Beyoncé, 4, June 24th, Columbia, Score: 79
On her fourth solo album, the reigning chart goddess and former Destiny’s Child member lets you know that things are a-ok between her and music mogul/rapper husband Jay-Z. Though, as much as the album wallows in marital bliss, there is also the independent strength and assurance of a woman who knows what she has is what she really wants, and why it matters. You believe her assertion to a former almost lover that it “sucks to be you right now” in “Best Thing I Never Had”. 4 is an album of constant comfort, maturity, and ease, even as it hops from style to style. It’s Beyoncé’s reflection on the journey—the sexiness of monogamy and a tribute to well-earned intimacy through commitment.