Beyoncé – 4 (2011)
On her fourth album, Beyoncé does everything but relax. The set spans overblown Diane Warren ballads (“I Was Here”) to blippy M.I.A.-style bangers (“Run the World [Girls]”), and whether she’s hopelessly heartbroken or crazy in love, Queen Bey works damn hard to make you feel exactly what she’s feeling. This Houston striver’s in it to win it, though it’s airy groovers like “Love on Top” — a fluffy funk jam Michael Jackson might have cut for Off the Wall — that best exemplify her royal powers. It’s more fun to love her than it is to fear her.