We all have them, songs that touch a secret place in your soul – sometimes secret even from you. They can grow and occasionally fester in you like an open wound, or they can heal you, fill you up and inspire you. Sometimes they don't even reflect your musical tastes. They can be shameful secrets that you keep from family and friends. You feel like a drug addict craving your next fix. At times like those you thank the powers that be for MP3 players – the syringe of those suffering with this affliction.
This is my second instalment of songs that touch my soul. It’s a form of therapy, showing the world my inner neuroticism, my secret inner lunacy. I want the world to join me in my musical schizophrenia.
"Canon In D Major" – Johann Pachelbel
This may seem right out of left field for a punk/goth/indie loving rock chick but I adore chamber music. Most chamber music in fact – of which this is one of the most well-known examples. And the only place this touches me is deep in my romantic heart. It sounds, to me, like falling in love feels. I make no apologies for this one.
"I Feel Love" – Donna Summer
Now this touches me deeply, in a very wet place. This is sex on the dance floor. It reminds me of snogging (that's the British term for making out) and gyrating on the dance floor while pressed as close to a man's body as I can get. And it still makes me feel love. Well, something I’m willing to mistake for love for – the night anyway.
"Giana" – Bangkok Five
Not a well-known song, but a goody! I reviewed Bangkok Five's CD Who's Gonna Take Us Alive. Where I wrote: "Frost's sexy, throaty, and highly emotive vocals combined with a muted guitar and bass, really let that fabulous, smooth, rich voice wrap around you and make you feel warm and delicious."
What more needs to be said?
"Hurt" – Johnny Cash/Nine Inch Nails
I love NIN but for this song it is definitely the Johnny Cash version I prefer. Maybe it's Johnny's deep, gravely voice or the tender almost passionate way that he sings it that takes "Hurt" to another level. When sung by Cash it is a haunting, evocative and poignant love song. And, of course, his history makes it even more wretched.
'Raindrop' Prelude In D Flat Major, Op.28 No. 15 – Chopin
I know that many famous pianists have dismissed Chopin as hugely embellished or trivial but I don't care. His works range from poetic, romantic melodies, to restless, melancholy harmonies and beautifully, expressive technical wonders. He had the soul of romantic/poet and the heart of an adventurer. And his lyrical, melancholy music brought romantic piano to new unexplored heights. He was the ultimate adventurer. And I respond to romance and adventure from any man.
"Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?" – Bryan Adams
This song touches me all over. I'm so ashamed. But I'm a woman and we like men who understand us, and with this song (and his whole fucking career really) Bryan Adams proved that he loves, understands and – most importantly – adores women (or at least he fakes it better than most). What woman doesn't want to be adored like this? I also love Spanish guitar. Ok… I admit it… stop looking at me like that… you’re right it's the cheesy romance crap that I'm responding, the Spanish guitar has nothing to do with it. I’m sick! Sick!
"About Face" – The Working Title
Ok, yes, I am a big fan of The Working Title. Let me just reiterate: "The Working Title blends big guitar melodies with the husky, sensual, hands-down-my-panties vocals and soul-stirring, passionately emotive lyrics… Hamilton's raw, earthy voice finds your inner erotic being and holds you in its ardent, intense embrace, with the help of his powerful lyrics"
"About Face" is an excellent example of what make The Working Title so very good. And I feel moved when I listen to this track.
"Blister In The Sun" – Violent Femmes
Is it about masturbation? Gordon Gano says no but does it matter? It’s about teenage angst, the misery of feeling out of place and probably about sexual frustration. Gano’s distinctive voice and unusual lyrics seemed to sum up everything I was feeling. And I had a colossal, lusty, crush on Gano during my hormonally and sexually charged teenage years and that may have something to do with it.
"Breathe In" – Frou Frou
What does this song mean? *Shrug* – your guess is as good as mine. What I love about this song, other than the bizarre, radio-show-call-in-lyrics, is the fabulous dance beat and Imogen Heap's breathy, sensual voice. Hey, not everything is about sex, not even for me.
"Why Can't I Fall in Love?" – Ivan Neville
This song is from the movie Pump Up The Volume, which came out just before my 20th birthday and started a lifelong (so far) love of that bluesy guitar-driven rock that Ivan Neville is so very good at. (Have you heard the amazing guitar solo in this song?! DAMN.) I also fell in love with Christian Slater – but that’s another tale altogether. I identified with the lyrics "So many people/ Come walking by/ Looking so happy/ While all I do is cry/ I just want to be/ With somebody too/ What I'd give for a kiss/ What am I gonna do". When sung in Neville's powerful, soulful, throaty voice I just HAVE to sing along.
Wow that was cleansing. Confession is good for the soul. Now I'll go and say my Hail Marys for my sins. After a nice cuppa that is.