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Eliot Van Buskirk

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The Best of the Best Music of 2011

Posted: 12/16/11 12:23 PM ET

It's that time of year. The lists. Always, the lists.

December, originally pronounced "They Say Best" by the ancient Romans (note: it wasn't) is when some feel the need to tell others about music they preferred in the time it last took the Earth to orbit the Sun.

We could play that game, too. Instead we're going to go all meta-scalable on this thing with a "best of" list of other people's "best of" lists. Here are the best lists of the best music of 2011 in no particular order, because as with music itself, lists are subjective.

Most of these are playable (they all should be):

Drowned In Sound's Best of 2011

Pitchfork's Best Metal of 2011

8tracks founder and CEO David Porter's list of "10 DJs who've introduced me to a broad range of new (mostly) electronic music that I love. Many were early DJs on 8tracks who published some great mixes when we were but a wee startup and helped me realize we were really on to something."

MTV's Best Songs of 2011

Spinner's Best Songs of 2011

NPR Music's 100 Favorite Songs of 2011: I am down with NPR, and not just because I've been on Fresh Air, All Things Considered, Sound Check, The Brian Lehrer Show, and other programs. And no, not because they published my ode to travelling 12,000 miles to see The Fall. NPR has been dishing solid music recommendations and streaming full-length album previews for years.

Billboard Critics: 20 Best Songs of 2011

Idolator's Top 10 Non-Pop Singles

Hype Machine's 2011 Zeitgeist isn't out yet, but you can enter your email address to be notified. Why would you do that? Because Hype Machine knows what it is talking about.

New York Times ArtsBeat Popcast: The Best Albums of 2011 (picks from Jon Pareles, Nate Chanen, and other New York Times music scribes)

ArtistDirect's Top 21 Albums of 2011

Paste Magazine's 50 Best Songs of 2011 | Best 25 Music Videos of 2011

Now we get to the playable "best of" list motherlode. Songza, the curated playlist service, busted out a whole slew of playable "best of" lists, which is a very best "best of" idea in and of itself, so we're going to "best of" those for you here:

Pretty Much Amazing's Best Songs of 2011


Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks of 2011


Gorilla vs. Bear's Best Albums of 2011


Songza's Favorite Songs of 2011 (chosen by staff and popularity with its users)


Billboard's 100 Most Popular Songs of 2011


Billboard's Most Popular Rap Songs of 2011


Rolling Stone's Best Albums of 2011


Spin's Best Albums of 2011


Stereogum's Top 50 Albums of 2011


New York Magazine's 50 Favorite Songs of 2011


Critical Mob's Critical Songs of 2011


Amazon Editors' Favorite Songs of 2011


We'll update this as new "best of 2011" lists roll in, so long as they achieve the level of quality that these ones do. Did we miss any? Please let us know.

 
 
 

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