NPR listeners cast thousands of votes for the year's best music to date and kept the race tight. In the end, Gorillaz edged out every other artist with the sprawling and inspired album Plastic Beach to take the No. 1 spot. The National, The Black Keys, Broken Bells and LCD Soundsystem rounded out the Top 5.
Regardless of how the votes fell, it was an exciting chance to pause and look back on what an incredible year it's been for music so far, to rediscover a few of our favorites, and to spend time with some of the albums and artists we may have missed.