Best Music of 2010

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Best and Bestsellers

Best by Genre

Selection Criteria

  • The 2011 best-of lists were voted on by the Amazon music team, which includes not only the editors, but everyone else behind the scenes, too. It was a very democratic process. These are strictly our favorite albums; sales information did not factor into our choices at all.
  • Customer favorites are ranked according to customer orders through November. Only songs and albums made commercially available in the United States for the first time 2011 are eligible (with the obvious exception of our reissues and rediscoveries list).
  • Likewise, titles included in best-of lists must have been available for listening by Amazon music team members by November 24, which, we know, will inevitably exclude some notable titles. All due apologies to folks such as Black Keys, Amy Winehouse, the Roots, and others who had late releases we would've liked to have gotten to know before our voting deadline.
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Best Rock of 2011

Foster the People Both young and seasoned rock bands top our rock chart this year, from Foster the People and The Naked and Famous to iconic bands such as the Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Radiohead. See more of the top 2011 rock albums and songs:

Best Dance & Electronic Music of 2011

Sepalcure Whether it was the electro-emotionalism of Sepalcure or the more candy coated deliciousness of Bingo Players, 2011 provided an abundance of excellence and diversity in dance and electronic music:

The Best Reissues of 2011

Nevermind 2011 taught us that bigger is not always better. Reissues had to offer remastered audio and compelling content to take an original LP and turn it into a box set. Nirvana's Nevermind cleaned and conjured up the spirit of 1991 and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon has never sounded this good on CD before.
  • The best reissues of 2011 CDs | MP3s

Best Jazz of 2011

The SwordAmbrose Akinmusire and Gretchen Parlato top our diverse jazz list this year. See which other artists and songs are included in this year's best jazz:

Digital-only Favorites

Digital Favorites
Some of our favorite music of the year so far is only available on MP3, but we'd love to share it with you anyway. Dig into these digital-only favorites.

Digital-only gems

The Best Albums of 2011

Adele
Lady Gaga On her sophomore album, Adele owns it, landing not only at the top of our list of favorite 2011 albums, but at the top of our CD customer's favorites list as well. Our MP3 customers made Lady Gaga's third album Born This Way our bestselling album of 2011, reveling in her epic, anthemic, and socially-aware pop confections. Which albums did we all agree are great? Find out here:
  • Amazon Picks: the 100 Best Albums of 2011: CDs | MP3s

  • Customer Favorites: 100 Bestselling Albums of 2011: CDs | MP3s

Outstanding 2011 Albums You Might Have Missed

Shelby EarlHanni El Khatib It pains us when great records go unheard. While we can't protect all of them, we make an attempt to rescue 50 of our favorite hidden 2011 gems in our list of outstanding 2011 albums you might have missed (CDs | MP3s). To aid your discovery, we've assembled a playlist featuring a favorite song from each. Hit preview all and dig for more when you've found a new favorite.
  • Discover 100 outstanding albums you might have missed: CDs | MP3s

The Best Songs of 2011

Adele
It's unanimous! There was never really a question though, was there? Everyone seems to agree that Adele's masterful neo-soul hit "Rolling in the Deep" was the best song of 2011. Besides Adele, we loved songs from The Naked and Famous and M83, while customers preferred LMFAO and Maroon 5. Discover more of the year's best and bestselling songs.

The Best Alternative and Indie Rock

Tune-YardsM83 Driven by her powerful, emotive voice, Merril Garbus' tUnE-yArDs really stunned us this year with their sophomore effort, while our favorite 2011 song is an epic, catchy, atmospheric synth jam (including an awesome sax solo) by dream pop purveyors M83. Discover more of our left-of-the-dial favorites in these lists:

The Best Country Music

Lady AntebellumLuke BryanLady Antebellum tops our country chart again this year with their album Own the Night as does Luke Bryan who delivered the upbeat country album Tailgates and Tanlines compiled of some fun hit singles. Explore these lists for more of our country picks:

The Best Pop

BeyonceEllie Goulding Aside from the utterly dominant performance of Adele, 2011 brought us plenty of pop that was more than just bubble gum, including the slow burn of Beyonce's latest and Ellie Goulding's electric dance party. See what else popped for us in 2011:

The Best Blues

Gary Clark JrEtta James There's no better category than the blues for lauding great recordings from artists at the beginning and the end of their careers. Though still in his twenties, Gary Clark Jr's Bright Lights hit the mark this year, as did the arresting, final offering from the one of the greatest; Etta James. Here's the full list:

The Best Classical

Beethoven: Diabelli VariationsRojotangoOuterborogh

We can't put the Diabelli Variations, or Rojotango down even though they topped the leaderboard in the first half of 2011, but they're joined by spectacular new competition. Outerborough from Todd Reynolds sparkles with originality, but at the same time shows his eclectic, well-honed influences, not least of which comes from another winner this year; Steve Reich.


  • The best classical albums of 2011 CDs | MP3s