As is already traditional, the first day and first post of the new year sees the results of our asking for - or scrounging unasked for where deemed necessary - favourite album lists from a range of good, honest UK music and culture bloggers. Again, it's led to our highest number of contributors yet, a testament to the spread of worthwhile British writers as we head into what we suspect might be for one reason or another quite a difficult year for the populace, and the tightest competition, if that's the right word, yet, the winner literally going down to the last set of votes counted.
This year's contributing music blog roll of honour, then: 17 Seconds, 88 Days in my veins, A New Band A Day, Both Bars On, Breaking More Waves, Broken FM, Buzzin Music Blog, Comfort Comes, Eaten By Monsters, Eyemaylisten, Fact magazine, Fire Escape Talking, Folly Of Youth, Fucking Dance, funfunfun, Ich Luge Bullets, ifblog, Illegal Tender, ireallylovemusic, In League With Paton, It's Getting Boring By The Sea, Just Press Play, Keep Hope Inside, Lots Of Random Words, MFM, Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt, No Ripcord, Parallax View, Mark from Rock Sellout, The Auditorium, The Daily Growl, Themilkfactory, The Pop Cop, The Sonic Minefield, The Von Pip Musical Express, Transparent Magazine and Yer Mam!. We decided our friends at Smalltown America's blog qualified them, so they provided a list too.
Funeral, Return To Cookie Mountain and Sound Of Silver were the first three winners of the accolade - joining their place in the pantheon for '08? Well, you'll see in forty nine eclectic albums' time:
50 BLOC PARTY - Intimacy
49 ATLAS SOUND - Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
48 SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS - Alpinisms
47 JULIAN COPE - Black Sheep
46 MEURSAULT - Pissing On Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues
45 HOT CHIP - Made In The Dark
44 CADENCE WEAPON - Afterparty Babies
43 MARNIE STERN - This Is It And I Am It And You Are It And So Is That And He Is It And She Is It And It Is It And That Is That
42 THIS TOWN NEEDS GUNS - Animals
41 LIGHTSPEED CHAMPION - Falling Off The Lavender Bridge
40 THESE NEW PURITANS - Beat Pyramid
39 CUT COPY - In Ghost Colours
38 NEON NEON - Stainless Style
37 STARKEY - Ephemeral Exhibits
36 HELLO SAFERIDE - More Modern Short Stories From Hello Saferide
35 NO AGE - Nouns
34 THE WAVE PICTURES - Instant Coffee Baby
33 COLDPLAY - Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
32 JAMES YORKSTON - When The Haar Rolls In
31 SIGUR ROS - Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust
30 WILD BEASTS - Limbo, Panto
29 METRONOMY - Nights Out
28 GANG GANG DANCE - Saint Dymphna
27 FUCK BUTTONS - Street Horrrsing
26 FLYING LOTUS - Los Angeles
25 DEERHUNTER - Microcastle
24 MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
23 JOHNNY FLYNN - A Larum
22 BRITISH SEA POWER - Do You Like Rock Music?
21 LINDSTROM - Where You Go I Go Too
20 WHY? - Alopecia
Yoni Wolf and co may have drifted even further away from their hip hop grounding but their analogue folk beats with stories don't really sound like anyone else.
Video: Song Of The Sad Assassin
19 GLASVEGAS - Glasvegas
The Jesus & Mary Chain's feral Spectorisms are shotgun wed to James Allan's proudly broad accent and intensely detailed raw stories of masculinity and murder.
Video: Daddy's Gone
18 M83 - Saturdays = Youth
Anthony Gonzalez's fuzzy invocations of youthful joy and growing pains sidestepped merely rehashing a 1980s youth, despite being perhaps the most 80s sounding album here.
Video: Kim And Jessie
17 LYKKE LI - Youth Novels
This year's big Swedish pop achiever, sounds simultaneously like a set of big modern pop statements and a series of understated, intricately arranged pocket symphonies.
Video: I'm Good, I'm Gone
16 LAURA MARLING - Alas I Cannot Swim
It became obligatory to mention her age (born 1990) in reviews, but this richly detailed collection of fully developed wistfulness would be an achievement whatever.
15 FOALS - Antidotes
Teaching the indie kids to dance again, just to something fairly different, marrying punk-funk rhythms, Afrobeat guitars, mathrock technicalities and dancefloor propulsiveness.
14 FRIGHTENED RABBIT - The Midnight Organ Fight
Selkirk's finest have been threatening to raise both stakes and roof with their emotive bombast, and with this level of open vein lyricism and soulful hooks they stepped up a gear.
Video: Head Rolls Off
13 THE HOLD STEADY - Stay Positive
Less Springsteen, more Replacements; less participatory in drinking and carousing, more observation and wondering where they're going to end up. Still sounding tailormade for bigger venues.
Video: Stay Positive
12 THE INDELICATES - American Demo
Who says music doesn't encourage thinking any more? Intelligent, scabrous, impassioned, thought provoking diatribes about off-menu subjects for 2000s indie pop.
11 DAN LE SAC VS SCROOBIUS PIP - Angles
Thou Shalt Always Kill sounded like a one-off but they proved otherwise; Pip's streams of thought, ideas and arguments to fall over each other, Le Sac handles the glitch sample backing.
Video: Letter From God To Man
10 SANTOGOLD - Santogold
MIA's early patronage was evident on Santi White's debut, but so was awkward retro-futurist electro-pop, Blondieish pop, reggae and lover's rock, new wave, Grace Jones sterile funk and all stylistic points west.
Video: L.E.S. Artistes
9 LATE OF THE PIER - Fantasy Black Channel
Taking on not just the day-glo ruins of nu-rave but also the early 80s synths and giving them a post-punk inflected twist, indie kids hadn't given up on giving the dancefloor a good postmodern shaking up yet.
8 FLEET FOXES - Fleet Foxes
You'd have got long odds on Crosby, Stills & Nash proving such an influence in 2008, but these soaring, emotive harmonies recalled them among many an Americana pop influence.
Video: White Winter Hymnal
7 LOS CAMPESINOS! - Hold On Now, Youngster...
Awkward, individual and unwilling to use one voice and instrument where seven will do, their airtight indie pop exploded out at every angle with heads down no nonsense social aphorisms and tunnel vision joyfulness.
Video: My Year In Lists
(Ed. note - We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed was not counted for the poll as the band themselves don't consider it a proper album for some reason, and also splitting the vote would have got messy)
6 TV ON THE RADIO - Dear Science
TVOTR didn't so much go commercial as watch commercial catch up with them and then delicately step to the side, taking on loved up funk and conscious disco alongside the production tricks, soundscapes and social panic lyrics.
Video: Dancing Choose
5 VAMPIRE WEEKEND - Vampire Weekend
London bands deny their class; New Yorkers glory in it. Collegiate kids running hi-life and Afrobeat into Talking Heads post-punk, unafraid to write about punctuation or employ a harpsichord, this debut was an off-kilter joy.
Video: Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
4 PORTISHEAD - Third
Completely destroying the dinner party cliche, eleven years on from their last album the trio moved on from psychic dancehalls to chambers of horror, evoking 60s electronic experimentalists, dark industrial dub, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and folk gothic soundtracks.
Video: The Rip
3 JOHNNY FOREIGNER - Waited Up Til It Was Light
Visceral in a completely different way to TVOTR, the Birmingham trio took on tricks from post-hardcore, Chicago math-punk and British mid-90s awkward indie underachievers and packaged it up into full-on harmonious riots of excitable pyrotechnics and unexpected touches.
Video: Salt, Peppa And Spinderella
2 BON IVER - For Emma, Forever Ago
The story of Justin Vernon in the snowbound wood cabin has been well told, but it explains the resultant isolatory chill of these songs, Vernon's soulful falsetto and brittle guitar framing desolate heartbreak and redemptive resolve. Many were instantly seduced.
Video: The Wolves (Act I & II)
1 ELBOW - The Seldom Seen Kid
You'd do well to find a more liked winner of the Mercury Prize winner, sweeping aside 'thinking man's Coldplay' comparisons by making the giant step up, making everything that little bit less universal (bar One Day Like This) and rediscovering Guy Garvey's strengths as an inventive, fragile writer, producing a set of heartfelt pain and joy.
Video: Grounds For Divorce