My 2014 CD1 - The Chieftains & Lisa Hannigan - Voice Of Ages - 7 - My Lagan Love (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCae0-NO8uQ)
I love Lisa Hannigan's voice. I have about a dozen b-sides and "featuring" songs like this one, so odds are I will be able to include Lisa in every future CD that I make. Listen to the subtle vibrato in her voice throughout this track. Lisa knows when less is more.
2 - Simon & Garfunkel - Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits - 3 - The Boxer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3LFML_pxlY)
This is my favorite Simon & Garfunkel song. The outro for this song stands as evidence of how to properly end an epic tune. For reference, "Hey Jude" is an example of an outro done wrong. There, I said it. The Boxer > Hey Jude. If you disagree with me, this is an example of when a person (you) has a wrong opinion. Hey Jude just drags on too long. Listen to The Boxer a few times, and get a feel for the build-up. Listen to the words and attempt to appreciate what is going on. Then, with that in mind, pay attention to the outro. Take note of how much emotion is built and how that would be cheapened if they drew the ending out too long. Hey Jude is a great song ruined by its ending. The Boxer is a great song strengthened by its ending.
3 - MC 900 Foot Jesus - Welcome To My Dream - 4 - The City Sleeps (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KB54p8_wh8)
I have been a fan of this song for years. I love it because it's so smooth. The content is sinister, but conveys a message that is almost impossible to misunderstand. For reference, I do not condone arson. But instead appreciate how well the artist describes fascination, and even desire.
4 - Röyksopp & Robyn - Do It Again - 1 - Monument (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c-RbGZBnBI)
I'm not a big fan of electronica, but this song sets a mood and beat that is just candy to my ears. The lyrics are a bit grandiose, but to me it doesn't come across as pretentious.
5 - System Of A Down - Toxicity - 14 - Aerials (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-iepu3EtyE)
I've loved this song for years. While making this CD, I listened to the set while playing a tower defense game called "Defense Grid". At one point, my towers were completely obliterating the alien horde while this song reached its climax, and the experience was truly epic.
6 - Seether - Disclaimer - 7 - Sympathetic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfZ6pHOCT08)
As you may know, I'm a sucker for a sad song. While the tempo and beat of this track are not soft or slow, it is able to bring a similar feeling as many slower sad songs.
7 - Seether - Karma And Effect - 4 - The Gift (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJUuzAnaWp0)
Another sad song, and probably my favorite Seether track. The video helps explain the lyrics.
8 - Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon - 3 - Wake Up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hvcBovSRp8)
Amazon kept recommending this album based on others that I had bought. I resisted for almost a year, before pirating the double-CD version. It took only about two listens before I had it in my Amazon shopping cart. Yes, I legally own it. This track hits a peak with such energy that I find it difficult to not be cheered up and invigorated.
9 - Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon - 5 - Someday (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A8Yp5g4xn8)
Just a quality, fun, indie-rock song. Sure, it may be difficult to call a band "indie" when Amazon.com recommends nags you into buying it, but they keep an "indie" feel for sure.
10 - Toad The Wet Sprocket - Fear - 12 - I Will Not Take These Things For Granted (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNEt60MoK_I)
Classic Toad. Every fan loves this song, so I'm not introducing you to something new. Still, you know that you love this song.
11 - Helios - Ayres - 5 - The Obeisant Vine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJBdnx70IKk)
This is another group (individual?) that I found via recommendation, but I think it was iTunes that suggested Helios. The whole album (EP) is good, and if you enjoy this track, you should enjoy the rest.
12 - Paul McCartney - McCartney - 12 - Maybe I'm Amazed (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm2YyVZBL8U)
My favorite Paul McCartney track and proof that his talent did not require the other Beatles. This was written as a token of his love for Linda. He truly was amazed by how she held him together when the Beatles started falling apart.
13 - Bill Withers - The Essential Bill Withers - 2 - Ain't No Sunshine (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBKcAc8VpIw)
This is currently the ringtone for my fiancé, so I feel a moment of urgency whenever this track comes on. It takes me about 8 seconds before I accept that it's a music track, and not an incoming call. A wonderful track that conveys how something is missing when our loved ones are far away.