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Patty Griffin, Children Running Through (ATO, 2007): "She takes the wind out of me and just turns me into a pair of ears. I don't think there's a better singer-songwriter in the world. Patty is the wizard of making you remember how many times your heart's been broken."
Download This: "Heavenly Day"
M.I.A., Kala (Interscope, 2007): "Good god, have you heard her? Everything about this album is so brand-new. It's like nursery rhymes, the Beatles' 'Helter Skelter,' and jungle drums all mashing together. You have to jump up and catch it—she's not spoon-feeding you at all."
Download This: "Boyz"
Chick Corea & Béla Fleck, The Enchantment (Concord, 2007): "Who would have thought of making a record of jazz banjo and piano? When I heard it, I thought, "These guys are like brothers from different mothers." Their sensibilities are perfectly intertwined."
Download This: "Brazil"
Nina Simone, Ne Me Quitte Pas (Universal Music France, 1954): "She's thrilled me for as long as I can remember. The vulnerability in her voice is so apparent. You almost want to tell her to be quiet—someone might be listening."
Download This: "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"
More celebrity playlists:
From the August 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!