12/14/2011 12:23 pm ET

Top 11 Country Albums Of 2011

While it's tough to argue with the fact that 2011 was a great year for country music, it's easier (and more fun) to debate just what country music is and which artists can truly be considered country. This year's crop of outstanding country albums includes a wide cross-section of mainstream, radio-ready acts as well as artists influenced by folk, rock and pop music. Although some of your favorites may not be included here, we think you'll find something to love about the 11 albums we've chosen as the year's best. And why 11? Well, of course, not only because it's 2011, but as 'This Is Spinal Tap' reminds us, it's one more than 10!