Artist: Jack Johnson Track: "Sleep through the Static" Album: Sleep through the Static Listen

The new single from Jack Johnson's new album, out early 2008, won't win over new fans of the laidback surfer's sound. He's always been a polarizing figure, and I'm not sure why people detest smooth, lethargic pop music that evokes the subtle rise and fall of a Maui tide. Plus, his lyrics are often razor-sharp, with the subversive nature of Steely Dan. It's a little samey, but in the industrial world, people call that consistency.

Now, for a song to steal somewhere...

Artist: Funkadelic Track: "Mommy, What's a Funkadelic?" Album: Funkadelic Listen

I've been hearing some awful opinions lately about the work of George Clinton -- specifically that Parliament is better than Funkadelic. What people don't realize is that his two groups existed for opposite, equally important functions. Funkadelic embodied the power and promise of the Civil Rights Movement, and Parliament was a method of escape from what many envisioned as the movement's ultimate failure.

One group may sound better than the other to someone, but both are crucial to the history of America and its music.

That's why this song is so magnificent: smart, funky, powerful and completely unlike anything else release before or since. Eddie Hazel's guitar work has been more accomplished, but nor even his solo on "Maggot Brain" matches the hook of this song.