10. Nothing Was the Same, Drake
Nothing Was the Same is something of a misnomer. In many ways, it's very similar to Drake's 2011 masterpiece, Take Care, both sonically and thematically. And that's certainly not a bad thing. Drake continues to pour out his heart and mind over Noah "40" Shebib's spacey, hypnotic beats, and songs like "The Language" and "Tuscan Leather" are intimate and grand. That's not to say that Drake isn't interested in some experimentation here: "Wu-Tang Forever" finds him rewriting a bona-fide hip-hop classic, while "Hold On, We're Going Home" is an unexpected blast of '80s pop that only features his singing voice. It may have mostly been more of the same, but when the same is the good, why bother changing?
9. Save Rock & Roll, Fall Out Boy
8. Born Sinner, J. Cole
J. Cole's 2011 debut, Cole World: The Sideline Story, was not perfect, and even he will admit that. So on his long-awaited follow-up, Born Sinner, he set out to prove his talents. Cole unleashes some of his strongest lyrics to date, such as on "LAnd of the Snakes" and "She Knows," as well as some of his most accessible production in hit singles "Power Trip" and "Crooked Smile." But where Cole - and Born Sinner - shine brightest are on the tracks where he is most vulnerable, and key track "Let Nas Down" is a perfect example. Over a jazzy groove, Cole raps about letting his mentor down, and the results are electrifying. The same can be said for the entirety of Cole's sophomore effort.
7. The 20/20 Experience - Part 1 of 2, Justin Timberlake
6. Random Access Memories, Daft Punk
5. Reflektor, Arcade Fire
4. Yeezus, Kanye West
3. Pure Heroine, Lorde
2. Days Are Gone, Haim
1. The Bones of What You Believe, CHVRCHES