As 2012 slams the brakes on, editors the breadth of the land put their feet up on the desk and just serve you some reconstituted yesterdays: top-10-20-30-50-100 countdowns of stuff that happened over the past 12 months. But as you grind your way through one end of year music supplement banging on about Frank and Lana after another, your eyes go oblong and there's a sense of intense, giddying deja vu. Haven't we seen it all before? In every other magazine/paper/webzine/cereal box? Like, every year? Forever?
Slice through the crap: this is The Only Top 50 Albums Of The Year Countdown You'll Ever Need. HERE'S THE BIG LIST (2012 edit).
50. Someone who's just been signed.
49. Someone who's already been dropped.
48. Rapper who has done things that would make Chris Brown cut off his dick in shame, but because they're not to anyone famous, they still count towards his grizzled street cred with Pitchfork readers who are too scared and confused by WSHH to get their news from source.
47. Whatever Thom Yorke has blessed this year.
46. "Never heard of it."
45. "I've heard of it, but not actually gotten around to hearing it yet."
44. "Worst thing I've ever heard."
43. Kendrick Lamar.
42. Band who mistakenly believed they'd be given a big post-Olympics popularity boost by their very public decision to tell Danny Boyle and his Opening Ceremony to go fuck themselves.
41. Artist whose raw public confession of homosexuality wasn't quite as good as Frank Ocean's because he had the misfortune not to work in a genre that hates gays.
40. Peaking Lights
39. Woman compared to Kate Bush because of key overlaps: 1) being a woman, 2) singing, 3) giving the impression that she has difficulty coping with life.
38. Woman praised in copy for "striking a blow for modern femininity", a blow that so far consists of making mediocre indie-pop about past boyfriends.
37. Mac DeMarco
36. Album that everyone suddenly seems to be talking about like they've been into it for ages, despite the fact that you've never heard anyone other than the Quietus say a damned word about it, and never will again after 31 December.
35 – 31. Five acts who have all slept with someone who has slept with Swim Deep.
30. People voting for Django Django who meant to vote for Alt-J.
29. People voting for Alt-J who meant to vote for Django Django.
28. Act who changed name and moved to Montreal to make deep house two years after changing name and moving to Brooklyn to make witch garage two years after moving to Portland to make Apple advert indie.
27. Band who had the good fortune to be alphabetised in everyone's iTunes immediately after Grimes, leading to crucial "left it running" plays.
26. The much-feted return of a "living legend" who, despite enjoying a good feting, has mainly spent the past few months praying that no one finds out what happened in his Top Of The Pops dressing room in March 1973.
25. A "shadowy" post-dubstep producer, who spends his days cold-calling pensioners on behalf of EDF Energy.
24. Artist whom music journalists have decided to love because their former career as a journalist means that there's still hope for everyone's thwarted and stalled creative ambitions, #GodGetMeOutOfThisWakingNightmare.
23. Something on Not Not Fun that was recorded in a pristine, state of the art studio – in which the band were playing next door in the bogs for that authentic lo-fi sound.
22. Someone who might have been in Odd Future, but trying to deny it now.
21. Canadians making Canadian Music.
19. A bunch of super-smart, snot-nosed, wet behind the balls students whose lyrics seem to infer that they have had sexual intercourse, whereas one listen to the way they sing them confirms that they surely haven't.
18. Album that writer breathlessly describes as having "deconstructed pop", but which simply reflects the fact that said writer doesn't listen to much pop nowadays and is astonished at genre-blending that anyone with a working knowledge of Radio 1 will have long since taken as standard.
17. Beach House
16. Someone who once shared a cab with Kevin Parker.
15. Band who have released an "amusingly arch" record that they'd be mortified to hear described as such, because in fact they were being deadly serious and are just incredibly pretentious.
14. Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen
13. Fiona Apple or Cat Power
12. Dirty Projectors or David Byrne
11. "Sun-dappled dream-popper" who in truth only ever dreams about killing animals with a spade.
10. The xx or Chromatics
9. Album whose appraisal involved the editor having to do a ctrl+F to make damn sure she'd rooted out every last appearance of the word "shimmering".
8. Space reserved for old black legend being rebooted for modern coffee tables by Richard Russell.
7 – 2. The six highest-ranking albums of the year on GvsB that lazy hacks swotted up on to obscure the fact that they basically spent 2012 listening to nothing but real music, i.e. Muse and The Vaccines.
1. Album Of The Year: Mumfords (Q),
Kendrick Lamar Spector (NME), Sven Vath (Mixmag), Andy Stott (Resident Advisor), Neil Young (Uncut), Neil Young (Mojo), Neil Young (Classic Rock), Neil Young (Home & Garden), people humming transcendentally over distorted tape loops of concrete being laid (The Wire).
Previously: The VICE Albums of the Year 2011
Follow Gavin on Twitter: @hurtgavinhaynes