Foo Fighters have been a hit making machine for a long time, but their latest album has proven to be one of their best…and that speaks volumes for a band that has been continually great on stage and off.
  6. Adele – 21
    Adele steals the show with an amazing and very strong voice and sings lyrics that resonate in your heart and soul.
  7. Daughtry – Break the Spell
    Daughtry releases his third strong album chocked full of songs that could all be hits, proving he’s here for the long haul.
  8. 3 Doors Down – Time of My Life
    Time of My Life features some down home comfort music wrapped with lyrics that invoke complex moods within the listener.
  9. Social Distortion – Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes
    I can’t remember a time of my life when Social D wasn’t around and this album proves that they’ve still got what it takes to rock out with the new generation.
  10. Bad Meets Evil – Hell: The Sequel
    One of the best rap albums of the year is Bad Meets Evil’s The Sequel because of it’s ability to draw you in and have you bobbing your head to the beat before you even realize it.

Moses’ Top Album Picks

  1. Adele – 21
    Adele takes her maturity to the next level showing her unique vocal range over soulful harmonies and subjects of love and relationships
  2. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
    Even though it may take a few listens, Strange Mercy grows on you rather quickly. Easily St. Vincent’s best album yet
  3. Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math
    An incredible thought out concept album based on some of life’s commonly asked questions.
  4. Florence and the Machine – Ceremonials
    The songbird is back and shows her first album was no flux giving her listeners an immaculate sound that is inviting as each track progresses.
  5. Raekwon – Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang
    How does an album consist of 80% featured artists yet still have that signature wu-tang sound that we’ve all grown to love?
  6. Lady Gaga – Born This Way
    Gaga’s experiment proved successful and shows listeners she’s evolving in every way
  7. Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’
    Stone Rollin’ continues that eclectic nostalgic feel we got from Saadiq’s last album
  8. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
    Foo Fighers continue their consistency streak with solid beats and heavy-hitting vocals
  9. Phonte – Charity Starts at Home
    The Little Brother member’s debut album packs punch with raw lyrics and ballads aimed at the adult soul
  10. Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
    The boys are back with a rejuvenated energy and sound that are reminscent to previous albums


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