The best (and worst) music of 2012

Frank Ocean approached consensus in a fractious year for music

Frank Ocean at ATP

Frank Ocean at ATP Photograph: Loren Wohl

Your Time Out New York music crew is a diverse lot and always has been. Still, 2012 was the first year in recent memory in which not one single rock, pop, hip-hop, R&B or jazz album rallied a serious consensus among Team Music's constituents. Frank Ocean got two nods, including a number-one berth, for an album so strong we actually reviewed it twice; fun. snagged a spot on two lists, as well. Otherwise, you got a bit of everything, from sultry English electro to retro-metal from the Northwest, and onward to punk-infused magnetic-tape torture. We invite you to explore and debate our picks, and to listen up via Spotify playlists on each critic's page.

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Frank Ocean made a major-label debut as mature and thoughtful as it is experimental and poetic

The best (and worst) music of 2012: Hank Shteamer's picks

Christian Mistress dropped the heaviest dispatch yet of the overcrowded retro-metal boom

The best (and worst) music of 2012: Steve Smith's picks

Jason Lescalleet packaged a squelchy magnum opus in a punk-rock riddle with a Depeche Mode punch line

The best concerts of 2012

Jay-Z and Neil Young made the new Barclays Center an instant hit

The best (and worst) cabaret of 2012

Protean peacock Taylor Mac topped our tally of New York cabaret's finest hours

Best concert photos of 2012

Check out our top live pics, including Beach House, Aretha Franklin, the Jacksons, Zola Jesus and Divine Fits.