On the Topic of Music

For quite a while I have been pondering this post as music is such a prevalent part of all of our lives. Whether or not you realize it, our culture revolves around music. Not only does every store, restaurant, and other public place play music, but most of the time people play music in their car, walking to school, at work and even at home. Why is this? Why can we pinpoint times of our lives when we heard a song? Why do we relate certain songs to people? Why are songs so easy to memorize? God gave us a powerful gift when He gave us music. However music is used to hide...from silence. Silence is scary. Silence forces people to be alone with their thoughts. Silence makes people face reality and stop hiding behind a fa├žade. However, we have been given music as a gift from God and we cannot use it to hide from the life he has given us.

This semester I have stopped listening to music along my commute as it distracts me from life, orients my thoughts toward meaningless words, and many times causes me to forget to appreciate the beauty that I pass every day on the way to school. However there is a time and a place for everything under the sun, and used wisely, music can be wonderful.

Originally I planned this post to explore the various moods and feelings behind certain genres and analyze why when you are in a certain mood, you gravitate towards certain songs, however please don't skim over the above paragraphs. I have learned the hard way what can happen when you let music control/rule your life.

Music is an absolutely fascinating thing to study. The way that it changes over time boggles my mind and make me wonder what the music to come will sound like...and also what will be the content as music nowadays is half of the time not even appropriate to listen to. With every musical genre I believe there is a mood that goes along with that genre. Through this post, I seek to evaluate those moods and give examples of my favorites from the genres I evaluate. They are different for everyone but as MS MR's song Hurricane puts it "Welcome to the inner workings of my mind."

According to Itunes my top genres are-

  1. Pop (161 songs)
  2. Alternative/Indie Rock (160)
  3. Dubstep (93)
  4. Soundtrack (75)
  5. Christian and Gospel (58)
Pop: When people think of the genre of pop, what often comes to mind is a bubbly Carly Rae Jepsen singing 'Call Me Maybe', or Justin Bieber singing 'As Long As You Love Me,' however this genre encompasses much greater music then those two awful songs. 

For me, Pop=happy. When I am in a really good mood, I'll often put together a playlist with my favorite Pop songs. These songs are often one hit wonders that I buy as I do not like all of the group's songs. Pop music conveys a kind of carefree nature that youth (myself included) are drawn through, which is why it is a treacherous territory when it comes to the meanings of songs. I started buying music from a young age and have found as I have gotten older that those songs, even though they didn't have bad words, mean some really bad things, that I didn't recognize until now.

#1-Keep Your Head Up-Andy Grammer
This is the perfect song to listen to with your windows rolled down, shades on, and hair flying in the breeze. Definitely one to listen to when you've just had the best day ever or when you need cheering up.

Honorable Mentions:

  1. Settle Down-Kimbra-A different take on Pop, yet still Pop.
  2. Kiss You-One Direction-A summer song. It's just wonderful. Requires rolled down windows.
  3. She's Got Me Dancing-Tommy Sparks-An oldie but goodie. Very light and happy.
  4. The Golden Age-I picture myself skipping happily in a busy city with this song in the background. 

Alternative/Indie Rock: I may have the most Pop songs (not by much), but this genre is near and dear to my heart. In this genre I can find artists whose music I love entirely. Not just one song but everything. For me Alternative is the genre I listen to when I need to ponder something. If something is going on in my personal life, I listen to The Strokes. If I can't figure out the solution to a problem, I listen to The Strokes. If life isn't giving me any lemons and I feel absolutely awful, I listen to The Strokes because they make any day better. The majority of my Alt/Indie collection is The Strokes but I definitely own a few other gems as well. 

#1-Last Night-The Strokes
My Dad introduced me to this band when I was seven or eight. In my teen years I rediscovered them and ever since then, they have definitely been my favorite. For some reason, The Strokes have such a calming effect on me. When I don't know what to do/what to feel/what to think I just take a drive and blare this song and all the others on this album and sing along and I feel so much better afterwards. The Strokes are also one of the few artists where I actually like all their songs, not just one or two.

Honorable Mentions:
  1. Daylight-Matt and Kim-Definitely one of my favorites. Such an upbeat and jolly song.
  2. Animal-Miike Snow-I love the beat in the song, it make absolutely no sense, but is extremely happy. 
  3. On Top of the World-Imagine Dragons-Not only do I love the melody, but the words in this song are so applicable and true to being on top of the world. 
  4. All Star-Smash Mouth-A classic, yet it never gets old. 
  5. Diane Young-Vampire Weekend-You must roll down your windows to get the full effect of this great number. However, the rest of this album did not hold up to this song. 

Dubstep: You are probably staring at the computer in utter shock right now. Yes, I absolutely love dubstep. It. Is. Brilliant. I can not listen to it all the time, but in certain situations it is wonderful. When I need to think critically, I will listen to dubstep. The other day I was driving and was trying to figure out a critical thinking problem in my head, and none of my normal music was helping, but then I tried some dubstep and I was able to concentrate and not get distracted. That car ride was where I originally had the idea for this post. When I need to really think about something, and not let it fly in the breeze like when I listen to Alternative music, I will play dubstep. For studying math and science and sometimes reading philosophy, it helps me focus on the task at hand, maybe partly because I am not memorizing words or trying to alter the melody by adding a harmony, but just listening to basses being dropped. 

#1-Rage Valley-Knife Party
There was a day when I was having so much trouble with my math that I literally put this song and a few others by Knife Party just on repeat it helped me concentrate so well. The quality that sets Knife Party above other Dubstep bands is their differing aspects of the songs that they put together so well.  None of their songs are disjointed like a lot of other dubstep; everything is perfectly planned out and timed to make a really well mastered dubstep song.

Honorable Mentions:
  1. Ruffneck Bass-Skrillex-Skrillex can be offputting, but this song brings in melodies with dubstep which makes Skrillex much more palatable.
  2. Fortune Days-Glitch Mob-This reminds me of videogame music, but it is wonderful and a song from their new album.
  3. Derezzed-Daft Punk(Glitch Mob Remix)-Derezzed on its own was great, but this remix ups it much more and keeps you on the edge of your seat, is also is even better after seeing Tron.
  4. The Son of Flynn-Daft Punk(Moby Remix)-The overlay of the violins over the original by Daft Punk puts this above even their masterpiece.
  5. Lunar-David Guetta and Afrojack-This song is so well done and has one of the sickest bass drops.

Soundtrack: I use dubstep to promote my studies in the left side of my brain, but soundtrack music I use to promote my studies in the right side of my brain. In this case, I really do not have a favorite few songs of soundtrack but I do have two favorite albums that I study to quite often. Soundtrack albums are so wonderful because they are mostly just classical music, but with a bit of a dramatic spin. They keep you engaged in the music without putting you to sleep. You can also say you listen to classical music but you're really listening to the music of the fight scene of Thorin Oakenshield and the White Orc which is 100x better then any classical music.

#1-Old Friends(The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)-Howard Shore-This soundtrack has gotten me through the 10 page paper I once wrote, multiple trips overseas trying to fall asleep (songs that are played during orc battles don't lead to the most peaceful sleep, just FYI), and the occasional wistful time of daydreaming that one sometimes needs. My favorite song on this soundtrack has to be the song below, I love the happy lilt that comes about midway through, but also the varying moods conveyed throughout the song.

#2:-Time(Inception Soundtrack)-Hans Zimmer-This soundtrack I love and hate at the same time. I love it because of the beauty in the music but I hate it because of the the sadness conveyed through it in such an effective manner. However, it is exceptionally crafted (as everything Hans Zimmer creates is), and definitely is worth checking out.

Christian and Gospel: I have a really hard time writing about this one. So much Christian music nowadays is not focused on the right reasons. Writers strive to write catchy songs that someone like me would like to listen to. However, it is more important for Christ to be made real to those singing that song. Much of my Christian and Gospel music is more of the Pop/upbeat Christian dance music that makes me want to sing the words because it isn't boring. I have always had a tough time finding Christian music that I like, and because of that, I really don't listen to Christian music too much. I would much rather spend that time praying to the Lord, then listening to songs that sound good, but really don't mean anything to me. The songs below are those which have challenged me in some way and thus I do listen to them, not like my other music however.

#1-Reign in Us-Starfield-This song has gotten me through many a trial. Not only is it catchy, but the words are so true and need to be sung and remembered. I don't often listen to Christian music, but when I do it is normally this song, because I am broken and this song just reorients me to the one Who broke Himself for me.

Honorable Mentions:

  1. Remind Me Who I Am-Jason Gray-Blog Post This song has been so poignant in me finding my identity in Christ and not in other things. 
  2. We Stand Amazed-Attalus-My absolute favorite worship song we sing at church. The words and the melody combine to bring about such a heart-wrenching and beautiful song. 
  3. All I Have is Christ-Sovereign Grace Music-The title says it all. 
  4. Sweetly Broken-Jeremy Riddle-One of my favorite worship songs we sing at church.
  5. I Will Follow-Chris Tomlin-This song communicates a simple act of submission to God that I strive to live out every day. 
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home

1 comment:

  1. nominated you for the sunshine award! keep up your lovely blogging!
    rainbows and dreams


Deoxyriboneucleic acids est awesome :)