A year of surprising headlines was accompanied by a year of surprising music, one that saw the trend of “event releases” escalate. Instead of albums merely dropping without warning as they have in the last few years, now we get mysterious HBO premieres, or days-long webcast construction projects, or arena fashion shows. We get albums revised after they’ve been released; we get albums whose existence was possibly a secret even to the creator’s record label. More than one venerated icon released a landmark set of songs and died shortly after. Another had his voice, sounding as vibrant as ever, show up from beyond the grave.
Presuming to declare the best and worst of these, by some universal standard, is a losing game—these are just my personal 10 favorite releases from the past year. READ MORE: HERE