Friday, July 29, 2011
Nothing quite matches the feeling of driving home in the rain. It's stimulating and meditative at the same time, as is the type of song I am compelled to discuss with you.
Today something happened that left me feeling rejected and relieved at the same time. What it was doesn't matter, but it does matter that when I drove home I chose the company of older music. I felt vulnerable, and I wanted to let the vulnerability saturate me like the storm was doing to the earth. I wanted all the bullshit emotions from my ego and outward anxiety to be rinsed away. I wanted to go back to my roots, to my core.
First I listened to Avril's second album, Under My Skin. Most notably, "Together" and "How Does It Feel?" were comforting. Soon after, I switched to the Goo Goo Dolls' most famous album, Dizzy Up The Girl. "Slide" and "Broadway" gave me that nurturing comfort, but the bullshit really started fading when I heard the first verse of "Bullet Proof."
"Bullet Proof" wasn't released as a single and I can clearly see where it lacks in that department. It's not the most finely crafted piece of music, but that's not the point. The point is, when I heard that second couplet, "Do you like the way you feel?/Nothing hurts when no one's real", it tugged at my insides. I felt truth. Truth came in unannounced and saw me naked through my clothes. Here was truth, telling me I push people and opportunities away to avoid pain and rejection. Truth was telling me I'm not tough; not caring actually means I'm a big wimp. And it's not like I didn't know that before this moment. It's just that it hit me really hard when I heard the poetry.
My moment with "Bullet Proof" compelled me to listen to a similar (but far superior) song when I got home. That song was "Glycerine" by Bush. A simple wash of chorus-propelled guitar allowed the lyrics to tug at my insides without competition. "I'm never alone/I'm alone all the time." "I couldn't change, though I wanted to." These were truths of my situation that had been obvious all along, yet missed like a door so close to my face that I couldn't see the edges.
So, getting to the point...
One of my biggest problems with music as of very recent is that it lacks the following - short, concise lines of mostly one-syllabic words set to immediately graspable rhyme schemes. I listen to a Taylor Swift song like "Back To December" and yes, it's reflective, but the lines are so long and wordy that it feels like a textbook analysis of heartbreak. She's thinking too much. It's not immediate. It's insincere.
It's not like that one lyric in "Glycerine" that made my gut jerk like an answer to that Goo Goo Dolls song - "Must be for real/Cause now I can feel." It's a solid reminder that when I'm not guarding myself from people, I'm closer to the truth.
Truth is where I want to get to. Desire for truth is what got me into music in the first place. Too-long lines usually get in the way of truth.
More words = more bullshit.