It's that time of year again.  The month of December is always chock full of Best Of lists from every media outlet around. I usually take such pride in the fact that I really try to stay atop of what's going on in music throughout the year.  I listen to the "All Songs Considered" podcast every week, listening for new things to spend more time with--and almost always hearing something that excites me.  This year, I started watching episodes of Later with Jools Holland to see what's going on across the pond (love that show, but am confounded by the fact that you can't really watch it here without cable).

This year, I discovered several new artists that I absolutely love: Rhye and Laura Mvula (sadly not on the list below) come to mind; and others that were just new to me: Jason Isbell and Phosphorescent.

And yet, with all of my efforts to stay abreast, invariably the end-of-the-year lists start coming out and I'm awash with all of the gems I've missed.  So, it makes me feel like I hadn't done enough--and yet I still enjoy the listening binge because someone else has to done the heavy lifting for me.  Now I can just work my way through a much-abbreviated list: feeling superior when I don't agree, and grateful when I do.

So, if any of you are in this with me, I've created a Spotify playlist from Paste's Top 50 Albums of 2013 list (with a few exceptions, for those artists who refuse to participate in the digital subscription realm)...I hope you have moments of superiority and gratitude!

Are there other lists that you feel are more balanced and or interesting?  Comment away!

P.S.  I have a big announcement coming soon...  and you thought I had given up on music?!?!?