Emotion in Music

Tommy, that’s an interesting take on how bands get popular. I agree with you, at least within the hard rock genre. I still like Creed more than Alter Bridge, but in all honesty it is because they have some nostalgic value for me. Plus, as you said, they’re a little softer and I like that. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are my favorite band, but I wouldn’t call them hard rock (I call them alternative rock). They’re really dynamic and their lyrics are so well written.

People listen to music for a million different reasons. Sometimes I listen to get pumped up for a work out. Other times (generally in the car) I really like to listen to the lyrics and try to intrepret their meaning. That said, I want to write about an old defunct band that wrote some emotional songs and a new band out of Brooklyn that is starting to grow in popularity.

Andrew McMahon who is now the lead singer of Jack’s Mannequin wrote some emotionally packed songs for his first band, Something Corporate. Most of his songs are about things that have happened in his life, which makes the lyrics that much more meaningful. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are another band that writes songs about their own lives.

Something Corporate is now defunct, but I recently purchased both of their albums on Ebay and here’s the song that caught my attention. It’s from their second album, North. I interpret it to be about a woman Andrew is in love with and can’t get to love him back. Listen for the emotion in his voice, that’s what makes me like so much: Something Corporate: The Runaway.

My favorite part is at the one minute mark, when the lyrics read:

“cause by now, i know you better than you know yourself
and i know what you really need
what you need, or i need
but either way this is where you should be
here with me, or ill bleed so much that you wont believe.”

The other band I want to give some credit to is Black Gold. I only know of them because I saw them when they were the opening act for Rooney in Atlanta. Black Gold is still pretty new. They just have one album out and not many people have heard of them, but they may be growing. Tomorrow (Thursday, Aug 12) they are playing their song “Shine” on the season finale of “So You Think You Can Dance” on Fox. I’m not a fan of the show, but it’s a pretty big break for them.

Shine is one of the most emotionally packed songs I’ve ever heard. Watch the video, piece together what you think it’s about and give me your interpretation. I am very interested to hear what you think. I think the basic idea is pretty obvious, at least from the music video. My favorite part is when they sing the chorus real slow, almost like an interlude. Heres the link: Black Gold: Shine

Now just compare that to this completely emotionless song by Ke$ha, Tik Tok. Her voice is largely computer edited and the lyrics don’t even mean anything. What is she doing? How was this song popular?

So Tommy’s last post was about how some hard rock bands get popular while other equally talented bands never earn a follow. I want to know how some of these garbage songs become hits.

Thoughts? I hope you enjoyed some of the music I shared!


4 thoughts on “Emotion in Music

  1. Some good insight, Ryan. I’ve already listened to these songs and they really don’t do it for me, but I’ll take them over Ke$ha’s crap any day (I know that’s not saying much, but hey, I’m giving you something). The boy-bandish voices and overall softer musical tone ruin the songs for me, but I nevertheless respect the points you make.

    Your classification of RHCP as alt. rock is more accurate; I just grouped them in with popular rock bands of the past 10 years (and they go way back) or so.

    I was going to talk about how it’s possible that these garbage artists become popular but I didn’t want to veer off in too many directions in one post.

  2. One more thing. While you’re right about those bands writing about their own life experiences, that’s not exactly unique. Almost all rock bands have a large number of songs about their experiences (and many have a catalog where that is almost exclusive).

  3. A lot of bands from all genres write about life experiences, but Andrew McMahon’s seem especially meaningful. Konstantine is a pretty deep song about an experience with a girlfriend that McMahon had. Rescued is likely about his bout with cancer. Brent Smith from Shinedown is another artist that writes some pretty meaningful songs from personal experience.

  4. Pingback: Emotionally Packed Songs – List & Discussion « Ryan's Rants & Tommy's Tirades

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