Here, in no particular order, are 20 of my favourite songs at the current time.
1. "The Mercy Seat" - Johnny Cash. Just brilliant. Dark, well-written, poignant. A master at his best. Not at all like much of the cheese I revel in, but inspiring and moving nonetheless.
2. "Perfect" - Eliza Carthy. Poppy beautifulness, and wonderful lyrics.
3. "Like A Star" - Corinne Bailey Rae. I first heard this cut about a year ago, on Trevor Nelson's RnB show. I remember stopping what I was doing to just listen to the awesome voice flowing through the airwaves. Now she's a megastar, but this track reminds me of that whole 'wait a minute, this is something special' revelation.
4. "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" - Deathcab for Cutie. "Love of mine/ some day you will die." This song had me at hello. I just love it, in all it's alt-country-meets-emo-meets-solo-guitar-singer-songwriter-glory.
5. "Islands In The Stream" - Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. And I'd accrued so many cool points up to here, right? Nah, I love, love, love the Dolly and this track is my current fave (if you don't have her greatest hits, put it on your Christmas list...you need it in your life!).
6. "Glory Box" - Portishead. Restrained, longing, passionate, mildly threatening, with a killer central vocal and some amazing strings. This is cool Britannia at its most awesome.
7. "Never Forget" - Take That. Whereas this is the finest cheese the UK has to offer. Take That were an integral part of growing up female in the 90s - like them or loathe them they were always, intrinsically, inescapably there. Also, I went to see them last month and they were AWESOME. I screamed like a teenage girl, loud and long and proud!
8. "I'll Do Anything" - Courtney Love. Girl rawk! Yeah!
9. "It's About Time" - Jamie Cullum. It took me a fair old while to get into the hobbit of jazz, but I quite like him now. This song reminds me of an ex-crush, now off the scene - this was the song I had on repeat this Valentine's Day. The boy's gone from the daydreams but I still really like the song!
10. " Stardust" - Nat 'King' Cole. What a voice! Like velvetty chocolate claret. I adore this song, sad as it is!
11. "At My Most Beautiful" - R.E.M.. Another song vaguely attached to a boy memory, and once again the crush is in the annals of history, but the love of the song remains. The immediacy, the tenderness, the honesty. Just bliss.
12. "Get By" - Talib Kweli. One of my favourite rap tracks ever - the bassline is awesome, the sample's intense and you cannot help but move to this rhyme. Brilliant!
13. "Let's Get It On" - Marvin Gaye. "I've been really trying baby / Trying to hold back this feeling/ For so long"....love it.
14. "You Are What You Love" - Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins. From a truly great album, this is good, funky pop. The lyrics are fab, the production is tight, and it's really difficult to sing along to well (I always get lost mid-line!).
15. "Crossroads" - Don McClean. Another boy attached song (I used to crush hard in my younger days!). But now I just love its beauty, its longing, its honesty. How can you resist lyrics such as: "We've walked both sides of every street, through all kinds of windy weather, but that was never our defeat, as long as we could walk together. So there's no need for turning back, cause all roads lead to where we stand, and I believe we'll walk them all, no matter what we may have planned"? And then it ends with that minor section and the bare, hanging piano. Beautiful.
16. "Nothing" - Nikki Costa. Another amazing voice. A jazzy and soulful piece of heaven.
17. "Who Will Love Me As I Am?" from Side Show. I had to involve some musical theatre, huh? This is a beautiful love ballad. Sung by Siamese twins. I urge you to check out the soundtrack - really amazing!
18. "Your Game" - Will Young. Woo! Power pop!
19. "Trouble" - Ray LaMontagne. Another voice that knocked me flat! And anyone intelligent enough to have a Nickel Creek member on board for some of the tracks (Sara), has to have their stuff together :-).
20. "Independence Day" - Elliott Smith. I'm late to the Smith party, but the man is/was a genius!!
So, that's what is floating my musical boat right now....what's tickling your fancy?