1. Shellac – Prayer To God
Steve Albini has already been in the music business for a while. Here’s just a short list of the few names that he had the chance to work with: Nirvana, Robert Plant, The Pixies, PJ Harvey, Low and this list can go on and on. Albini is also known as the front man of Shellac (or the longer name- Shellac of North America) for more than 20 years.
This minimalist rock trio (as they like to refer to themselves) has the honor to serve as the unofficial house band of the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona. How come? Probably the organizers thought they are that good (and they are). You can describe ‘Prayer to God’ as a personal manifest. This song is so powerful it’s unbelievable and you can literally feel the raw quality of it.
Actually, Albini is asking god to literally kill his cheating girlfriend and her new lover.
2. Wilco – Jesus Etc.
“Jesus don’t cry
You can rely on me honey
You can combine anything you want”
I can hear these lines for a million times and still it will have the same effect on me. I can’t put into words and I’m not sure it really matters – if a song touches you so deeply there must be a real truth out there.
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is an album that may not change your life but it may be your next soundtrack for the winter.
Jesus Etc. is a song about searching for answers to unsolved questions. Perhaps these questions be brought on by substance abuse or simply be thought up by questioning this seemingly insignificant existence.
3. Spacemen 3 – Lord Can you hear me?
Jason Pierce (Spiritualized , Spacemen 3) has maintained his ambivalent relationship with god through his music. Even without the context of its lyrics, you can define his music has a modern gospel and blues mixed with psychedelic atmosphere. This song sounds like a desperate prayer, and you don’t have to be a believer to hear his sincerity. Pierce has the soul of a believer with the heart of a rock & roll star.
4. Neutral Milk Hotel – King Of Carrot Flower part 2+3
Although this attribution refers mostly to part 2, you can’t ignore part 3 and have to listen to it whole. Most likely you need to listen to the full album without any interruptions but if ‘In the Airplane over the Sea’ was ever in your playlist I guess you won’t need my advice here. Jeff Mangum may not have a beautiful voice in the conventional meaning but when he’s screaming out with such sincerity, even a cynical like me can’t ignore the “I love You Jesus Christ” mantra.
Mangum explained that the theme on this album is not based on any religion but more in his belief in the essence of eternal things.
5. Regina Spektor- Laughing With
One of my friends is a former repentant and once he told me about all the great obstacles in the religious life, the peer pressure, the loneliness and the struggle with all this difficult process. He clanged to this song like his new bible although you can interpret it in so many different ways. However, I strongly believe this song was written in atheist perception. You can hear it when Regina mentions god, war and death almost in the same line.
However, when Regina says God can be funny, she refers to religion, not god himself. God is funny because every person on earth has its own notions to what religion is, and what’s right and what’s wrong according to their individual perception.