Mysteries of Pazz & Jop
Run by the Village Voice since 1974 (or 1971, it's confusing), Pazz & Jop is the world's preeminent year-end rock critics' poll, wherein 700-something scribes vote on their Top 10 albums and singles of the year. Everyone from The Who to the Sex Pistols to Bob Dylan to Outkast to Elvis Costello to Prince to Kanye West has triumphed in the past four decades or so; this year's victors are a mixture of the obvious (Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" won the singles ballot by a landslide) and the genuinely shocking (tUnE-yArDs' wonderful w h o k i l l topped the albums poll).
My fascination with P&J is partly personal -- both myself and Rhapsody metal guru Chuck Eddy have had a go at running it. But a quick scan of the results can easily help you pinpoint 50+ records and songs you've overlooked that at least a few people out there deeply love. So here's a quick sample of Top Singles entries that leapt out at me, a mixture of stuff I've never heard, stuff I've never heard of, stuff I heard once but otherwise ignored, stuff I forgot I loved, and so forth. Featuring everything from Soulja Boy to Robyn to Todd Terje to Dawes, consider this proof that however much critically acclaimed new music you're obsessing over at the moment, there's always room for more.