Monday, April 5, 2010

Peanut Butter and Jelly of Music

What songs do like nothing else can do is reach my innermost emotions, draw them out, and remind me that I'm not alone in my emotions... whether it's joy or sorrow, happiness or sadness. You know the feeling when you hear the right song at the right moment? Something about the lyrics, the melody, or the music can cut right to the core of your emotion. You've gone through a tragedy, you're trying to be strong, you're holding yourself together then that one song comes on the radio and you fall apart. You scored the winning goal, you win the championship, your heart pounds out of your chest in excitement, and then you hear the song you've been listening to all season, and you're on the highest of high's in that moment. You're about to have your first kiss then you hear Paula Abdul's "Rush Rush" playing in the background, and you don't think it can get any better than this. (ok, that last one was my brother when he was in junior high school, I had to throw it in there!)

I'm sure we've all been there in one way or another and, honestly, I like being there. I'll listen to Queen's "We Are the Champions" on the way to a softball game I'm playing in. I'll listen to "Come Thou Fount" by the David Crowder Band in the morning as the sun rises. Or listen to "Kokomo" when I miss the beach. Or "Unchained Melody" by Cindy Lauper when I want to be sad. Know what I mean? There's a song for every mood I'm in. And those songs make those moments richer, more memorable. They take me farther into an emotion where I can't get on my own. And that is so awesome. Music is such a great thing for me. But when it comes to which songs I like, well, there are a ton of songs I like certain parts of. I'll fast forward to those parts, or rewind to hear them again or sometimes listen through the whole song just to get to the 10 seconds I really like. Like eating the crust of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I don't prefer the crust, but I eat it because, well, it's part of the sandwich. So it is with some songs, I don't prefer the whole thing, but there's a verse that I really like, so I listen to all 3 minutes of the song.

I'm not sure why I'm writing about peanut butter and jelly. Maybe I'm getting hungry and the peanuts I'm munching on only makes me think more about dinner? I'm grilling burgers tonight on what is supposed to be a cool clear night here in Tennessee. And I'll be watching the college basketball championship while I eat said burgers. But writing about food was not my intention for this posting. I think I've stumbled onto something huge. I consider it music perfection. A pb & j sandwich with no crust, if you will. It's a list of songs, when taken as a whole, that encompass every emotion and in my opinion, are all sandwich and no crust. The songs are so well-aligned with emotions I feel and are strong when standing alone, presenting their message well. But when combined together, they reach a new level, a perfect level. Put these on your music player. Listen to them and I think you'll discover the same thing: the sum is much greater than its parts.

"Hallelujah" Jeff Buckley.......... writer: Leonard Cohen (1984)

"Keep the Faith" Michael Jackson.......... writers: Ballard, Garrett, Jackson (1991)

"All These Things That I've Done" The Killers.......... writer: Flowers (2004)

"Yeah!" Usher.......... writers: Lil Jon, Garrett, Smith, Ludacris, McDowell, Phillips (2004)

"She's Gone Forever" Randall Goodgame.......... writer: Goodgame (2005)

"The Story" Brandi Carlile.......... writer: Carlile (2007)

1 comment:

  1. Well done. In a few days I will be posting my version of this post, which I've been tossing around in my head for several weeks now. Which will not at all leave you feeling ripped off. Because mine will be much more abstract. I think you're the more down to earth version of me and I'm the more hallucinatory version of you.