With few exceptions, pop lyrics have become dumber over time, even though lyricists think of themselves as having become smarter. Loudon Wainwright is modern pop's antithesis: a wryly cuttingly, often brilliant lyricist who has never taken himself too seriously -- even while tackling grave, sometimes crude subject matter. Mr. Wainwright's catalog is still unfamiliar to most, and wildly under appreciated by many more. Meanwhile, despite a decades-spanning career that has served to establish him critically as one of the most poignant American songwriters alive, Loudon's greatest success to date has come in the form of not a song, but a son. Pop music extraordinaire Rufus Wainwright is a rare example of progeny commercially outshining progenitor. Much like the late Jeff Buckley bolstered his folk singing father Tim's notoriety by virtue of his own brilliance, Rufus' achievements have served his patriarch well. Point being, you can't go wrong with a Wainwright.