[50 Best Albums]

[50 Best Tracks]

Ah, the end of year list: that time-honoured opportunity for critics to tell everyone what was notable in the past 12 months of music – advice which the world at large then ignores, and buys the Susan Boyle album instead.

It's been a difficult year to summarise – there has been no tribe-uniting lightning rod, no one song or album that has unquestionably defined the times.

But that's not to say there hasn’t been a staggering variety of brilliant music. And that's what we're here to celebrate.

In addition to our own albums and tracks lists, as always you can vote your favourites to the top in our
albums and tracks reader polls.

And below, you can listen to all our tracks of the year – well, almost all – as a continuous playlist.

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