It has been a while since one of these posts, but here is what is on my primary playlist right now.
Reel Around the Sun by Twelve Girls Band--nothing like classical Chinese instrument playing women playing a classic Irish Tune. Close your eyes and you can see the Riverdancers. As usual, this is well done and neat to listen to.
Where the Streets Have No Name by U2--If the album War made them household names, the Joshua Tree vaulted U2 into the realm of one of the greatest bands ever. I loved this opening song on the CD then and I still do. I love the guitar work, particularly at the start but all throughout the song. The lyrics were solid and the muscianship is probably the best on the entire album populated with great songs.
Walk Tall by John Mellencamp--this was one of the original songs to appear on Words & Music and like many of Mellencamp's songs, carries a strong message. "The simple-minded and uninformed can easily be led astray...People believe what they want to believe when it makes no sense at all..." The music is much more simplified, stripped down to basics, which has a strong appeal given the complexity that Mellencamp had achieved a few years back.
The Bells of Lal by Joe Satriani--Flying in a Blue Dream was the first Satriani Album I ever owned and still contains what I think are some of his truly classic pieces. The Bells of Lal comes in two parts, the first a short intro sort of piece and the second a more traditional Satriani song, with a verse/refrain set up. Satrini doesn't go for the all out bravado of a guitar hero, but this piece has some of his classic musicianship, and remains one of my all time favorites.
Look Where We Are by Hoobastank--It may be hard to categorize Hoobastank in a genre, but I love their rocking sound and this song is somewhat typical of a piece or two on each of their CDs, an optimistic outlook on life. I guess that is what I like, they are not pessimistic rockers.
Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits--a classic, it really is as simple as that. The lyrics tell a great story and Mark Knopfler's finger picking style of guitar playing knows no equal on this song and probably have never been surpassed. Here is an old video.
Paloma by Carbon Leaf--the Irish influenced rockers from central Virginia prove they have mad song writing skills with this one. Amazing lyrics and turns of phrases, complex rythmns and licks make the lyrical melody all the more amazing. Truly one of the best songs they have ever penned.
But Anyway by Blues Traveler--fast paced lyrics with a sense of humor and the blasting of guitar and harmonica, classic John Popper. Great BT stuff and still a fun song.
Keeping the Faith by Billy Joel (Live version). This song, and Scences From An Italian Restaurant are far and away my favorite Joel songs, way more than Piano Man. Keeping the Faith is an autobiographical anthem to the past and present and being comfortable with yourself. Joel wasn't always that way, but he seems to have learned his lessons and we could learn a thing or two as well.
Fuego by Bond--four hotties who can play the classical string quartet in a way your grandma wouldn't believe. Fuego is a spanish tinged piece with a great deal of pace and presents well. Not their greatest work, but the one I like most.