As his 2005 album proves, Detroit's Jason Croff offers more than the usual singer-songwriter wooden stool. There are no weary platitudes or generic paeans to heartbreakers here. With piano, smart turns of lyric, and a smart, versatile band, Croff makes stylish pop that rings with songwriting know-how but also stays on edge. Here Croff lays his monomanias out mind-warp style.
5. Fromage de Tête: A different kind of head cheese. Simmered with shallots and carrots, the pig's head produces a gelatin that actually appears translucent in light. Fromage de Tête: repulsive to many, a delicacy for the few. Leave it to the French, right? While this dish is sometimes referred to as "brawn," don't confuse it with that Transformer, the evil Autobot Brawn.
4. Stakes: The fix is in. Don't even look at the chips. Play the game, and don't bother stuffing the ballot box. The lines have been drawn. Your deal, architect.
3. How Dare You! I've often heard her jingle/It's never struck a chord/With a smile as bright as sunshine/She called me through the poster/And welcomed me aboard/10cc's of sweet lovin'.
2. Strnad Vodka: Hard to find, but easy on the throat. Triple distilled pleasure. How does that sound?
1. Healing: Open the gate. Without the cap it's still just a trapezoid. Open the gate. You see it all, and then you forget. Open the gate. And the next one. And if you would, close it on your way out.