Belated Best of ’10: the whole shebang

The Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn't Hear 2010Here it is, kids: my full The Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn’t Hear 2010 playlist. Just over 80 minutes from beginning to end, all linked to videos or streaming audio sources. Thanks for playing along all these weeks. Next up: less looking back, more looking forward!

  1. Phantogram, “Mouthful of Diamonds”
  2. The Love Language, “Brittany’s Back”
  3. V.V. Brown, “Shark in the Water”
  4. Yeasayer, “Ambling Alp”
  5. Stars, “Wasted Daylight”
  6. Broken Bells, “The Ghost Inside”
  7. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, “Tiny Light”
  8. Massive Attack feat. Hope Sandoval, “Paradise Circus”
  9. The Sirens of Venice, “Do You Believe”
  10. Cherry Ghost, “A Month Of Mornings”
  11. Tricky, “Hakim”
  12. Grinderman, “Palaces Of Montezuma”
  13. Manic Street Preachers, “A Billion Balconies Facing The Sun”
  14. Mark Ronson & The Business International feat. Simon Le Bon, “Record Collection”
  15. John Legend & The Roots, “Our Generation (The Hope Of The World)”
  16. Fitz And The Tantrums, “Dear Mr. President”
  17. Andy Clockwise, “Love And War”
  18. Fyfe Dangerfield, “When You Walk In The Room”
  19. The High Wire, “Odds & Evens”
  20. Gil Scott-Heron, “Me And The Devil”
  21. Alabama 3 feat. Shane MacGowan, “Fix It”
  22. The Magic Theatre, “Silent Snow”
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John Legend’s “Rolling In The Deep” treat

I guess it’s John Legend day around here, because I think it’s worth sharing this little bit of free music with y’all: on his website last week, Legend made available for free download a nifty, gospel-tinged a capella cover of Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep.” Give it a spin below, download it, and then imagine how even better it would sound with The Roots backing him up:

For good measure, here’s Adele’s fantastic original:

Belated Best of ’10: John Legend & The Roots

I never got around to sharing my Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn’t Hear list for 2010 with the internets in general in December, so I’ve decided to mine it for fresh post material in ’11. I’m posting the songs in the order in which they would have appeared in the final playlist, so if you play along at home, you’ll have heard a tidy 80-ish minutes of great music when all is said and done. Today’s entry is some classic soul from John Legend & The Roots.

John Legend and the Roots, Wake Up!A collaboration like Wake Up! gives me hope that soul and R&B music still has a bright future. Both acts bring out the best in each other on this set of relatively obscure cover tunes from the 60’s and 70’s, with Legend’s smooth voice shining over the potent hip-hop inflected canvas laid down by ?uestlove and company. For a bunch of 30-year old songs, the album feels impressively vital, and your head’s gonna bob from beginning to end. The songs are all motivating and uplifting (especially the lone new song, the Legend-penned “Shine” that appeared in the film Waiting for “Superman”), but what ended up making the cut for my list was the sharp cover of Ernie Hines’ “Our Generation (The Hope of the World),” featuring an electric verse or two from CL Smooth:

It’s also just as potent live:

Like what you hear? Head over to Amazon MP3 & grab Wake Up!