There’s a handful of male vocalists in the modern era who possess truly breathtaking voices: Andrea Bochelli, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Luciano Pavoroti immediately come to mind. There are fewer still with that kind of otherworldly talent in the rock arena: Jeff Buckley, Chris Cornell and, some would argue, Thom Yorke. Add Jimmy Gnecco to that short list. The Ours frontman boasts a stunningly, powerful, multi-octave range and a flawless falsetto that merit inclusion in that pantheon. Mercy (Dancing for the Death of an Imaginary Enemy), his band's latest release, issued this past April on the Columbia imprint and produced by Rick Rubin, is the outfit's finest, most cohesive work to date. Standout tracks such as "Run Away to Tell the World" and “Black” exhibit an emotional depth that past efforts seemed to be lacking. Like the searing lens of Muse slicing through the dark, dense pall of HIM, Gnecco plumbs the expanses of gut-wrenching despair -- the kind that swallows you whole and renders you bedridden for days -- with a fiery conviction worthy of Bono. After the jump, download (or stream) an MP3 from the new album and check out a live video.
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Ours, With God or Julie and Plane Jane Automobile, 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, Toad Tavern, 5302 S. Federal Circle, $17, 21+, 303-795-6877.
-- Dave Herrera