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In November, the Washington City Paper asked its music writers to compile lists of their 10 favorite releases of the past year. Critics were required to divide a total of 100 points among their selections, awarding no more than 20 points—and no fewer than 1—to each. Any single, EP, album, or box set of old or new music released in any quantity anywhere in the world in 2002 was eligible. Eight weeks, 2,700 points, and a 13-way tie for 18th later, the City Paper’s top 20 releases of the year are:

1. 99 points

Kill the Moonlight

Spoon

Merge

2. 93 points.

I Phantom

Mr. Lif

Definitive Jux

3. 85 points.

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Wilco

Nonesuch

4. 67 points.

Trust

Low

Kranky

5. 48 points.

One Beat

Sleater-Kinney

Kill Rock Stars

6. 41 points.

The Day the Earth Met the…

Rocket From the Tombs

Smog Veil

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

The Flaming Lips

Warner Bros

7. 39 points.

Original Pirate Material

The Streets

Vice

Phrenology

The Roots

MCA

Super/System

El Guapo

Dischord

8. 37 points.

Surrounded by Thieves

High on Fire

Relapse

9. 32 points.

Reveille

Deerhoof

Kill Rock Stars

10. 30 points.

Footprints Live!

Wayne Shorter

Verve

I Get Wet

Andrew W.K.

Island

11. 28 points.

The Evil One (Plus One)

Roky Erickson & the Aliens

Sympathy for the Record Industry

12. 25 points.

Rings Around the World

Super Furry Animals

XL

Slanted and Enchanted: Luxe & Reduxe

Pavement

Matador

This Night

Destroyer

Merge

13. 24 points.

Fantastic Damage

El-P

Definitive Jux

14. 22 points.

Sea Change

Beck

Geffen

Turn On the Bright Lights

Interpol

Matador

15. 20 points.

20 Years of Dischord

Various Artists

Dischord

At Ratso’s Volume 2

Carmen McRae

Hitchcock Media

The Eminem Show

Eminem

Aftermath/Interscope

From Filthy Tongue

of Gods and Griots

Dälek

Ipecac

Life and Times of…Laddio Bolocko

No Quarter

OOOH!

Mekons

Quarterstick

A Rush of Blood to

the Head

Coldplay

Capitol

Sha Sha

Ben Kweller

ATO

Source Tags and Codes

…And You Will Know Us

by the Trail of Dead

Interscope

Travelogue

Joni Mitchell

Nonesuch

16. 18 points.

Sons of Northern Darkness

Immortal

Nuclear Blast

17. 16 points.

Alice

Tom Waits

Anti-

All of the Above

J-Live

Coup d’Etat

Daylight

Aesop Rock

Definitive Jux

Remission

Mastodon

Relapse

18. 15 points.

Accumulation: None

Smog

Drag City

And the Surrounding

Mountains

Radar Brothers

Merge

The Colored Section

Donnie

Giant Step

Concubine Rice

Lone Pigeon

Domino

The Fix

Scarface

Universal

The Hill for Company

Sodastream

Rough Trade/Sanctuary

“Hot in Herre”

Nelly

Universal

Instant Vintage

Raphael Saadiq

Universal

Is a Woman

Lambchop

Merge

The Last Broadcast

Doves

Capitol/Heavenly

Lifted: Or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground

Bright Eyes

Saddle Creek

Murray Street

Sonic Youth

Geffen

Put Your Hands Up!

The Tribute Concert

to Chuck Brown

Various Artists

Raw Venture

19. 13 points.

EXITHEUXA

GoGoGo Airheart

Gold Standard

Laboratories

Falling in Love Is Wonderful

Jimmy Scott

Rhino Handmade

First Daze Here: The Vintage Collection

Pentagram

Relapse

Sound Restores

Young Men

Cynthia Dall

Drag City

20. 12 points.

Denials, Delusions,

and Decisions

Jaguar Wright

MCA

Different Damage

Q and Not U

Dischord

Jerusalem

Steve Earle

Artemis

Semi-Detached

Mock Tudor

Richard Thompson Band

Beeswing

St Arkansas

Pere Ubu

SpinART

Writers Without Homes

Piano Magic

4AD

Contributors: Joe Banno, Andrew Beaujon, Matthew Borlik, Brent Burton, Jason Cherkis, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Sean Daly, Glenn Dixon, John Dugan, David Dunlap Jr., Sarah Godfrey, Todd Hitchcock, Mark Jenkins, Mike Kanin, Steve Kiviat, Josh Levin, Michael Little, Jacob Long, Shauna Miller, John Murph, Christopher Porter, Leonard Roberge, Joel E. Siegel, Joe Warminsky, Mark Williams, Pamela Murray Winters, and Shannon Zimmerman. For complete ballots, visit www.washingtoncitypaper.com/special/2002top20.html.