1998 in Review

It's that time when music critics the world over list what they think the best picks of the year were. Since people (first and foremostly ourselves:-) seem to think our opinions actually count for something, I would not want to disappoint anyone. So, here are my favorites from 1998. Most of these albums are reviewed somewhere on this site. Needless to say, it was very difficult to choose only ten, as I have been priveledged to listen to many fabulous albums from around the world. And it was absolutely impossible to rank them, so what follows is in no particular order, and is certainly not based on any music charts.

Paula's Favorite Albums in 1998

Maudit Bonheur - Michel Rivard (Audiogram)

Songs from Sun Street - The Saw Doctors

Celtic Tides - Various (Putomayo)

Senegal Moon - Serah (Great Northern Arts)

Live '98 - Konstantin Wecker (BMG)

Kaksi! - Hedningarna (NorthSide)

Contact from the Underworld of Red Boy - Robbie Robertson (Capitol)

When We Were Young - Yom Hadash (Independent)

Jalan Kopo - Sabah Habas Mustapha (Omnium)

Troka - Troka (NorthSide)

Runners Up:

Alloy - Boiled in Lead (Omnium)

Trä - Hedningarna (NorthSide)

Album I would most like to have listened to -- but didn't:

Cap Enragé - Zachary Richard (Audiogram)

Label I expect totally huge things from:

NorthSide - The crew at NorthSide is totally committed to bringing to North America the best of Scandinavian music, much of which has never been heard before on these shores.

Biggest "discoveries" of 1998:

Boiled in Lead - This folk/punk/rock band from Minnesota blew my mind with their mix of styles and musical progression since their beginnings in the early 80's.

Maxime Le Forestier - Although he has been a fixture of Chanson in France for over 25 years, his voice is ageless and his more recently work especially combines influences not just of folk and pop, but of classical, jazz, and latin rhythms.

Album I am looking most forward to in 1999:

Daniel Bélanger's triple live CD set

and (tie)

Paul Piché's long-awaited CD of new material.