By Sarah Kirkpatrick, Staff Writer

2014 has certainly had its low points, but at least in the world of music, it has been an excellent year. From Samuel Herring’s dance moves on Letterman to Robin Thicke’s failed album, and from Nicki Minaj’s iconic “Anaconda” video and reunion tours by Outkast and Neutral Milk Hotel — I feel beyond fortunate to have seen both —  this year wasn’t half bad.

For me, the year was somewhat defined by girl power and groovy and irresistible pop hits. 2014 also had its share of alt-rock jams, R&B-inspired vocals, and never-heard-before sampling experiments.

Here are my top 20 songs of 2014, in order: