Albums Winner:
Merriweather Post Pavilion
Animal Collective
1794 Points/154 Mentions


Jay-Z's 'Empire' Strikes Back at Last
His first #1 song is his first Pazz & Jop chart-topper as well. Go Yankees.
By Sean Fennessey

Where the Wild Things Want to Be
Animal Collective tangle messily with impending adulthood
By Mike Powell

Lady Gaga Approximately
You can't be a fabulous pop star like her, no matter what she tells you
By Rich Juzwiak

The Year of Too Much Consensus
Indie rock is the new Springsteen, but not in the way you think
By Chuck Eddy

Michael Jackson and the Endless Summer of Death
What the King of Pop left behind, and what he took with him
By Zach Baron

Down With Music-Racism
On covering 'Stillness Is the Move' and the perils of genre
By Maura Johnston

'1901' > 2009
On Phoenix and the euphoric charms of utter inscrutability
By Rob Harvilla

The-Dream Syndicate
Lovers of r&b already love him. Time to wake up everyone else.
By Mikael Wood

Bad Girls Gone Worse
Rihanna, Mariah, and Gaga seethe and snarl; Taylor Swift emasculates with a smile
By Clover Hope

Thanks, Internet!
Das Racist have a few thoughts on their online celebrity
By Das Racist

Singles Winner:
"Empire State of Mind"
Jay-Z (ft. Alicia Keys)
Roc Nation
89 Mentions


The Top 10
Arguing about mellow indie rock, Lady Gaga, and the real grizzly bears

Yes, I 'Actually' Like It
More music to love, loathe, fear, and tragically fail to avoid

Michael Jackson and Hip-Hop
Guess which one of those things didn't die this year

The Personals
We promise to do better next time

Music Editor Rob Harvilla Managing Editor Zach Baron Stats Guru/Savior Glenn McDonald Cover Designer Michael Shavalier Head Designer Jesus Diaz Photo Specialist Emily Peet-Lukes Web Development Manager Mike Uchtman Technical Adviser Adam Teller Chief Copy Editor Shazdeh Omari Proofreader Bryan Charles Online Editor Camille Dodero Poobahs Paulina Reso and Stelios Phili

Data reconciliation by Glenn McDonald,

Thanks especially to all 697 voters, commenters, and essayists.