The one publication whose yearly list I actually like is Stereogum’s.? The thing I like about it is that they allow their readers to vote for the best records, and other sundry categories like Mr. and Mrs. Indie Hottie (which as one of the commenters noted is like winning the special Olympics for Hotness).? So the fifty albums represented on their list are generally the albums that most people were listening to and talking about this year.
Can’t say I agree with the order of the list overall, but some albums not shown love elsewhere like Patrick Watson are shown the love on Stereogum’s 2007 Gummy Awards.
And because it’s voted on and compiled from the average reader it’s a little more transparent than say, Pitchfork Media’s list, and a little more weighty than say your regular music blogger’s list of fav albums.
Not to give anything away but Radiohead’s In Rainbows was the big winner.