For those of us blessed to enjoy the gift of music and who possess enough soul to let it move us, music triggers emotions, creates moods, and inspires. And some songs are just fun. Lately I've turned to melodies when I need an exercise boost, want to create a steady rhythm while cooking, require relaxation while I write, or want to have a sing-a-long in the shower. I've posted a few videos of songs that evoke certain moods-- I hope you enjoy!
The first is "Sweet Disposition" by The Temper Trap. The beat and overall tone of the song opens my imagination and gets my thoughts flowing. Be inspired.
Whenever I am feeling down about myself, I immediately go to my iPod and find "Firework" by Katy Perry. Now I realize most of you are skeptical about "pop stars" and pop music in general, but she has an excellent voice and this song never fails to boost my mood and provide a ray of light when I'm wondering around in the dark. My 6ft 7in heterosexual man friend even likes it.
Because of the artist and style of this next song, I almost avoided putting Ke$ha's "We R Who We R" on the list. No, I don't get any deep emotions or artistic inspiration from a girl with a dollar sign in her name; however, this is a great workout song. Yes, her voice and the way she chews her "R's" can irritate. At the same time, I always increase my speed on the treadmill when this song starts to play so there are benefits to electronic pop music.
Love Mumford & Sons. Love "Little Lion Man." Love the British. 'Nuff said.
Typically, I avoid Rap at all costs. It's just not my thing. However, even though I never will be a bad ass by any stretch of the imagination, Eminem's "Till I Collapse" definitely makes me want to walk into a biker bar, challenge everyone in the place, and kick outlaw asses to the curb. Instead, I'll just work my "toughness" out on the elliptical.
On the opposite end of the spectrum I'd like to present "Sexy Silk" by Jessica Cornish, heard in the film "Easy A." Like the scene in the movie, when listening to this song I feel I should be wearing a corset, eyes decked out with mascara and smoky eyeliner while walking in slow motion, long hair blowing from an invisible wind as every head turns. Epic.
Here's a favorite band of mine: Phoenix. With their song "Lisztomania." Their music never fails to brighten my day.
Also, I'd never be able to create a list of great tunes without adding a song by Beck-- my absolute favorite artist. Doesn't matter what you're doing, Beck is great for anything-- I love listening to him while I cook. Here is "Elevator Music."
Need a moment to wind down? Meditate? Pray? Look no further than John Rutter, a most excellent English choral composer and director of The Cambridge Singers. Although I love "What Sweeter Music," "All Things Bright and Beautiful," and anything he's ever written for Christmas, "Esurientes" from Rutter's Magnificat is breath-taking.
What? I forgot to represent country music? Well that would be because I don't like country. At all. Unless you count old school country sung by cowboys and Johnny Cash. However, I would like to give props to young Marc Broussard and his song "Home." He possesses an old school voice: a bit of grit mixed with rock and roll. Even though they dress him like a douche bag in the video, Marc sounds like a 6ft. 5in., tight jean wearing, scruffy faced, muscled man whose eyes are covered by the shadow of his black cowboy hat while he rides off into the sunset on his trusty steed. ... too much?
My final thought-provoking piece is "Far Away" by Jose Gonzalez. The power behind this song isn't simply in its haunting melody or the rich, beautiful acoustic guitar accompanying its emotional lyrics. No. The real power in "Far Away" is its purpose: this gorgeous song was written for the video game "Red Dead Redemption" and could hold its own against any Academy Award nominated piece. It represents the artistry and cinematic quality now added to many video games, the thought and work behind this billion-dollar industry, and the future direction of the entertainment industry.