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Albums of '11: #20-#16 Wilco, Portugal. The Man, Drake, Erasure, and Kelly Clarkson

Singer Kelly Clarkson performs at Z100's Jingle Ball

Singer Kelly Clarkson performs at Z100's Jingle Ball concert at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. (Dec. 9, 2011) Credit: AP

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.

#25-21

20. Wilco, “The Whole Love” (dBpm/Anti-): Jeff Tweedy fires up his ambitions again, leading to all sorts of rock surprises.

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19. Portugal. The Man, “In the Mountain, In the Cloud” (Atlantic): A sleek, slimmed-down version of the wild Wasilla, Alaska, band's orchestral rock vision.

18. Drake, “Take Care” (Young Money/Cash Money): The hip-hop phenom grows into his status as Next Big Thing, a title he now deserves.

17. Erasure, “Tomorrow's World” (Mute): Andy Bell and Vince Clarke sound as timely as ever, by staying true to the synth pop they helped pioneer.

16. Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger” (RCA): She takes on a variety of styles – from country to dance pop – and handles them all masterfully.

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