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The 22 Most Essential BuzzFeed Music Posts Of 2012

Our best lists, essays, mashups, and playlists of the year. Plus, a tribute to the incredibly sexy lyrics of Nickelback.

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4. 1994 Was the Awesomest Year for Music

While it's true that every year is good for music, 1994 stands out as one of the all-time greatest years in the history of popular music, up there with 1967, 1971, 1987, and 2003. This playlist is the proof.

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11. Why I Hate List-Making

Rachael Maddux is a music writer but gets no joy from the constant list-making that's become a cornerstone of the profession, and music fandom in general. "List-making does such violence to the actual experience of living and listening that I can barely stomach it," she writes. "I don’t relish a single step of the process — not the parsing, not the ranking, not the final forcing of a list out into the world and not the subsequent defending of all the arbitrarily made decisions that I feel inexplicably defensive about as soon as they’re inevitably questioned."

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15. Electronic Musicians Shouldn't Feel Bad About "Hitting Play"

Steve Marcus / Reuters

Electronic musicians have been playing by the rules of rock music for quite some time, to the point of many acts going out of their way to seem as though they're a live band when they're mostly using pre-recorded tracks on stage. Matthew Perpetua says that it's time for artists to start being more transparent about what they're doing and for audiences to embrace live music outside of the usual "band" setup.

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18. How Nicki Minaj Brought Rage Back to Pop

Caroline McCredie / Getty Images

Mike Barthel examines how Nicki Minaj has helped to bring raw aggression back to radio pop after the long reign of Glee at the top of the charts and explains why this makes her an important and inspirational figure.

20. Why Rihanna Going Seapunk Is Totally OK

John Gara

Artists were upset when Rihanna appropriated visuals from web art on Saturday Night Live, but Matthew Perpetua says she's just the latest in a long line of artists who have brought an underground sensibility to a mainstream audience.