Only the Best!
Like every year at this time, the world feels the need to choose the best of the year. Time magazine has probably the longest tradition in contributing to this: The Person of the Year. Since 1927 (then called Man of the Year) the title is given to the person (or group) with the greatest influence on the events of the year, back then it was Charles Lindbergh, this year it is Barack Obama. And of course every league in all the sports all over the world will vote their favourite in every possible category. Not to forget the Emmy, the Grammy and ultimately the Oscar! You like it or you hate it, but there's no way to escape it.
So, it's little surprising that everybody in music with a little reputation, a microphone or a website will come up with a Best-Of list of his own. Don't get me wrong here, there is not necessarily something bad about it! However, if you follow this phenomenon a bit, there are two conclusions: Either you read more or less the same thing on all your sources. This can get a bit predictable, but it might also flatter yourself - given that you have the same or a similiar opinion. The other option is that you end up reading 100 opinions on 100 sources. Oh, how ridiculous and tiring this can be!
Let's not deny the fact, I picked a favourite album for myself this year. Incidently, my very first blog entry was about it: IG Culture presents Zen Badizm. My opinion could change when you'd ask me at another point of the year, but I'm afraid you're running out of time. There was a lot of good music in 2008, and I'm a bit sad I couldn't cover some of it. Not because I wanted to put it in a ranking at the end of the year, but to share something you might not have known.
No charts from me, maybe another time. However, I will let others speak. Benji B did a show just playing his favorites, and so did Bopstar and Kev Beadle (I'm sure there will be more!). Mark de Clive-Lowe wrote a nice blog entry about the year, which also gives an interesting insight from the perspective of a musician. Gilles Peterson is the Don when it comes to compiling lists, he kinda makes it look like there hasn't been anything bad this year! Lastly, Resident Advisor chose its albums of the year - and I'm posting this to add some previously unmentioned items.
Maybe have a look at this posting on Beyondjazz and write down your own favourites. I don't know on which link you will click, but I hope that you find something suprising, something you never heard before!