Tami Fertig

Gary Jules

Mad World

Nothing quite nurses a broken heart like a sad piano song. "Mad World" -- an originally-upbeat electro-pop Tears For Fears song covered and featured on the Donnie Darko Soundtrack -- is the saddest piano song I have ever heard. "The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had," sings Gary with shakes in his voice. Between hiccups and tears, I sing back, "Me too, Gary, me too!" Oh, depression.

Kevin Lo

Dios

Dios

If Brian Wilson and Neil Young sat down for coffee outside a carnival, Dios would be their creation. Equal parts California pop and acoustic folk twang, Dios manages to produce a sound both eerily familiar and strikingly new. Imagine yourself knowing all the words and melodies but not knowing how. Listening to Dios' self-titled debut is kind of like your first visit to California -- it's hypnotizing and homely.

Eugenia Salvo

Ryan Adams

I'll give you three reasons why Ryan deserves this pick. One: he's one of the most prolific writers of our time. He writes a whole album of brilliant songs before he eats breakfast, and I cry at my lack of talent. Two: his songs are unbelievable, or "sick," as a friend of mine would say. Almost every single one of them can be counted as one of my favorite songs of all time. Three: it may be because I like dirty boys with chubby faces, but the man is gorgeous. Do yourself a favor, pick up Heartbreaker. You'll never be the same.


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