Over brunch in Portland this Saturday, my friends and I started paying as much attention to the music as we did the food: breathy, guitar-y versions of first "Bette Davis Eyes," then "Making Love Out of Nothing at All," and then another song that I found myself getting a little verklempt over before I realized that it was Supertramp's "Logical Song."
The waiter told us that we were listening to Sexton Blake's Plays the Hits. Sexton Blake is actually a Portland guy named Josh Hodges who recorded sweet, mostly irony-free covers of a dozen songs, most from the 1970s and '80s.
A few of the songs just weren't worth covering, like Paula Abdul's "Rush Rush," and no one will make "Daniel" sound better than Elton John. But for some reason, when Hodges stripped the Supertramp out of the Supertramp song (here's the original) and gave it a more intimate, melancholy cast, I realized how beautiful the melody is. Hear a sample of it on Amazon.