What a glorious year for music – as opposed to, well, a few other things. In a rancid year, these albums were something to celebrate, music worth passing along and making noise about. These were my 20 favorites – too many greats to cut it down to a mere top 10. Musically, they're all over the map: pop thrills, rock & roll animals, hip-hop ragers, soul survivors. But these albums kept me connected to the world, kept me excited for tomorrow, kept me feeling fascination, kept me moving on up.