The Best of 2009: Staff Picks

Our favorites from what we've put on the radio this year.

Scroll down or jump to:
Claudia Marshall | Darren DeVivo | Dennis Elsas | Corny O'Connell | Rita Houston | John Platt | Pete Fornatale | Vin Scelsa | Russ Borris | Sarah Wardrop | Kara Manning | Alisa Ali | Jeff Kuprycz | Demos | Anthony DeCurtis | Josh Baron | Ceol na nGael | Laura Fedele | Joey Delvecchio

Claudia Marshall

FUV Weekday Morning Host

You know Neko Case is great. You already love Bob Schneider.
Here are some of the best records of the year you might have missed (in Alphabetical order:)

  • Allen Toussaint - The Bright Mississippi
  • Brendan Benson - My Old, Familiar Friend
  • Chuck Prophet - Let Freedom Ring!
  • Dave Rawlings Machine - A Friend of a Friend
  • Elizabeth and The Catapult - Taller Children
  • Joe Henry - Blood From Stars
  • Marshall Crenshaw - Jaggedland
  • The Revelations ft. Tre' Williams - The Bleeding Edge
  • Rhett Miller - Rhett Miller
  • Todd Snider - The Excitement Plan
  • WPA - Works Progress Administration

Honorable Mentions:

  • David Mead - Almost and Always
    Gorgeous music, gifted guy -- he should be a huge star.
  • Delbert McClinton - Acquired Taste
    We should all be able to rock like this at 69!
  • Eleni Mandell - Artificil Fire
    Wish she lived in NYC instead of LA.
  • Eilen Jewell - Sea of Tears
  • Generationals - Con Law
    Not to be overlooked!
  • Jason Lytle - Yours Truly, The Commuter
    Grandaddy is not dead!
  • John Wesley Harding - Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead
    Smart, funny, what more do you need?
  • Justin Townes Earle - Midnight at the Movies
    Also one of the years' best live performers!
  • Karl Denson's Tiny Universe - Brother's Keeper
    Shake your groove thang.
  • The Low Anthem - Oh My God Charlie Darwin
    They're loud, they're soft -- they've got it all.
  • Rickie Lee Jones - Balm in Gilead
    Her best record in YEARS.
  • Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
    'Nuff said.

Darren DeVivo

FUV Weekday Host

My top albums of 2009:

  • Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid
  • The Avett Brothers - I And Love And You
  • Diane Birch - Bible Belt
  • Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow, Antonio Sanchez - Quartet Live
  • Rosanne Cash - The List
  • Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood - Live From Madison Square Garden
  • Marshall Crenshaw - Jaggedland
  • Dawes - North Hills
  • The Decemberists - The Hazards Of Love
  • Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey - Here And Now
  • Diana Krall - Quiet Nights
  • The Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
  • Dave Matthews Band - Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King
  • Paul McCartney - Good Evening New York City
  • Meat Puppets - Sewn Together
  • Bob Mould - Life And Times
  • Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band - Between My Head And The Sky
  • Phish - Joy
  • R.E.M. - Live At The Olympia In Dublin: 39 Songs
  • Return To Forever - Returns
  • Meaghan Smith - The Cricket's Orchestra
  • Mike Stern - Big Neighborhood
  • Sting - If On A Winter's Night...
  • Robin Trower - What Lies Beneath
  • Tom Waits - Glitter And Doom Live

Dennis Elsas

FUV Weekday Host

In alphabetical order:

  • Avett Brothers - I and Love and You
  • Brendan Benson - My Old, Familiar Friend
  • Ray Davies - The Kinks Choral Collection
  • The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
  • John Wesley Harding - Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead
  • Levon Helm - Electric Dirt
  • Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
  • Paul McCartney - Good Evening New York City
  • Regina Spektor - Far
  • Bruce Springsteen - Working on a Dream
  • Wilco - Wilco (the album)

Plus these songs:

  • Bell X1 - "The Great Defector"
  • Diane Birch - "Don't Wait Up"
  • Marshall Crenshaw - "Live and Learn"
  • James Maddock - "When the Sun's Out"
  • Dave Matthews - "Funny the Way It Is"
  • Willie Nile - "House of a Thousand Guitars"
  • Phish - "Backwards Down the Number Line"
  • The Duke and the King - "If You Ever Get Famous"
  • The Low Anthem - "The Horizon is a Beltway"
  • U2 - "Get On Your Boots"

Corny O'Connell

FUV Weekday Host


  • Diane Birch - Bible Belt
    If you like classic Carole King and Laura Nyro, you'll like this debut.
  • The Dead Weather - Horehound
    Alison Mosshart of The Kills sings lead along with Jack White on this hard-rocking debut.
  • The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
    This could be their masterpiece - a tragic love story/prog rock opera.
  • Bob Dylan - Together Through Life
    Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter co-writes with Dylan to make one of this year's best releases.
  • Norah Jones - The Fall
    Norah injects a livelier groove into her music with a fresh group of collaborators.
  • John Mayer - Battle Studies
    Let not the tabloid coverage overshadow his musical talents, which are even more noteworthy here.
  • One eskimO - One eskimO
    A cinematic, melodic and cohesive debut from this U.K. group.
  • Kristina Train - Spilt Milk
    If you like classic Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield, you'll appreciate this debut.
  • Wilco - Wilco (the Album)
    Feist's duet on "You and I" and Nels Cline's guitar on "Bull Black Nova" make this a must have.

Rita Houston

Music Director/The Whole Wide World Host

Alphabetical Top Ten for 2009

  • Fanfarlo - Reservoir
    Impressive debut from British alt-folkies. Masterful musicianship, high style, theatrical drama, and hooks aplenty.
  • Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons - Death Won't Send A Letter
    My favorite of the year. Honest songwriter with a love of language and the generous gift for artistic colloboration.
  • Forro in the Dark - Light A Candle
    Love this Brazil-meets-NYC hybrid. Tell your friends about this one.
  • Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
    Undeniable. Probably the musical story of the year. And you heard them where first? That's right, WFUV!
  • Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
    Thank you, Wilco, for never boring us and for keeping rock out of the land of the dinousaurs.
  • One eskimO - One eskimO
    Love at first sight with this smart, dreamy, electronic quartet from London.
  • Norah Jones - The Fall
    Great songs abound on this. So good after repeated listens. And she sure makes it look easy.
  • Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon
    One of my fave hip hop albums of the year.
  • Jill Sobule - California Years
    There is so much more to Jill than just clever, humorous songwriting although that would actually be enough.
  • Florence and The Machine - Lungs
    Exciting, ambitious, artistic debut from an artist that I bet will stand the test of time.
  • James Maddock - Sunrise on Avenue C
    Return of the lead singer from the UK band Wood. This is classic songwriting for us Van, Paul Simon fans.
  • Harper Simon - Harper Simon
    A great singer-songwriter record. Craft and gift come together wonderfully, with a stellar lineup of musicians.
  • Rosanne Cash - The List
    Familiar tunes delivered in a beloved voice and a beautiful reminder of the importance of family and our own personal histories.

Favorite Concerts:
(I swear I'm keeping a concert journal NEXT year. I say that every year.):
Bob Dylan at United Palace, Monsters of Folk at the Beacon, Phish at Bonnaroo with Bruce, Cory Chisel and Dan Wilson at Zankel, Pearl Jam at the Spectrum, U2 at Fordham.

Most excited about for 2010:

  • Mayer Hawthorne
  • Mumford and Sons

Guilty Pleasure Song of the Year:

  • Lady Gaga - "Pokerface"

John Platt

Sunday Breakfast Host

Forced to choose 10, I liked these best:

  • Girlyman - Everything's Easy
    America's favorite androgynous trio moved from Brooklyn to Atlanta, but lost none of its quirky songwriting or wonderful harmonies.
  • Diana Jones - Better Times Will Come
    In a year of keeping up with the Joneses, I liked the new CDs by Rickie Lee and Norah, but had a special affection for this one by Diana. While her songs may remind you a little of Gillian Welch, her voice is unlike any other.
  • Ellis Paul - The Day After Everything Changed
    Working in Nashville with Kristian Bush of Sugarland, Ellis digs deep to explore a world of broken promises.
  • Pierce Pettis - That Kind of Love
    The songwriter's songwriter of contemporary folk at his best.
  • Madeleine Peyroux - Bare Bones
    Her first album of all original songs, some of them pretty personal, but co-writer and producer Larry Klein knows how to bring out the best in her.
  • Tom Russell - Blood and Candle Smoke
    Dark, atmospheric tales of Africa, Mexico, and the Southwest by an American treasure.
  • Amy Speace - The Killer in Me
    It's a crime that this gem somehow got lost in the Bermuda Triangle of the music biz; it shows a great talent coming into her own.
  • Bruce Springsteen - Working On a Dream
    The year he turned 60, he chose not to make a grand statement, just release an album full of well-crafted songs.
  • Susan Werner - Classics
    Susan's keen musical intelligence made what could've been a bland exercise -- recording great pop songs of the late 60s/early 70s with chamber arrangements -- a subtle, thoughtful success.
  • Wilco - (The Album)
    Thanks to Jeff Tweedy (the songwriter), this one shines.

But I liked these a lot, too:

Rosanne Cash, The List; Marshall Crenshaw, Jaggedland; Elvis Costello, Sacred, Profane & Sugarcane; Neko Case, Middle Cyclone; Gathering Time, Songs of Hope and Freedom; Peter Holspapple & Chris Stamey, Here and Now; Joe Iadanza & his Beautiful Band, Traveling Salesman; Indigo Girls, Poseidon and the Bitter Bug; Eilen Jewell, Sea of Tears; Rickie Lee Jones, Balm in Gilead; Harper Simon, Harper Simon; Todd Snider, The Excitement Plan; Jill Sobule, The California Years.

Favorite Songs:

  • Elvis Costello, "Sulphur to Sugarcane"
  • Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, "Shake It Out"
  • Amy Speace, "The Weight of the World"

Pete Fornatale

Mixed Bag Host

Best releases of 2009:

  • John Batdorf - Old Man Dreamin'
  • Chad and Jeremy - Ark-eology
  • John Fogerty - The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again
  • Mark Knopfler - Get Lucky
  • Lyle Lovett - Natural Forces
  • Willie Nile - House of a Thousand Guitars
  • Carly Simon - Never Been Gone
  • Regina Spektor - Far
  • Bruce Springsteen - Working on a Dream
  • The Subdudes - Flower Petals

Vin Scelsa

Idiot's Delight Host

This is not a "Best Of" list. This is a completely subjective collection of some albums released in 2009 that gave me great pleasure and that I imagine will continue to be rewarding in years to come. I imagine there are many other recordings which I did not get a chance to listen to this year that would be equally deserving of inclusion on such a list. Too many recordings, too little time...

Thus, in alphabetical order:

  • Booker T. - Potato Hole
  • Tim Buckley - Live At The Folklore Center, NYC - March 6, 1967
  • Rosanne Cash - The List
  • The Cave Singers - Welcome Joy
  • Clare and The Reasons - Arrow
  • Leonard Cohen - Live In London
  • Marshall Crenshaw - Jaggedland
  • The Duke and The King - Nothing Gold Can Stay
  • Steve Earle - Townes
  • Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard - One Fast Move Or I'm Gone: Music From Kerouac's Big Sur
  • Ramblin' Jack Elliott - A Stranger Here
  • The Felice Brothers - Yonder Is The Clock
  • Ella Fitzgerald - Twelve Nights In Hollywood (box set)
  • Melody Gardot - My One And Only Thrill
  • The Handsome Family - Honey Moon
  • John Wesley Harding - Who Was Changed And Who Was Dead
  • Philippe Jaroussky - Opium: Melodies Francaises
  • Norah Jones - The Fall
  • Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey - Here And Now
  • Freedy Johnston - Rain On The City
  • The Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
  • Jamie.T - Kings and Queens
  • James Maddock - Sunrise On Avenue C
  • Erin McKeown - Hundreds Of Lions
  • Katie Melua - Pictures
  • Leslie Mendelson - Swan Feathers
  • Geoff Muldaur & The Texas Sheiks - Geoff Muldaur & The Texas Sheiks
  • Maria Muldaur & Her Garden Of Joy - Garden Of Joy
  • Willie Nile - House Of A Thousand Guitars
  • Dave Rawlings Machine - A Friend Of A Friend
  • Tom Russell - Blood And Candle Smoke
  • Pete Seeger - Live in '65
  • Barbra Streisand - Love Is The Answer
  • Tiny Tim - I've Never Seen A Straight Banana - Rare Moments: Volume 1
  • Allen Toussaint - The Bright Mississippi
  • Tom Waits - Glitter and Doom Live
  • Doug & Telisha Williams - Ghost Of The Knoxville Girl
  • Various Artists - The Best Is Yet To Come: The Songs Of Cy Coleman
  • Various Artists - Things About Comin' My Way: A Tribute To The Music Of The Mississippi Sheiks
  • Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs

Russ Borris

Assistant Music Director and Host of The Alternate Side on FUV

Albums (alphabetical):

  1. Metric - Fantasies
    The band's third album is more focused and admittedly more polished, but that doesn't make these songs any less cool.
  2. The White Buffalo - Hogtied Revisited
    Jake Smith is The White Buffalo, a mountain of a man with a voice to match. Do yourself a favor and YouTube this guy. Then ask yourself why don't more people know him?
  3. Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon: The End of Day
    A futuristic look at hip-hop with guests from Common to MGMT. Really cool stuff.
  4. The Black Hollies - Softly Towards the Light
    The Black Hollies sound like they may be the one great band that didn't hit it big during The British Invasion. Their new album is a throwback to vintage 60's psychedelic rock with soaring guitars, harmonies and plenty of organ.
  5. David Bazan - Curse Your Branches
    The first proper solo record from the former Pedro the Lion front man chronicles one man's struggle with addiction and doubts regarding his own faith. Heavy stuff, yet melodic and catchy.
  6. The Raveonettes - In and Out of Control
    The Danish duo does it again. Holy alliteration, Batman.
  7. Generationals - Con Law
    Two guys from New Orleans with a love for vintage sounds create an album that's indie, retro, sunny and Motown all at the same time.
  8. Deer Tick - Born on Flag Day
    John McCauley has a hundred years of musical knowledge in his head and it comes across in every song he writes.
  9. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
    Flawlessly produced, it's the most focused record of their career. Indie rock finally has its Pet Sounds.
  10. Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid
    As much as Dan Auerbach can (and does) rock out, I actually find the softer stuff on this album to be even better.

Best of 2009 Songs (that didn't appear on my ten favorite albums):

  1. Benjy Ferree - "Tired of Being Good"
  2. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - "Home"
  3. The Lonely Island - "I'm on a Boat"
  4. Depeche Mode - "Wrong"
  5. The Big Pink - "Dominos"
  6. Morrissey - "Something is Squeezing My Skull"
  7. Bruce Springsteen - "The Wrestler"
  8. The Decemberists - "The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid"
  9. Soulsavers - "You'll Miss Me When I Burn"
  10. The Avett Brothers - "I and Love and You"

Sarah Wardrop

Assistant Program Director

Albums (by artist, A - Z):

  • Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid
  • Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
  • Cotton Jones - Paranoid Cocoon
  • Heartless Bastards - The Mountain
  • Indigo Girls - Poseidon and the Bitter Bug
  • Eleni Mandell - Artificial Fire
  • Erin McKeown - Hundreds of Lions
  • Passion Pit - Manners
  • Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • Allen Toussaint - The Bright Mississippi

...and a few other songs (by artist, A - Z)

  • Among The Oak & Ash - "Peggy-O"
  • Theresa Andersson - "Birds Fly Away"
  • The Avett Brothers - "I and Love and You"
  • Andrew Bird - "Fitz & Dizzyspells"
  • Derek Trucks Band - "Sweet Inspiration"
  • Lyle Lovett - "Natural Forces"
  • The Low Anthem - "The Horizon Is A Beltway"
  • Maria Taylor - "Cartoons and Forever Plans"
  • Susan Werner - "Waiting In Vain"
  • Jenny Owen Youngs - "Led To The Sea"

Kara Manning

Web Editor for The Alternate Side, On-Air Interviewer for WFUV/The Alternate Side

Albums (in no particular order):

  • the xx - xx
  • Florence and the Machine - Lungs
  • Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • Tinariwen - Imidiwan: Companions
  • The Leisure Society - The Sleeper
  • Charlotte Hatherley - New Worlds
  • Passion Pit - Manners
  • Atlas Sound - Logos
  • Pastels/Tenniscoats - Two Sunsets
  • Nitin Sawhney - London Undersound
  • The Joy Formidable - A Balloon Called Moaning
  • Other Lives - Other Lives


  • Mos Def - "Quiet Dog Bite Hard"
  • Delphic - "Counterpoint"
  • La Roux - "Bulletproof"
  • Empire of the Sun - "Walking on a Dream"
  • The Cribs - "We Share The Same Skies"
  • Cold Cave - "Love Comes Close"
  • The Depreciation Guild - "Dream About Me"
  • Skint and Demoralised - "Red Lipstick"
  • Health - "Die Slow"
  • The Horrors - "Whole New Way"

Alisa Ali

The Alternate Side Host and FUV Weekday Morning Producer

The order of these might change depending on mood - but all of these are great albums from 2009:

  • Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
  • Dan Auerbach - Keep it Hid
  • Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
  • Grizzly Bear - Veckatimist
  • Metric - Fantasies
  • Passion Pit - Manners
  • Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • White Rabbits - It's Frightening
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
  • The XX - XX
  • The Avett Brothers - I and Love and You

Jeff K

The Alternate Side Host

  1. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  2. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
  3. Miike Snow - Miike Snow
  4. Jack Peñate - Everything is New
  5. Various Artists - Dark Was the Night
  6. Fink - Sort of Revolution
  7. Andrew Bird - Fitz and the Dizzyspells
  8. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
  9. Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
  10. Metric - Fantasies


The Alternate Side Host

  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
  • Passion Pit - Manners
  • Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • Echo & the Bunnymen - The Fountain
  • Girl Talk - Feed the Animals
  • Julian Casablancas - Phrazes for the Young
  • Black Kids - Partie Traumatic
  • Art Brut - Art Brut Vs Satan
  • Flaming Lips - Embryonic
  • Kings of Leon - Only By the Night

Anthony DeCurtis

WFUV Music Reviewer

Anthony talks about new releases for our Music Review podcast.

  • Avett Brothers - I and Love and You
  • Rosanne Cash - The List
  • The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
  • Steve Earle - Townes
  • Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
  • Levon Helm - Electric Dirt
  • Norah Jones - The Fall
  • Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
  • Phish - Joy
  • Chuck Prophet - Let Freedom Ring

Josh Baron

WFUV Music Reviewer

Josh talks about new releases for our >Music Review podcast.

  • M. Ward - Hold Time
  • BlakRoc - BlakRoc
  • Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • The Avett Brothers - I and Love and You
  • Miike Snow - Miike Snow
  • Hockey - Mind Chaos
  • Rod Stewart - The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998
  • David Rawlings Machine - A Friend of a Friend
  • Passion Pit - Manners
  • Built to Spill - There Is No Enemy

Eric Holland

FUV Guest Host, FUV Music Weekend Host


  1. Green Day - 21st. Century Breakdown
  2. Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
  3. Cory Chisel - Death Won't Send a Letter
  4. Brendan Benson - My Old Familiar Friend
  5. U2 - No Line on the Horizon
  6. Iggy Pop - Preliminaires
  7. The Dead Weather - Horehound
  8. Sonic Youth - The Eternal
  9. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
  10. Phish - Joy

Ceol na nGael

Celtic Sunday afternoons, Noon-4pm

Our favorite releases of 2009, in no particular order:

  • Liz Carroll & John Doyle - Double Play
  • Girsa - Girsa
  • Ashley Davis - Down by the Sea
  • Kathleen Collins - My Book of Songs
  • Pride of New York - Pride of New York
  • Sharon Shannon - Saints and Scoundrels
  • Mick Moloney - If it Wasn't for the Irish and the Jews
  • Shilelagh Law - 1 and 9
  • Maura Fogarty - Into the Sun
  • Cara Dillon - Hill of Thieves

Laura Fedele

New Media Director

Favorite albums:

  1. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
  2. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  3. The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
  4. Cory Chisel - Death Don't Send a Letter
  5. Gomez - A New Tide
  6. Brandi Carlile - Give Up the Ghost
  7. Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
  8. The Avett Brothers - I and Love and You
  9. Iron and Wine - Around the Well
  10. Jill Sobule - California Years

Plus: R.E.M., Van Morrison, and Tom Waits all released live albums out this year, and what's better than that I ask you, but I think picking a live record in this context would be cheating.
I've also just begun spending time with the Dave Rawlings Machine album, which seems likely to be another of the year's standouts.

Favorite songs not on those favorite albums:

  • Cage the Elephant - "Ain't No Rest For the Wicked"
  • Florence & the Machine - "Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)"
  • Dave Matthews Band - "Why I Am"
  • Bell X1 - "The Great Defector"
  • Diane Birch - "Nothing But a Miracle"

Joey Delvecchio

Traffic and Continuity Director


  1. Pearl Jam - Backspacer
    Backspacer is an appropriate title for this album, as it takes me back to my favorite musical period, where Pearl Jam was the biggest thing since canned soup. Pearl Jam prove that they are still the best rock band in the biz, not breaking new ground, just doing what they do really well. But I almost cried when, in the opening track, "I'm Gonna See My Friend", Eddie Vedder belts out, "I'm gonna shake this thing before I retire." Or on the album's closing remark, where he says, "The end is near, I'm here, but not much longer." Don't go, Eddie!
  2. Pete Yorn - Back and Forth
    If it can make him feel better, he's gonna cry for you. But I think I like the timeliness of this lyric in "Social Development Dance", "I googled you in quotes, got no results." Come on, we've all done it, and if you say you haven't, I think you're telling lies.
  3. Five For Fighting - Slice
    Say what you want about Five For Fighting, but with lyrics like, "There was a time a long, long time ago / Chevys and levies played on the radio / No cell phones, just twenty thousand lights / Swaying on a Saturday night." The imagery of his lyrics is always outstanding, and never more than on this record.
  4. Buckcherry - Black Butterfly
    Taking us back to the days when rock and roll was sleazy. Don't mock it 'til you try it. After all, the fact is that sometimes, or maybe more than sometimes, you just drink too much (see track listing).
  5. The White Buffalo - Hogtied Revisited
    I'd never heard of this guy before, and with a name like "The White Buffalo" I wasn't sure what to think, really. But my man Russ Borris and I agreed, this is good stuff. Certainly, it's the most theatrical opening to a record I've ever heard that wasn't actually for a Broadway show.


  1. The Avett Brothers - "I and Love and You"
    Not only do I love the thought of people who live outside of NYC yearning to live in our city, but this is without a doubt the most beautiful song since the Goo Goo Dolls released "Iris" some eleven years ago. It took me in.
  2. The Duke and the King - "f You Ever Get Famous"
    "If you ever get famous / Don't forget about me / I hope it's everything / You thought it would be / If you ever get famous / I'll say a prayer for your heart / If you ever get famous / Don't forget about her / She was there boy / When nobody cared who you were" Songwriting just doesn't get much better than this.
  3. Third Eye Blind - "Can You Take Me?"
    Long underrated in the rock music world, Third Eye Blind return from the grave with a stellar opening track to their new album. "Can you take me / Into days of the new / Let's start a riot / Because a riot's overdue". Let's start it! Perfect for a Saturday night that's alright for fighting.
  4. Brendan Benson - "A Whole Lot Better"
    "I fell in love with you / And out of love with you / And back in love with you / All in the same day" This has happened to me so many times. Not only is Benson in tune with my own emotions, but the track just has this cool "Beach Boys" vibe that's been absent for far too long.
  5. Metric - "Gold, Guns, Girls"
    This song asks one of the most important questions in life: "Is it ever gonna be enough?"

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