Monday, November 28, 2011

Songs about feelings (R.E.M., Audioslave, The Avett Brothers)

I made it through turkey day. I’m a few pounds heavier from all the carbs (and mounds of whipped cream on top of the pumpkin pie), but I was happy to have the time to spend with my family. My music picks for this week are about moments of vulnerability. In each of these, I am amazed with the level of honesty and exposure and how it leads to something so beautiful.
Audioslave – Like a Stone

I really thought this song was about love. Wikipedia corrected me. It is about a man, all alone, waiting to die. It disturbs me how much I want to dance to this song. It's also unsettling that I listened to this on repeat for a day and a half. It is philosophical and makes me think. Sometimes, I need to think. And sometimes for a day and a half on repeat in my car, I just want to get lost in Chris Cornell’s sweet, sweet voice.

R.E.M. – World Leader Pretend

I have listened to this song hundreds of times. I have a habit of getting sucked into an R.E.M. vortex where I found it impossible to listen to anything else. However, the other day, I really heard this song for the first time. It is a stubborn, lonely song. I always heard it as a song about self-empowerment, but now I hear a story about someone who is hiding and protecting himself. At the end, he does ask for someone to make it cool to come out of the hiding. Maybe it’s a little of both. Maybe it is just a reflection of the day I was having when I listened to it.

The Avett Brothers – I Would Be Sad

I guess that it wasn’t really much of a stretch to put an Avett Brothers song in a post about emotional vulnerability and honesty, but I have been on a serious tear of listening to this song. It makes me want to give him a hug and tell him that it will all get better. And then I cringe, thinking of all of the times that I felt so desperate to get some guy’s attention. It always feels so dramatic and serious at the time.It is both good and a little sad to realize how such strong feelings can fade or change. I also haven't lost the irony of how I’m totally embarrassed for myself but sympathetic to others.

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