There are 3178 songs on my iPod right now. These are the top 10 that have been getting the most play lately.
1.) "St. Elsewhere" by: Gnarls Barkley - The title track from Gnarls Barkley's absolutely amazing debute (my prediction is that this will make many people's lists of top albums of the decade in a few years) is the best track on the album. Why? Cee-Lo Green's lyrics on this track are stunning and his delivery is phenomenal. The coup de grace comes at one minute and eight seconds into the track with layered vocals that send shivers down my spine every time I hear it.
2.) "Welcome To The Black Parade" by: My Chemical Romance - This is MCR's attempt at being Queen for the aughts. Highly theatrical and almost too over-the-top to be taken seriously this song is really saved by the guitars. Those comparisons to Queen don't only come from Gerard Way's theatrics, but guitar-work that sounds like Brian May doing a guest spot, even though, of course, it isn't.
3.) "Level" by: The Raconteurs - Jack White can be in as many bands as he wants to be if all the bands he appears in can produce work that's as intrinsically cool as this. Kayboards and guitars, oh my!
4.) "----------------------------->" by: The Dears - Don't ask me what to call it. I just call it the right arrow, but who can really say for sure what it is except The Dears? This song is so sad and haunting to me. The guitar is perfect and lead singer, Murray Lightburn, has an incredible, probably often overlooked voice, in the contemporary music scene.
5.) "A Method" by: TV On The Radio - You can't help but sing along with this song. I think it helps if your learn the lyrics. I still haven't done that so I look like a goober when I'm just mumbling incoherently in many parts until the chorus comes up, "There is hardly a method you know," and then you just know I'm all up in there like I'm a part of the band. Why aren't these guys huge all over the world yet?
6.) "Om" by: John Coltrane - This is probably the strangest inclusion on this list, but it's so utterly compelling. It opens with this spiritual spoken word part that ends with, "I am Om, Ommmmm, Ommmmmmmmm!" and erupts into spectacular, awe-inspiring noise. When I hear this song I feel as though I am making a connection to the intangibles in the universe. Save your bubblegum-pop pap for the teenagers! I'm transcendental in a state of bliss on this track. Wow! For and extra treat, try listen to song and read from Jack Kerouac's Some Of The Dharma at the same time. I swear you'll see cherubs on your shoulder, you're scraping the top of the universe so closely.
7.) "Rosetta Stoned" by: Tool - Of course Tool was going to appear on this list somewhere. "Rosetta Stoned" is Adam Jones canoodling with his guitar and Maynard really letting his vocals go from spoken word to just some of the best screams and howls in the business. Plus, any song that can make a refrain out of "Goddamn, shit the bed!" has to be pretty awesome.
8.) "The Lost City Of Refuge" by: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - This one is really good to just chill out to, which is odd because Trail Of Dead are not really a band that one traditionally chills out to.
9.) "Cherry Waves" by: Deftones - Cheno Moreno doesn't even sound like he sings from the Earth. He transcends time and space with his vocals sometimes. "Cherry Waves" is possibly Moreno at his vocal best. That's a bold statement too because I'm talking about a band that released songs like "Pink Maggit" and "Minerva." It's a shame that Deftones don't get more recognition like they used to get circa "White Pony" because they continue to release engaging music.
10.) "God's Gonna Cut You Down" by: Johnny Cash - There's a part of me that wished "Hurt" would have been Johnny Cash's swan song, or kind of, you know what I mean. It was such a perfect last big hit for a legend. Now "God's Gonna Cut You Down" is starting to get some play and although "Hurt" was flawless I'm beginning to think that it didn't have to be a swan song of any sort because songs like this would be overlooked. For an extra treat you should watch the video that has surfaced in support of this single. It's a who's who of who's who. And Keith Richards? In all his beef jerky-faced glory.