Song of the Day #2,229: ‘Just One of the Guys’ – Jenny Lewis

jenny_lewis_the_voyagerWhen I ordered those four new albums a week ago, I didn’t expect my runaway favorite to be Jenny Lewis’ The Voyager.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Jenny Lewis. Her first two solo albums, Rabbit-Fur Coat and Acid Tongue, are sharp, melodic and ambitious. But neither really grabbed me and shook me the way this latest record has.

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Song of the Day #2,228: ‘All You Can Carry’ – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

tom_petty_hypnotic_eyeWhen it comes to old school guitar-driven rock-n-roll, you can’t get much better than Tom Petty. Through 38 years and 16 albums, he has delivered the goods consistently and expertly.

His latest record, Hypnotic Eye, is performed (as all but three of his albums have been) with The Heartbreakers, and the band’s familiarity with each other and the material shines through on every track. This is as beautifully seasoned as a rock band gets.

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Song of the Day #2,227: ‘Knock Knock Knock’ – Spoon

spoon_they_want_my_soulAnother great find from my recent musical shopping spree, Spoon’s They Want Me Soul is a tight, expertly crafted song cycle — which seems to be par for the course for these guys.

I own only three of the band’s eight albums, but all of them are similarly sparse and effective. Meaty, metronomic drums lay under stabbing electric guitars and front man Britt Daniel’s raspy vocals. It’s a simple sound but somehow one they’ve made their own.

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Song of the Day #2,226: ‘Ultraviolence’ – Lana Del Rey

lana_del_rey_ultraviolenceAfter a fairly long drought when it comes to new music, I recently picked up four new albums that have received a lot of high praise. I’ll feature a song from each the rest of this week.

I didn’t “get” Lana Del Rey until the third time I listened to her new album, Ultraviolence. And during that third listen, I got her completely.

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Song of the Day #2,225: ‘Shake It Off’ – Taylor Swift

taylor_swift_shake_it_offTaylor Swift is making it harder and harder to like her.

She’s a talented songwriter, no doubt, but it’s hard to argue that she’s using those talents wisely these days. Her last album was the uneven Red, which spawned a few clever, pop-infused hits but also caught her spinning her wheels.

Last week, Swift announced the upcoming release of her next album, 1989 (named after her birth year). And based on the first single, it’s a step in the wrong direction.

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Song of the Day #2,224: ‘Cry Me a River’ – Justin Timberlake

justin_timberlake_justifiedI was shocked to realize I’d never featured Justin Timberlake’s ‘Cry Me a River’ on the blog. It’s the one song on Timberlake’s solo debut, Justified, that I like.

In fact, it’s the only Justin Timberlake song I like, period. Or at least the only one I know well enough to like. He’s just not my cup of tea, musically (though I enjoy his work on Saturday Night Live and in the movies).

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Song of the Day #2,223: ‘Winter Wooskie’ – Belle & Sebastian

legal_man‘Winter Wooskie’ is the third track on Belle & Sebastian’s 2000 Legal Man EP, released back in the days when the band would put out new material on singles in between their full-length albums.

The 25 songs they released this way between 1997 and 2001 combine to rival any of their LPs, and in fact the whole lot were released on a double disc in 2005 with the title Push Barman to Open Old Wounds.

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