I've been going over all of the music that I've gotten in the past year... this is my third time doing this, and it's been a lot of fun. Next, I'll see what's worthy of making it onto my "top 25 / 100 tracks of all time" lists, but I haven't made it that far yet.
But what I have finished doing is to evaluate the past year's albums as a whole. So here we go: my personal awards for the best CDs of the past year.
1. Imogen Heap, Speak for Yourself
2. Zero 7, The Garden
3. Fort Minor, The Rising Tied
4. Hooverphonic, More Sweet Music / No More Sweet Music
5. Conjure One, Extraordinary Ways
6. Gotan Project, Lunático
All of those albums are incredibly good, and I couldn't narrow the list down to just five, let alone three like I originally intended. Imogen Heap's CD Speak for Yourself is indeed my favorite CD of the past year, and Zero 7 should be second, but it's tough to rank the last four—Lunático, at the bottom of the list, is still incredibly good. I'd recommend all of them to just about anyone.
1. Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters
2. Fort Minor, The Rising Tied
3. Madonna, Confessions on a Dance Floor
The CD that surprised me the most over the last year was the Scissor Sisters debut. It's not quite worthy of being one of the best six, but it's far better than I expected. I bought it without having heard even a clip. And, had my brother not sent me the Fort Minor CD for Hanukkah (I dunno; it came with a Hanukkah gift card), I may not have even found out about the group's existence by now. Finally, I was very wary of the new Madonna CD, approaching any CD by Madonna with at least some trepidation, and extra trepidation given that this was her new "all disco dance CD." But, it's great... just different.
Most Confusing Pair of Albums with Identical Track Listings
1. Hooverphonic, More Sweet Music and No More Sweet Music
Hooverphonic gets special mention for confusing the heck out of me with their latest pair of albums, More Sweet Music and No More Sweet Music. You get both for the price of one... or at least like one and a half... and they both contain different versions of the same songs. No More Sweet Music contains darker remixes of the tracks from More Sweet Music.
Well, that's it for the album awards. I'm not done sorting through all of my favorite tracks of the past year. I've only been able to narrow it down to 77 songs so far.