One of my favorite parts of the new year is checking out all the wonderful retrospective lists that are so lovingly compiled by bloggers and publications. Personally, the music lists are my favorite, since I love new music but rarely take the time to keep abreast of all the new, exciting stuff as it comes out. Here are some year-end lists that have helped me check back in on some of the great albums and artists that I missed out on last year.• Buzzfeed's Ultimate 2012 Playlist: 11 hours of pop, rock, indie, and hip-hop jams.
• Spotify playlist compiled by Sasha Frere-Jones: A music critic for The New Yorker, SFJ has tastes that run the gamut.
• Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2012: An old stand-by for music news and information.
•SPIN Magazine's 50 Best Albums of 2012: In their words, these 50 albums range "from the biggest-selling pop sensation (and pizza ad) of the year to anonymous Afro-psych from the wintry expanses of rural Sweden; from ground-breaking hip-hop IMAX cinema to garage-punk gnashing still being recorded by Steve Albini."
• Stereogum's Top 50 Albums of 2012: Stereogum, founded in 2002, was one of the first MP3 blogs, and it continues as a key source of indie music news, downloads, and videos.
• Pitchfork's Staff Lists: The Top 100 Tracks of 2012: Pitchfork is an online publication focusing primarily on indie rock, but with an additional interest in electronic, hip hop, dance, experimental, folk, and pop music.
• Gorilla vs. Bear's Albums of 2012: Texas-based music blog Gorilla vs. Bear is one of my personal favorites, and is always a great source for new indie bands.
• Said the Gramphone's Best Songs of 2012: Sean, a Montreal-based writer for Said the Gramphone, pairs his favorite songs of the year with poetic descriptions.
• KCRW DJs Present Top 10 Music Albums of 2012: 22 DJs from KCRW, Southern California's leading NPR affiliate, list their top picks.
• Top of the Tops by Over the Nights and Through the Fires: This list appears courtesy of my friend, who's a statistics-savvy graduate student. She took 131 year-end music lists and figured out the top 10 albums that made their top-10. A similar round-up with some different results appears on MetaCritic.
While these lists cover indie rock, rock, pop, and some hip hop, there are a number of neglected genres here, so if you have some favorite lists for jazz, classical, underground hip-hop, electronica, or any other genre, please share them below.
Carolyn is a freelance writer and photographer, as well as a lover of all things colorful and quirky. She grew up in Texas and settled in Chicago by way of L.A., England and Paris. Currently, she is a professor at Illinois Institute of Technology.
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