We did it! We, the music writers and critics of the world, have confirmed for Kanye what he’s been telling us all along. He is a god. His album, Yeezus, dominated our 2013 Pazz & Jop critic’s poll, taking the top spot for Albums and several in the Singles category (though Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” won the latter). For anyone who’s paid attention to the music press over the previous year, the results of the poll aren’t quite that shocking.
About that poll: Each year we send ballots out to music writers across the globe, seeking consensus from the minds of the men and women who live and breathe this stuff, about what the best musical works of the previous year were. In this year’s Pazz & Jop poll, 457 critics voted, 160 of whom voted for Yeezus. In the Albums category, the critics are also asked to dish out points, those weighting the poll. Each voter is given 100 points to spread around in their top ten, with the strict instruction that no one album can receive more than 30 points or less than five. Singles are not awarded points, only votes.
From there, our stats guru Glenn McDonald can break down the poll using several different and fascinating criteria. You can drill down through the numbers and votes for hours at the poll, and McDonald does a great job parsing a lot of the broad stroke info gleaned from the poll in his tabulation notes, which you can find in the essay section.
— Brian McManus, music editor
Yeezy Does It
For the fourth time in six albums, Kanye West takes the Pazz & Jop prize.
By Brian McManus
Kacey Musgraves makes country music you can use.
By Alan Scherstuhl
Piss and Jop
Why are people finally paying attention to R. Kelly’s many crimes?
By Jim Derogatis
The Return of the Backpacker
Many of the year’s most acclaimed hip-hop artists transcended a backpack past to make great music.
By Jeff Weiss
We Can’t Stop
Our year with Miley.
By Jessica Hopper
Beyoncé finally lets us in.
By Devon Maloney
Emo Is Back! Maybe. Probably Not. No, Totally.
Ignored by critics, the genre carries on.
By Luke O’Neil
The Guitar Will Never Die
Says Henry Rollins.
By Henry Rollins
The Dream of the ’90s
My Bloody Valentine, Mazzy Star, and the year in ’90s indie rock revivals
By Max Blau
This is how critics voted in this year’s poll.
By Glenn McDonald