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John Mayer

Gravity is undoubtedly Mayer's best song. Part of the Continuum album, Belief triggers vitality every single time, with percussions from drummer J.J. Johnson reaching out to the soul, contributing to (if not enhancing) the psychotic feel of the song. To top it all is the meaning conveyed: We're never going to beat this if belief is what we're fighting for. It earned a Grammy nomination for Best Pop vocal performance in 2008.

Secret garden

Bruce Springsteen

Part of the “Jerry Maguire” package, the usage of the song is much more than just situational, with Cameron Crowe's penchant for music made obvious in every frame. A saxophone solo instead of a lead guitar points at a form of music that prevailed in the 1980s. One of the best soft rock songs.

Draw the line

David Gray

David Gray's 2009 album ‘Draw the line' is his best ever with such diversely scintillating numbers as Breathe, Kathleen (with Jolie Holland) and Stella the artist. The title song happens to be Gray's best exploit of electronic music so far, powered by melancholy guitars and moody beats but most of all by the lament in his voice as he sings, I've been doubting fame and wealth, charity, even love itself, draw the line…

Cello song

Nick Drake

No debut album could have carried such weight as Nick Drake's Five leaves left (1969). Songs such as The thoughts of Mary Jane, Saturday Sun and River man are charming, while Cello song carries the rasp of brightness and of solitude. And incidentally, it is Drake's hum that enchants better than the cello itself.

When your mind's made up

The Swell Season

Falling slowly won the Oscar for Best Original Song for this Irish Indie-folk duo of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (from “Once”, the motion picture) in 2007. Featuring in their debut album The Swell Season, the song astounds with the despair it creates, with an acoustic ambience backed by brilliant lead and back-up vocals — the best of music in its contemporary form.

Those that almost made it

John Mayer: Daughters

Marvin Gaye: Inner city blues (Make me wanna holler)

Bob Dylan: Buckets of rain

Eric Clapton: River of tears

Regina Spektor: Hero

Laura Marling: Night terror

Simon & Garfunkel: Boxer

(Karthik Purushothaman is a second-year student of aerospace engineering at IIT- Madras and a passionate follower of music in any form.)




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