Songs You Shouldn't Miss but Probably Have

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Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples's '99 and 1/2' is one of Andy Langer's 8 Best Songs You Probably Didn't Hear This Year Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

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.

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We'll Never Turn Back

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Album
We'll Never Turn Back
Artist
Mavis Staples
Label
Anti
Released
2007

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Song of America [31 Tigers]

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Album
Song of America [31 Tigers]
Artist
Various Artists
Label
Thirty One Tigers
Released
2007

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