The December 15 release of D'Angelo's Black Messiah—which arrived long after most of the more impatient periodicals had already committed to their year-end lists—helped it pick up almost three times as many voters as Beyoncé's similarly late-breaking album last year, which ended up at No. 4 on our albums list back then. Black Messiah wins the 2014 album poll on points despite tying Run the Jewels 2 on raw vote-count.

Meanwhile, the song list shows the least consensus at the top in several years. Future Islands' "Seasons (Waiting on You)" wins with votes from less than 16 percent of the voters, and only the top five songs received votes from at least 10 percent, both of which are new lows. Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" and "Shake It Off" split her voters almost evenly, giving her both the No. 3 and 4 positions on the list. But if the song poll were aggregated by artist, she would have won handily (and she is No. 3 in overall artist ballot percentage).

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