It's understandable if you believe end of the year "Best Of" lists are largely self-indulgent, because it's fucking true. Music critics write for other music critics and no one else. When the musicians in question sometimes actually read the review, it's largely by accident. All of us writing simple bullet lists of the releases we liked on this revolution 'round the sun are doing it for ourselves, because most of us are geeks and losers who can't play a note -- but hey, we can write, so let's apply that to music somehow. Okay.
Well, I don't care. I read every year-end list from every publication I respect (SPIN, yes, NPR sort of, Rolling Stone, hell no.) because I want to make sure there weren't any albums I might've overlooked. FOMO, the syphilis of our generation, right? Then, in the most menial corridors of my mind, I begin ranking things like the bored ape I am because I can't help it. Even though I realize it amounts to nothing, it's still more fun than making New Year's resolutions I won't accomplish anyway, although I do that, too.