John Prine, "When I Get to Heaven"
John Prine's latest album The Tree of Forgiveness, released earlier this month, was the legendary songwriter's best debuting album ever, charting 54,000 units (53,000 of which were sold traditionally) its first week. And there's only one (or 10, if you're counting) reason for that: the fantastic songs. The closing track on the album is a stunner, and begins with a powerful spoken verse from Prine, who, in his trademark mix of playfulness and gravity, paints such a grand portrait of the afterlife that it almost sounds like a vacation. B.M.