Jill Sobule

Pity poor Jill Sobule. One of the finest songwriters and observers of human nature, she will forever be remembered as the one-hit wonder behind the 1995 lesbian anthem, "I Kissed a Girl." But there is much more to Sobule than lesbian chic. Her tales of self-loathing are as hilarious as any Larry David skit, and her characters are as eccentrically ordinary as those in an Ann Tyler novel. (The late Warren Zevon once said of her, "I've been down dark roads with Jill and I can testify that she's a genius.")

Oh yeah, and she can write perfect pop. "Cinnamon Park" is the biggest summer hit that wasn't. Gleefully sampling from Chicago's "Saturday in the Park," it tells of good old days getting stoned in the park and listening to bad live music that sounds great. Hear it once, sing it for days.

The rest of the CD is alternately filled with colorful characters who dream big and famous folks who come crashing back to earth. There are also Sobule's clever laments, such as "Freshman," in which she complains that even though she is living her dream, she still needs a roommate and cooks off a hot plate. It's all done with Sobule's deceptively innocent-sounding vocals over the catchiest melodies this side of Abba. Delicious.