The Top 50 Albums of 2011

We gather now to praise a year that had something for everyone, whether you craved Eric Church's country-rock rapture, James Blake's atmospheric electronics, Jay-Z and Kanye West's thrilling megalomania, Ximena Sariñana's trailblazing alt-pop, Foster the People's indie-dance anthems or Adele's, well, you know, total dominance. From global coups to Christian hymns, challenging jazz to blazing metal, here are the records that rocked our world this year, however you chose to define "rock."