We all have them, songs that seem to speak right to that secret place in your soul – sometimes secret even from you. They flow into you, through you, whirling, swirling around until they completely surround a tiny spot deep down inside of you. And then they never leave. They can grow and occasionally fester in you like an open wound, or they can heal you, fill you up and inspire you.
Many times they don’t even reflect your normal musical tastes. They can be shameful secrets that you keep from family and friends, sneaking listens when no one is home or when you’re alone in your car. You feel like a drug addict craving your next fix. Thank jebus for MP3 players, the syringe of those suffering with this affliction.
With Spring in the air my desire for romance, love and passionate sex has awoken from its long winter's sleep and has yet again captured my focus. And so this 12th edition of Songs That Touch My Soul is awash with romantic sentiment, passionate desire and, as always, a bit of playful naughtiness.
"You Got Me" – Colbie Caillat
I love Colbie Caillat's beach-babe-with-a-soul musical style, just sweetly honest, upbeat, easy-natured beach-pop. Jack Johnson without the herb-infused, surfer dude pretense. Fresh, open and relaxing, like a cool breeze blowing over warm sand. This song has all of that plus felicitous, blithe, playfully-coquettish lyrics. She perfectly captures that twitterpated feeling of new love, that giggly, shy, winsome 17-again feeling.
“You're stuck on me and my laughing eyes/ I can't pretend though I try to hide – I like you/ I like you. I think I felt my heart skip a beat, I'm standing here and I can hardly breathe – you got me… The way you take my hand is just so sweet/ And that crooked smile of yours, it knocks me off my feet…”
"Took So Long" – The Ruse
This final track from The Ruse's new album, Love Sex Confusion, is sweetly romantic but still filled with a passionate longing. Add to that frontman John Dauer's smoky, sensual vocals and it's as if the Amazon and the Nile decided to join forces and move into my knickers. It's a love a song filled with carnal desire, passionate adoration and melancholy life-weariness. Bittersweet, bleak, fervid, and hauntingly beautiful.
The Defamation of Strickland Banks – Plan B
I absolutely love this album and can't help but tout it to anyone who will pause long enough to listen. Whenever I read anything about Plan B it always includes the phrase “an East London raconteur.” This is undoubtedly because his body of work reflects the very essence of the word. The Defamation of Strickland Banks is the work of a truly skilled raconteur. A concept album that lyrically tells the purely fictitious first-person tale of Strickland Banks, a Dean Martin-styled British soul singer who seems to hearken back to all that was cool about the Rat Pack.
Plan B was known as a rather explicitly violent rapper, whose last album dealt mostly in gangbanging (doesn't mean what it used too, mores the pity), psychopaths, and junkies. Then TDSB came along. It's a surprise that such a hard-edged character – and perhaps that's all it ever was – had this soul singer trapped inside of him. And as it turns out a soul singer of tremendous talent, vision and style. It isn't everyone who could, or would, mix soul-funk and Latin sounds with fast-paced rap, performing both with sublime, flawless perfection.
"Crash And Burn" – Lifehouse
I know why I like Lifehouse. It's because their creamy, smooth pop-rock melodies and sensual throaty vocals are safe and fun and easy to listen to. I admit it's not a challenging listen, that you just sit back and get carried away in blissful pop-rock mellifluence. What's wrong with that? They are an excellent example of the post-grunge, power-balled band and I adore them. "Crash And Burn" exemplifies their rich, buttery goodness, and is currently my favorite track from their new album, Smoke And Mirrors – well new as in released in late October 2009 and apparently "Crash And Burn" is only available on the deluxe edition of the album.
"Bad Things" – Jace Everett
Everything about this song makes my panties moist. The soft, sultry rhythms of steel guitar and bass, the swelteringly sexy, gravelly baritone, the sinfully delicious lyrics, and the dirty blues-Americana atmosphere all make me quiver. I love to listen to this song when I'm alone and I can close my eyes and imagine doing a very lascivious naked Texas Two-Step with a very hot man. And in my ear he keeps whispering those flatteringly carnal lyrics… “When you came in the air went out. And every shadow filled up with doubt. I don't know who you think you are, but before the night is through, I wanna do bad things with you.”