1) It's a short list. I bought only a few full-length cds this year; part of that was due to tight money, but--gratefully--part was due to a combination of the generosity of friends and the proliferation of free (and legal) online music. So, in addition to actual titles of albums, I've made a list of groups that I either became aware of for the first time or, as in the case of Drive-By Truckers, actively began listening to.
Corollary: I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting some folks that merit being here. But that's the way it goes.
2) No music from Africa or Brazil this year, as has usually been the case with my end-of-year lists. I'm as surprised as you are. This year's obsession, though, appears to be a genre that, for lack of a better term, I will call "alt-folk"--that genre dominates the "Artists" list below.
Here are the two lists, in alphabetical order (again reminding the reader of the title for this post):