I vote for John Mayer.
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1.Air-The French Band Every Album A Masterpiece.
2.Porcupine Tree Only 12 of their albums are Great!
3.Gov't Mule Beta Band,Flaming Lips and Radiohead are very Good !
And in Prog Rock "ANGLAGARD" with a Bullet !
Search the Forum here and AA for in depth Info on Air and PT and their various era's
Feed your Head,JD
By far the Tindersticks first then Sufjan Stevens, Phil Roy, Neko Case, Ben Folds, and undeniably Ryan Adams.
Other greats are Kim Richey, Jack Johnson, Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, The Decemberists, and Death Cab For Cutie.
So sad to see the emotionless audiofidels like Diana Krall mentioned. Oh Elvis, what have you done?
Red Hot Chili Peppers
(I'm going to get it for this comment, but I like their new stuff better.. Californication & Stadium Arcadium)
Beck kicks ass, definitely innovative. Especially Odelay and Sea Changes:
cat power, cross bones style
and of course... METALLICA..
I'll have to check out Wilco and Ryan Adams.
I'll take exception to your slam on Diana Krall. I loved the music first. In fact, I take some pride that while I was searching for my first pair of high-end speakers in LA back in 1997 or so, more often than not when I'd play the Diana Krall the staff would ask me who she was, and upon further visits I often found that they had bought the same CD that I had brought in...
So, at least in my case, I think I helped Diana Krall become an audiophile favorite BECAUSE I LIKED THE MUSIC, not the other way around.
Besides, someone had to replace Jazz at the Pawnshop and that first Fourplay CD that everyone was demoing....
Great list, I've got alot of new stuff to listen to and decide what suits my taste. My favorite band is Dire Straits. Always liked Pink Floyd alot as well. I just bought Eva Cassidy's, Live at Blues Alley. I'm impressed. I've developed an appreciation for the craftmanship of good music rather than what is popular. All this came from reading an old book written in the 60's called " this is music". I'm expanding my tastes and trying to have an open mind. Just curious, but , when in music stores there is a segment labeled Gospel. Is there anything good in gospel music?
Elbow. Elbow. Elbow.
Did I mention Elbow?
Also check out Spoon. Great productions.
The Flaming Lips. (especially Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots)
Robert Glasper...the freshest sound to hit jazz in ages.
Jose Gonzalez. I hesitate to call it folk, but I can't really think of anything else to describe his music.
Honestly I come up empty when I compare the last 15 to the 20 before that. I listen to a lot of music and buy a lot of CDs - sure I've found some pretty good ones - but in context of my entire listening life since the late 60s - they just don't measure up. It doesn't even have to be substantive but how many times do I hear a new song that gives me the same thrill as, say, Summer Breeze, Bad Bad Leroy Brown, Just an Old Fasioned Love Song, Draw the Line, More than a Feeling, Point of No Return, Rikki Don't Lose that Number, In Every Dreamhome a Heartache, 20th Century Boy and so on. I haven't even touched the 80s. That just don't write 'em like that anymore. Ok I found Sufjan Stevens pretty good, Paul Weller's done a lot of good stuff in the last 15 years.
Wireless200, sounds to me like you're stuck in a musical rut. I have a solution for you. Go to Pandora.com and create your own music stations. Experiment a little, as there are a boatload of muscians out there making magnificent music that you'll never hear on the radio. If you step outside the box a whole new world will open up for you.