Happy holidays! It's the time of year when we look back and that's what we're doing for the next two weeks. This week, we'll look at the 25 best albums and next week, we'll review the 25 best songs.
15. James Blake, “James Blake” (Universal Republic): We've heard what the poppier end of the dubstep movement sounds like all year long. This is what the artsier end sounds like and it's stunning.
14. Lady Gaga, “Born This Way” (Interscope): As much a marketing marvel as a musical one, but Gaga would have it no other way. Her love of the '80s shines through, almost as much as her love of the underdog.
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13. Black Keys, “El Camino” (Nonesuch): Teaming up with producer Danger Mouse to become the indie rockers that roared.
12. Static Jacks, “If You're Young” (Fearless): A potent mix of The Strokes and The Replacements, with enough of their own outsized personalities to make their own brand of indie rock.
11. Lykke Li, “Wounded Rhymes” (LL/EMI): The Swedish singer-songwriter twists blues, doo wop, '60s girl-group pop, and Euro dance rhythms into her own unique sound.