Five Songs Picks

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1. Jack Johnson – Go On

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20080311_jack.jpgMy favorite of JJ’s new album Sleep Through the Static. It’s classic Jack by the book: acoustic guitars strumming the beat, mellow lyrics, and touches of piano. I’m a bit disappointed by the album as a whole, but the good tracks really stand out.

2. Eddie Vedder – Hard Sun

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20080311_wild.jpgVedder, of Pearl Jam fame, contributes his first solo outing with the score to the movie Into the Wild. The movie is based on the life of Christopher McCandless and his tragic rejection of society. The movie has a dividing effect; either you love it and sympathize with McCandless’s romanticism or you hate it and scoff at his ingenuous world view. I happen to be in the former’s camp.

The sparse acoustic tracks fit perfectly with the scenery of Alaska and the American West. It certainly was one of my favorite movies of the year and it goes along that this album is also a favorite.

This is my favorite track, raw and rootsy.

3. Ringo Starr – Liverpool 8

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20080311_ringo.jpgRingo has a dubious solo career at best. It seems he rides the coattails of his better received former band mates and indeed this song invokes them by name. His solo outings do have a few gems like It Don’t Come Easy and Photograph (all available on last year’s Best Of).

This title tracks from his 2008 offering is quite good as well. His signature steady drumming and prominent high-hat abuse is all there. Its an enjoyable track, though, that is sure to make any Scouser proud.

4. Yael Naïm – New Soul

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20080311_yael.jpgThis singer/songwriter of French/Israeli heritage has been making waves of late. New Soul was handpicked by Steve Jobs to usher in the MacBook Air (I did find it a bit before that thankfully). The “la la” chorus and catchy piano and horn accompaniments make for a delightful little song.

5. Martin Sexton – Diner

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20080311_sexton.jpgI have to say I detest people who walk around with Scrubs soundtracks and smug faces of musical superiority. That said, there are some fine tracks contained therein. And hey, any compilation featuring Nick Drake gets points in my book.

This ditty is a Scrubs alum and has all the makings of a barbershop quartet standard and really evokes that prefabricated North American eatery. It’s hard not to like this song and the bass vocals really set it off. Peach cobbler!

The above photo is by Flickr user markusschoepke.