50 Best Albums of 2011

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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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