It should be the music that, for whatever reason, just really resonated with the listmaker. The music that became part of their lives, instead of part of their “collection.”
I was thinking that about my current Top 50 song list the other day, and comparing it to those that I’ve come across recently. Some blogs seem to have very stringent rules, like ‘only one song from one artist’, which is something that I definitely haven’t adhered to when making my list! (Sigur Ros, Mates Of State, Frightened Rabbit, Okkervil River). The songs I’ve chosen fit only one criteria, the songs that have soundtracked my year, the songs that really have become part of my life.
It’s funny how some people get so heated when reading other people’s lists (though I haven’t had any nasty reactions to mine). While I find it pretty amusing, I think that it’s bound to happen. We all get so attached to our favourite music that it becomes part of our personal identity. And if an album or song that has become a part of us doesn’t get recognised, it’s almost like a close friend has been rejected.
My theory is though that it’s their best of, not yours. If you’re getting all pissy about somebody else’s list, get off your butt and go make your own. At least then there’ll be one list out there that you agree with.