Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Aisle 5: The Extremes of Identification

Check my Last.fm page and you'll see that the most played track is Musiq Soulchild's "Betterman." Of course this is a skewed number. It simply means that the song I've listened to the most while the computer was sending information to the central server is "Betterman." But while its not the most played song, it is pretty up there overall just because I was so enamored with the words when I first heard it. And the worst part was that I had no one to share the very positive sentiment in the song. A woman between a lover and friend who consistently makes me want to do something with my life? I wish. But those are the breaks.

On the contrary, the oft mentioned Mario's "How Could You?" (I prefer the Storch remix) hits a little too close to home. Skipping over the repeated references to mastery of the ghetto kama sutra, when I first digested the lyrics after I learned that one of my relationships had really disintegrated to the point of no return, it was all a little too real. When he belts out "Sometimes I cant help but think that another man's gonna get the one made for me", I thought they used one of the precogs from Minority Report and then took the emotions I would eventually feel and channeled it into their song.

Why does it happen to us? The love songs and even the ones that glorify self actualizaion like Jill Scott's "Golden" are often written because the writer was inspired by a specific occurrence relating to the song. How come we never find them when we care about someone and might actually relate? And why do the ones that talk of the heartbreak and anguish stick with us and sting even deeper? The heartbreak songs have been so real for me that I have listened to some and understood why someone was so upset with me. Floetry's "If I Was A Bird" comes to mind.

Part of it must be that drama always translates better to the musical arena and the euphoria of love is hard to articulate. But maybe our pain makes us more open to commisseration. Maybe this a peculiar problem to myself, a boy with too much love to give. Regardless of the case, I know that more people will sing harder when they're listening to "Since U Been Gone" and stare dreamy eyed at the sound of "Hey There Delilah." Such is life.

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