This is the weirdest and, from a selection point of view, the most horrible part of the whole list to write up. Every one of the ten albums listed below are stunners, but for reasons various they didn’t quite make the top twenty. If only the reason “well there were twenty records that I thought were better” was accurate, but it’s far from the truth. In a section that is all too self-typically guilt-laden and apologetic, the following records are all brilliant and you should give them a go. To be honest, it’s been a surprisingly better year for new music than I originally thought before I started collating this list.
It also doesn’t help when more really good records keep appearing – one that has been expected since the summer and two that just appeared as if by magic. It’s a pain in a way that their appearance does provide the potential for buggering up the process entirely (as well as opening up an internal debate about Christmas albums in general), but I’m more pleased than perplexed about this, as these things are supposed to be an end-of-year goof-off for all concerned rather than the play-it-safe, rule-infested, vanity-search marketing tripe that these things can so easily end up being.