Song of the Day #2,308: ‘In Repair’ – John Mayer

continuumI don’t know where John Mayer will end up when the history of pop music in the 21st century is written.

Will he be remembered more for his frat-boy antics and failed relationships or for his guitar chops that regularly put him onstage alongside idols such as B.B. King and Eric Clapton — legends who nod to his musical skills as very much in league with their own.

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Song of the Day #2,307: ‘All You Really Need is Love’ – Brad Paisley

paisley_part_iiHere’s a cute song from Brad Paisley’s second album, 2001′s Part II. It contains all of the signature qualities that would define his music through the following decade-plus.

It’s short, sweet, funny and features a guitar part or two that sound delightfully out of place in a honkytonk country song.

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Song of the Day #2,306: ‘Clifton Springs’ – Steven Page


Best Albums of the 10s So Far
#11 – Steven Page – Page One

There’s a rich history of lead singers leaving their bands and forging successful solo careers. Morrissey, Sting, Beyoncé, Lionel Richie… the list goes on. Hell, Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins did it while fleeing the same band at different times.

Still, I wasn’t very confident that Steven Page’s departure from Barenaked Ladies would serve either of them very well. I figured the band would be weaker and I’d never hear from Page again.

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Song of the Day #2,305: ‘Silver Lining’ – Kacey Musgraves


Best Albums of the 10s So Far
#12 – Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer Different Park

My affection for country music blossomed toward the end of the 00s and really took hold during the first half of this decade.

A quarter of this top twenty list (even more depending on how you categorize some artists) is dedicated to country performers.

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Song of the Day #2,304: ‘Heart is a Drum’ – Beck


Best Albums of the 10s So Far
#13 – Beck – Morning Phase

Earlier this year, Beck released a sequel (in spirit, if not title) to 2002′s gorgeous break-up album, Sea Change. Morning Phase has the same sad acoustic ambiance of its predecessor, but it is concerned more with mortality and self-fulfillment than heartbreak.

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Song of the Day #2,303: ‘Sweet Spot’ – Tift Merritt


Best Albums of the 10s So Far
#14 – Tift Merritt – Traveling Alone

Tift Merritt makes her first appearance on this list, but not her last, with 2012′s Traveling Alone.

This album has a more laid-back, acoustic vibe than her previous work. One thing I love about Merritt is that every one of her records is distinct in sound and mood while remaining undeniably true to her general sensibility.

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Song of the Day #2,302: ‘Love is Eternal Sacred Light’ – Paul Simon


Best Albums of the 10s So Far
#15 – Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What

Continuing my countdown of the best albums of the decade so far, I arrive at Paul Simon’s 2011 comeback record, So Beautiful Or So What.

Simon released only two album in the 00′s: You’re the One in 2000 and Surprise in 2006. The former was half-great and the latter a general disappointment. Before those records, it’s just 1997′s Broadway experiment Songs from the Capeman and the sublime Rhythm of the Saints way back in 1990.

Not very prolific, Mr. Simon.

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