- "Pills for Sara" - The Winterpills: This is at the top of my playcount list right now. I really like the meditative quality of this song. It's a love song, but from a completely different angle. How many "I love you so much I can't help but enable your drug habit" ballads are there, really? On top of all that, totally catchy hook and really fun to croon along with
- "Happiness is a Warm Gun" - The Beatles: There will likely be a Beatles song on nearly every one of these I do- if I had to choose a band that's the soundtrack of my entire life, it would have to be them, cradle to present. In recent years, I've really been appreciating The White Album. This is probably because my dad thinks it's way over rated and we didn't listen to it on constant rotation the way we did Sgt. Pepper, Rubber Soul, and Abbey Road when I was a kid. Anyways, while I agree that this isn't my favorite album they did, in many ways it is the most innovative for the time. This album has spawned musical genres... and I've really been digging this song recently. It's a pretty primal I-want-to-have-sex-with-you metaphor, but where it could have been trite and creepy, it's really pretty hot. But under no circumstances meditate on the fact that it was written for Yoko Ono. Trust me.
- "I'll Be There" - The Jackson 5: So I need to preface this with the disclaimer that I, unlike seemingly the entire free press, have not forgotten the fact that while MJ was a musical prodigy, he was also victimized as a child which in turn made him a victimizer of children. He's absolutely not a saint or someone to look up to, just really talented. That being said, this is one of my favorite songs. His voice is so angelic and pure- and I love how earnest he sounds. There's no cynicism in this song, which is something that's hard for adult artists to pull off. I also really enjoy Jermaine's bridges- a lot of soul in his voice.
- "Little Drop of Poison" - Tom Waits: This guy is crazy and great. The lyrics are thoughtful and unexpected- apt is the word that I want to use. I clearly don't agree with his worldview, but he's a master at expressing it in a clear and memorable way. Plus, who couldn't love that crazy gravelly voice? This song in particular plays to his strengths, and I can't think of many other break up songs that manage to convey the depth of emotion that goes along with love lost without a hint of cheese or whine.
- "Chicago" - Sufjan Stevens: I can't overstate how much I love this song. It's basically flawless, from where I sit. Breath-takingly beautiful lyrics, sweet melodic delivery, universal emotions, and innovative blend of folk and orchestral instruments. The choral element at the end is just gorgeous. Plus, for those who are so inclined, the song is about Jesus coming to free us from ourselves (SS is a Christian who plays indie music, rather than a Christian music guy). Totally didn't realize this until about 50 listens in. A delicious nugget of meaning once I caught it.
For those about to rock, I salute you!