The 2012 Pazz & Jop poll, including my ballot, is live!

This couldn't have happened to a better guy.
This couldn't have happened to a better guy.

The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics' poll officially signals the death knell for any more opinions on 2012 music. But before we spend too much time evaluating Justin Timberlake's return and the ascent of Willow Smith, here's a last, fond look at the year that just concluded.

On the one hand, raw numbers are the antithesis of what makes a song great. Having 124 other people agree with me that Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid, m.A.A.d City was one of the year's strongest releases does not make that album better, per se. But, all the tabulating does provide a snapshot of where tastes across the U.S. hovered in 2012. Frank Ocean and Carly Rae Jepsen had a huge role, but you already knew that.

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Pazz & Jop 2012

Aside from counting up the votes, Village Voice always corners a few writers and wrests out some lasting conversation pieces on the year. Many of our Voice Media Group colleagues provided essays in this year's batch. There's the Voice's Brian McManus covering Miguel, L.A.'s Ben Westhoff on Riff Raff, Dallas' Kiernan Maletsky garnering travel advice from touring artists, and alums Rob Harvilla explaining Future's unlikely success and Audra Schroeder tackling Fiona Apple's return. And assured there are plenty more!

And then there's the hundreds of individual ballots. Peek into the minds of hundreds of music writers around the country as to what they enjoyed in 2012 -- or at least as recently as mid-December. (I managed to include an album misdated in my music library from 2011 that I finally got around to this year.)

1 Kendrick Lamar, Good Kid, m.A.A.d City

2 Metz, Metz

3 Twin Shadow, Confess

4 Now, Now, Threads

5 Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream

6 Youth Lagoon, Year of Hibernation

7 Death Grips, The Money Store

8 Tallest Man on Earth, There's No Leaving Now

9 Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music

10 Melody's Echo Chamber, Melody's Echo Chamber

See which singles I liked here.

In all seriousness, this is one of the most Godzilla-like editorial undertakings out there, and Brian and his crew should be proud to have it all assembled.

Peruse the Pazz & Jop 2012 results here

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