Why I’m Not Doing a “Best of 2020” List

We’ve reached that time of year where everyone associated with entertainment is throwing out a “Best of 2020” list, highlighting everything they thought was special about music, movies, books, and other forms of entertainment. As this is a site geared around music and the latest releases (and because I have done so before), I suppose I will be expected by some to do the same thing.

Except I won’t be doing one this year.

My rationale is relatively simple. “Best of” lists are based around the premise that said reviewer has heard or seen everything (or close to everything) there is to offer from the previous year, whether that’s in general or relative to a specific genre. I have in no way, shape, or form come close to that accomplishment.

I’ve been sent a LOT of material from labels and artists, and it was all my attention to report on everything I heard. But this year has been … well, we all know what this year has been. Its unprecedented nature hardly bears repeating. And the side effects are forever unfurling.

I’ve alluded to the difficulties I’ve faced this past year, and how they have hindered my productivity. There’s no getting around this. I haven’t gotten nearly as much done as I would have liked. That includes addressing the pile (physical and virtual) of music sitting on my desk. I haven’t heard everything, so how can I possibly tell you what I think is the “best” thing I’ve heard this year. It’s an incomplete book report, at best.

So rather than attempt to create a list loaded with flaws, I will instead try to catch up on what I’ve been missing. As I alluded to a post or two back, brevity will be the key to making this work. I’ll open the door, but it will be up to you to decide whether or not you want to walk through. And if you want to know what I think of what I have heard this year, you are more than welcome to go back through this page’s archives, which are easily accessed. The answers lie within.

Here’s hoping 2021 flows differently.


You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (cirdecsongs) My book, I Can’t Be the Only One Hearing This: A Lifetime of Music Through Eclectic Ears, is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine book dealers. I’m currently working on my next book, The Wizard of WOO: The Life and Music of Bernie Worrell

Would you like to have your album reviewed? Contact me at cirdecsongs@gmail.com


  1. I stay away from doing “Best of” lists. I love to rank albums, but I make it care that the rankings are own my preferences. I recently did a list of Notable Albums From The 1990’s. At the end of the year I have been doing a list of “Highlights” from that year. Best is so subjective. At the end of the day I have to like it. Many so called “Bests” do not appeal to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I gave up those lists a few years back. For all the effort put in, at the end of the day the only person that values your list is you – the rest of the world drowns you out demanding you read their lists, and then everything quickly moves on. For me, this season, the time was more rewardingly spent simply enjoying albums that I’ve loved over the past 40 years, let alone the past 12 months. I didn’t even attempt to start writing either -I just downed my pen and reminded myself of what it was like to simply listen to music for the sheer pleasure of it. Happier and healthier of mind for it.

    Liked by 2 people

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