By Whitney Pastorek
Updated August 30, 2010 at 07:19 PM EDT

Crazy Heart Oscar winner Ryan Bingham’s new album Junky Star is already an EW-Approved Must List™ Item. Now we’re proud to premiere this video for one of the most gut-wrenchingly beautiful songs on the album, “Hallelujah.”

Bingham’s demolished voice tells the tale of a man shot in a mugging by someone he mistook for a friend. I called it “desperately hopeful” in my review: the narrator is dying, praying for one more chance in life, praying for a chance at angelic redemption, then more or less deciding he’s probably not gonna get either of those things. “Hallelujah,” he sings, “is just a song.” That line kills me. Given the canonical status of a certain Leonard Cohen tune, you may not think you are able to love another song called “Hallelujah,” but that’s what growing up is all about: opening your heart to the world and letting it surprise you. Or something.

This video comes from an acoustic series called “Bingham Bootlegs”; you can watch the first video, “Depression,” here. (He’ll also be performing that tune on Letterman tonight.) Click through the jump for the “Hallelujah” bootleg, check out the full band version on Bingham’s MySpace, and leave your thoughts in the comments.

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