Okay... I know. Anytime you start making "best of" lists, you're tredding into dangerous territories. No single list could possibly cover the breadth of music releases, critics are always biased, etc, etc.
Got it. But, if there's anyone who you can actually trust to share, explore, and digest the full spectrum of a year's releases, it's the people that made this list: NPR Music. You can feel however you please about public media and NPR in specific, but there's is the institution that really does explore all genres of releases. Their weekly podcast All Songs Considered regularly features topics as diverse as Scandanavian death metal, southern hip hop, roots music; Alt.Latino explores all sorts of modern latin music; and the daily feature Song of the Day is as diverse as it gets. Seriously.
Plus, unlike my title above, they're not saying these are the best songs of the year, but their favorites.
But seriously, caveats aside...you won't go wrong checking out this list. Which I implore you to do, right.....now!