Our Critics' Year-End Top Tens: Nic Hernandez Celebrates Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy For Overshadowing His Image
10. Twin Shadow - Forget
9. Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz
8. The Roots - How I Got Over
7. James Blake - Klaverwerke/CMYK EPs
Is dubstep dead? Where does electronic music go next? Listen to James Blake and you might just have the answer to both. A fusion of genres that take cues from dubstep, jazz and soul, Blake's creations are some of the most refreshing and forward-thinking compositions to date. Stay tuned for his full-length, set to drop February 7.
6. Gonjasufi - A Sufi and a Killer
5. Earl Sweatshirt - EARL
The Odd Future Camp, a collective of Los Angeles skate rat kids (none older than 22), were the most brash thing to hit hip-hop this year. Shock rap has to push some major buttons to get a response these days, but this album merits one -- just ask Earl Sweatshirt, who is currently in boot camp after his mother got to listen to this gem he recorded at age 16.
4. Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me
3. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
2. Shabazz Palaces - Shabazz Palaces/Of Light EPs
1. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Head and shoulders above every other release this year. Music good and big enough to overlook and overshadow the man's several public transgressions. Epic.