Mavis Staples's '99 and 1/2' is one of Andy Langer's 8 Best Songs You Probably Didn't Hear This Year
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It's slim pickings this New Music Tuesday. The Live Aid album came out, as did American Idol-winner Jordin Sparks's debut.
But Andy Langer, Esquire's music critic, is more interested in his list of The 8 Best Songs You Probably Didn't Hear This Year. His picks include a track off Jarvis Cocker's latest, which got lost in a sea of good British music this year, and one from Andrew Bird, whose cover of an 88 year old standard appeared on an album produced by Janet Reno. Mavis Staples also makes the cut. We'll Never Turn Back is a concept album about her personal experience during the Civil Rights Movement. She marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 60's, but when she talks about broken levees and lying politicians on her version of "99 and ½" it sounds like not much has changed.