Late to the parade this week, sorry about that, Al. Here goes:
Gold -- "Lay Down Burden", Brian Wilson. One of the best songs from his solo career, and made more poignant when Brian dedicated it to his late brother Carl. Also, one of the very best songs from his excellent Imagination album. Easy gold pick for me this week.
Silver -- "You Want It Darker", Leonard Cohen. What a powerful end-of-life requiem from Cohen's last album shortly before his recent death. Compelling staring impending death in the face lyrics, and evoking a variety of religious imagery. Cohen's recent death led me to recently purchase his 2-CD Essential Leonard Cohen compilation, so that I could take a deeper dive into his music beyond his handful of most famous songs. Also, thanks to John E. for being Cohen's steady champion here on the BOTBs over the years, helping us to gain a deeper awareness of Cohen's body of work.
Bronze -- "Stressed Out", Twenty One Pilots. A pleasantly melodic rap song with interesting and readily accessible lyrics. I hadn't previously heard of these guys, so I plan to explore more of their music.
Tin -- "Bleeding Heart", Regina Spektor. A decent enough song, but not as impactful for me as the songs above. In addition, I found too many of the lyrics to be repetitive.
Al, sorry that my battle selections last week threw you a curve a week before your planned battle. But nice recovery this week with good selections of newer music with substantive, "deep" lyrics.
Here's a few more that I thought of, which I don't believe were mentioned this past week:
Johnny Cash found powerful new energy on his American album series, produced by Rick Rubin. Here he is with the apocalyptic, biblically influenced "The Man Comes Around" from his excellent 2002 album American IV: The Man Comes Around. This week's Leonard Cohen song made me think of this one from late in Cash's life:
Going way back to the late 60s, here's "Darkness, Darkness" from the Youngbloods, with the fiddle intro performed by a then little-known Charlie Daniels:
And, finally from our musical hero, a soul baring gem from his That Lucky Old Sun album from 2008, "Midnight's Another Day":
Thank you, Al, for an excellent battle this week, featuring newer music and interesting variety of artists.
(Sorry about the mess-up with the typeface fonts. Because of internet problems with this site, I had to write my comments to MS Word then copy/paste them to this site, and then couldn't get the fonts adjusted to proper/consistent formats here.)