Ten Unlikely Musicians Whose Best Songs Are Slow Jams

Categories: Dan Weiss, Lists

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James Murphy: Open Your Heart To Him
Over time, rock and roll lost touch with its "Love Me Tender" and "Peggy Sue" beginnings and became kind of a closet Quiet Storm listener sometime around the time Ozzy Osbourne entered the collective consciousness. Except even hair metal was dominated by lighter-wavers. Basically, no one can resist ballads, no matter how hard they try, and here are ten acts few would've predicted made their best work when succumbing to the call of the slow jam.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Maybe this one's obvious. Few people admit to loving Anthony Kiedis' raps, but even the most stalwart Chili Peppers hater can't resist "Under the Bridge," which ties with Pearl Jam's "Yellow Ledbetter" as the prettiest Hendrixian guitar of the '90s. The band themselves noted this, and went on to replace "Suck My Kiss" with Grammy-friendly melodies like "Scar Tissue" and "Otherside." What's surprising is how these songs ended up being the best music they ever made. Sure these got bland well before they dropped the anvil of Stadium Arcadium on a long-bored America. But if you dismissed them too early, you missed the plainly lovely "Dosed."

Pearl Jam

With love to the melismatic marvels of Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder was the only grunge singer born to croon. From the debut album's languid "Black" to the down-home country of "Daughter" to the Otis-worthy "Nothingman" to the Harvest-worthy "Off He Goes," you could compile an entire greatest hits collection from PJ's prettiest. 1998's Yield was especially generous, with "Wishlist" and the underrated "In Hiding." But there's a reason their biggest hit (yup) was a formidable cover of "Last Kiss."

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