Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy...A f--kin classic. No rapper has had such a strong sense of musicianship and attention to detail. I will go on a limb and say that. He blends genres seamlessly and evolves effortlessly. He is more of a composer than a rapper. Have you heard the haunting piano on the Runaway track??
Also, recently released were Rihanna's LOUD which is a strong showing from the pop princess. She returned from the dark side and presented a collection of peppy hits, injecting more island flavor than she had recently. Nicki Minaj dropped Pink Friday which has been met with many lukewarm reviews. However, her fan base is solid and she is set to pull some big numbers. I like half of the album. I could do without the pop made for radio stuff. Nicki works best when she is murdering the tracks while rapping. Another classic record that has been recently released it Cee Lo's Lady Killer. It has been criminally slept on. F--k You was one of the greatest songs of the year, capturing some of the same magic that Cee Lo was able to give us with Crazy while partnered with Danger Mouse. The album gives me 1965 and 2017 at the same time. I love the espionage themes and the retro feels.
There are soooo many big releases in the latter part of this year. It's going to be hard to narrow down my top ten albums of the year.