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50 Best Albums of 2011

Beyonce, '4'

25. Beyonce, '4'

The world's shrewdest diva turns on her star power full blast, indulges her oddball side and flaunts her mastery of seemingly every modern pop mode – from the riotous hiphop love ode "Countdown" to the sweet, faux-Stevie retrosoul ditty "Love on Top" to the futuristic stomper "Run the World (Girls)."

Jody Rosen's Original Review: Beyoncé's '4'
Beyoncé's '4': A Track-by-Track Breakdown

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