“Little Miss Sunshine” by Caleb Hawley (from Little Miss Sunshine, 2013)
A catchy tune with a heart of gold; Caleb Hawley takes his young niece’s torment and turns it into a self-empowerment anthem. I cannot recommend checking out his latest record enough. Oh, and a special aside for the Prince fan’s among you: the drummer on this particular track is none other than the original NPG drummer, Michael B.
“All This Love” by DeBarge (from Motown: The Complete No. 1’s (disc 8), 2008)
You know that SNL sketch where Chris Katan would channel Antonio Banderas and his ever-present mariachi band would proclaim “too sexy! please!” You know the one. This right here? This is three sexy. El’s falsetto is on point and the track hits with everything a solid “quiet storm” jam requires.
“Too Dramatic” by Ra Ra Riot (from Too Dramatic, 2011)
I’m a bit on the fence about the latest Ra Ra Riot record and hearing this tune is exactly why. There is a distinct lack of this brand of hyperactive pop, while still retaining a very natural sound. Don’t get me wrong, I dig Beta Love, I just don’t know if I love it as much as their previous efforts.
“Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry (from Teenage Dream, 2010)
Solid pop tune from an artist that, in my opinion, doesn’t get a fair shake. Sure, it’s polished to the point of potentially sounding sterile, but underneath all those layers is a well-written tune featuring a pretty stellar voice.
“Namia (take 6) (alternate)” by John Coltrane (from The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings (disc 7), 1995)
This is a masterclass in how to write a tune for your lady. No words necessary, all heart and soul.
What’s on your shuffle today?