Going Through Changes by Eminem, from Recovery (Interscope/Universal)
"I'm debatin' on leavin' this world this evenin', even my girls can see I'm grievin'." Marshall Mathers is back on the therapist's couch, considering his suicidal tendencies. The moody rap track features a sampled vocal from Ozzy Osbourne, not the cheeriest psycho-analyst in the Yellow Pages.
Be Good to Me by Sia, from We Are Born (Sony)
Australia's Sia Furler's given name is pronounced "see-ah," as in, perhaps, see ya later Christina Aguilera. The blond-bobbed Sia contributed three songs to Aguilera's latest record, but she kept this coolly simmering soul-plea for herself.
Not Your Parents' Music by Hawksley Workman, from Milk (Isadora)
A video from Hawksley Workman's latest album, Milk.
"You may be thinking that you've struck it rich with a song you've wrote," tautly sings the man who just sold a terrific, tightly-packed rocker to a Virgin Mobile commercial. As for it not being your parents' music, it is if your parents are fans of the Knack.
Out of My Brain by Kevin Breit, from Simple Earnest Plea (independent)
A jangling, tuneful rocker about pre-occupied minds. The rhythm stutters appealingly, there's a gurgling sound (like a toilet running) in the background, and the sentiments - "A big world is an empty place/ I'm a walkin', talkin' hurricane" - are universal. Well done.
Kevin Breit launches Simple Earnest Plea on Tuesday night at Toronto's Hugh's Room.