A few months ago we talked about "Shake it off" songs, that help you get over the rough patches. Today, I want to go the opposite direction. Sometimes a person craves the songs that hit a deeper chord and help fully open up the emotional expression. I once put together a mix of these songs - not quite sad, more melancholic - but it was lost so long ago that I'm not sure I could list more than two or three of my selections.
If you were putting together such a list, what would it look like? Would you pick songs that are sad in terms of lyrics, or sad in a more sonic fashion? I know that personally the music makes a bigger impact than the lyrics when it comes to this kind of mood music. Indeed, I'd often pick songs that aren't so much "sad"
To kick it off, here's a couple of nominations:
Death Cab For Cutie's "Transatlanticism"
Cloud Cult's "There's So Much Energy In Us"
Chumbawumba's cover of "New York Mining Disaster 1941"
Joseph Arthur's "In The Sun"
"Into the West"
Willie Nelson's cover of "The Scientist"
Neko Case's "I Wish I Was The Moon"
So... what's good for melancholy?
I've been listening to a lot of my old albums lately. Meaning the things I listened to in high school and college. My physical collection is largely packed up and put away right now, so as I'm inspired to pick an old album I just pull it up on youtube. That's handy.
Anyway, lots of them have not held up as well as I thought they might (The Love Below was disappointing. Still kind of a fun concept album, but the execution is just far too inconsistent.) Others were even better than I remembered (Chumbawumba's WYSIWYG is fan-freaking-tastic.). Lots were nicely familiar (BNL's albums), and well worth the time.
Anyway, for this week maybe we can talk old albums. What's something you haven't dusted off in ages that you used to listen to regularly?
I guess we're going with a little tour of my musical self-education this week... and today hits two of my favorites from high school. Flood was of seminal importance in my listening development, and I've been to more TMBG shows and own more TMBG albums than any other band (a fact made fairly easy by their significant catalog). Chumbawamba on the other hand? My brother got the CD just for "Tubthumping" and decided he didn't like anything else on it. I pretty much liked everything else on it (and I liked "Tubthumping" too). It was subversive and intelligent and, for anarchists, amazingly structured. Anyway, a year or two ago TMBG covered Chumbawamba and I love them even more for it.
Also, it doesn't appear to be on Youtube, but you should go find Chumbawamba's cover of "New York Mining Disaster 1941." Hauntingly beautiful.