Not every year-end Top 10 list has to be a strict list of the 10 best albums, nor does it have to be a scientific ranking of music by merit. Two years ago, I began assembling my year-end best list in the form of a 10-song soundtrack, in the hopes that it would reflect the way I experienced the year. Truth be told, 2009 marks the first time it's really worked.
I didn't realize it until I'd had the short list ready for trimming, but all of these songs in some way reflect on the concept of home. Sure, I can't be sure about the lyrics of the Touareg tribesmen in Terakaft, but as nomadic people, they seem to find a sense of home in their music.
During a year in which many Americans have lost their homes, I've felt doubly blessed to have a firm, loving base to share with my wife, and I feel inspired by the creative community in my adopted home of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Twenty-four years after leaving England, I find myself preparing to make the commitment to become a citizen of this country — a place I'm now proud to call home. I hope these songs do justice to that notion.