10 December 2008

Top 10/20/25 Global Albums of 2008

I've been asked by various publications/entities to create lists of my favorite global releases of 2008. Unfortunately, none of them agree on how many entries constitute a proper Top X list. So here, in three acts, is my list. (Disagree with my choices? Think I missed the best album of the year? Say so in the poll below the list, or leave your own list in the comments.)

2008 has been a rich year for world music. Curiously absent are any albums by the really big names, such as Angelique Kidjo, Buena Vista Social Club, Youssou N'Dour, Manu Chao, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lo'Jo, and Oliver Mtukudzi. BVSC's new live album didn't quite make the cut, and perhaps we'll see new albums from the rest of that gang soon. The good news is, many other artists stepped up with amazing music to fill the void. Jostling for position in the list below are everything from a West African-jazz trumpet fusion to an Israeli hip-hop artist.

These are the albums that inspired me throughout the year, the albums to which I found myself returning again and again, both to play for Spin The Globe listeners, and just for my own satisfaction. They're albums of beauty and beat, tradition and modernity, and sometimes all of those things together. Most of them would make great starting points for folks new to global music, and all of them should appeal to broad-minded lovers of quality music.

The albums are listed alphabetically by artist within their top 10/20/25 groupings, and the links will lead you either to my review or to a site where you can sample/buy the album.

Top 10
Ablaye Cissoko and Volker Goetze: SiraChiwoniso - Rebel Woman - on SoundRoots.org
Bajofondo: Mardulce
Chiwoniso: Rebel Woman
Desert Blues 3 (various artists)
Firewater: The Golden Hour
Funkadesi: Yo Baba
MC Yogi: Elephant Power
Mounira Mitchala: Talou Lena
Tomer Yosef: Laughing Underground
Umalali: The Garifuna Women's Project

+10Nigeria70 LagosJump on SoundRoots.org
Dengue Fever: Venus on Earth
DeLeon: DeLeon
Delhi 2 Dublin: Delhi 2 Dublin
Gamelan X: Satu
Mahsa & Marjan Vahdat: I Am Eve
Nation Beat: Legends of the Preacher
Nigeria 70-Lagos Jump (various artists)
Oana Catalina Chitu: Bucharest Tango
Tony Allen: Afro Disco Beat
Uxia: Eterno NavegarPistolera - En Este Camino - on SoundRoots.org

Emmanuel Jal: Warchild
Figli Di Madre Ignota: Fez Club
Neco Novellas: New Dawn/ Ku Khata
Pistolera: En Este Camino
Watcha Clan: Diaspora Hi-Fi

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for including us on your list of 2008! I have to check out some of these other artists. we hope to see you in 2009 in WA.