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Our Top 10 Year-End Music Lists

Let it be known that we have a particular distaste for writing year-end music lists, but we love to read them! Here are our picks for the top 10 year-end music lists of 2012, ranked in descending order...

10. Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone's year-end list usually reads like it was written by your uncle who plays bass in a Huey Lewis cover band, but keeps up with current music trends to maintain his cool. This year's no different. We're impressed that RS included Titus Andronicus and Dirty Projectors, but not surprised that they ranked Dr. John and Bonnie Raitt higher up on the list.

No. 1: Bruce Springsteen
Where Frank Ocean charted: No. 2

9. NME

Just understand that the writers at NME (our favorite trashy UK music rag) who compiled this list listened to nothing but Beady Eye this year. So take it with a grain of salt.

No. 1: Tame Impala
Where Frank Ocean charted: No. 3

8. Pitchfork

Animal Collective put an album out this year, and they're not on this list?! Who are you, and what have you done with the real Pitchfork???

No. 1: Kendrick Lamar
Where Frank Ocean charted: No. 2

7. Vibe

Since almost every year-end list in 2012 worships Kendrick Lamar, Miguel and Frank Ocean, the good folks at Vibe compiled this list of the "15 most slept on" artists of the year, i.e. musicians that didn't get enough love, not that you slept on top of. We were especially stoked to see PAPER's Spring 2012 cover girl Nicki Minaj land on this list.

No. 1: [no rankings]
Where Frank Ocean charted: [nowhere, which was the point!]

6. Decibel

If you're wondering how bands like Pig Destroyer, Satan's Wrath, Municipal Waste and Cattle Decapitation fared this year, check out this list by the excellent metal mag Decibel. Joking aside, it was an excellent year for metal, and releases by Converge, Baroness, Neurosis and Witchcraft deserve your attention!

No. 1: Converge
Where Frank Ocean charted: [not ranked]

5. Spin

Anytime we take a peek at a Spin year-end list, we half expect to see the Lemonheads and Tripping Daisy on there. But Spin has moved on from its '90s heyday (unlike others, ahem, Rolling Stone) -- their top two are the same as Pitchfork's, but flipped.

No. 1: Frank Ocean
Where Frank Ocean charted: SEE ABOVE

4. AV Club

The Onion AV Club, home to the most demented commenters on the Internet, wrote up an excellent hodgepodge of 2012's finest LPs -- although Jack White coming in at No. 6 is a little high for our tastes (or maybe we're still bitter about the $65 ticket we bought to see White play at Radio City Music Hall for 45 MINUTES). Not over that one quite yet.

No. 1: Frank Ocean
Where Frank Ocean charted: SEE ABOVE

3. NPR

You'd think an NPR year-end list would only feature Decemberists knockoffs. But NPR's favorite albums of 2012 achieves what a year-end list should. It presents a wide variety of excellent music that you're probably not familiar with, but should be. And it's the only list where you'll find the San Francisco Symphony listed alongside Ty Segall. Also, kudos to these radio geeks for not numbering the list.

No. 1: There isn't one.
Where Frank Ocean charted: He's on there, but it's not numbered.

2. Stereogum

Stereogum's list includes 50 artists, like others on this list, but in our humble opinion, it's the only one where all 50 belong on the list. Stoked to see PAPER fave Jessie Ware at No. 5.

No. 1: Fiona Apple
Where Frank Ocean charted: No. 2

1. Billboard

Who better to determine the best LPs of 2012 than the people who know exactly what you're buying? As much as you'd hate to admit it, Taylor Swift should be in any 2012 top 10 list. You're just trying hard to be cool if you don't include her. Billboard's list also includes Beach House, Cloud Nothings and Cat Power alongside Swift and the Boss. It's the truest sampling of the year's best.

No. 1: Frank Ocean
Where Frank Ocean charted: SEE ABOVE

More Year-End Lists:

Top 15 Celebrity Bulges of 2012
The Best and Worst Films of 2012

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