Saturday, August 31, 2013

July 2013 - Popular Music

Tori Amos - From the Choirgirl Hotel
Tori Amos - Abnormally Attracted to Sin
Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel...
Bryan Duncan - Mercy
Nik Kershaw - To Be Frank
Mark Lizotte - Soul Lost Companion 
Something for Kate - Leave Your Soul To Science

I've written once before about From the Choirgirl Hotel, here.  Basically I want to expand on what I said then, because the power of this album still amazes me in a way very few other albums do.

I said last time that I was often drawn to listen to Choirgirl when I'm in a dark, angsty mood. This is still true. But it's not merely that. It's that when I'm in a dark, angsty mood, quite frequently this is the only thing in my entire collection I can find that provides the kind of catharsis I'm looking for.

I don't know if other people ever go trawling through their music trying to find something to match their mood, and spend a while thinking "nope, that's not it... nope... nope...think, think, what are you hearing in your head? What does it feel like?".  It's certainly something that I do from time to time, having a moment when I feel the desire for something really specific.  To me this is one of the reasons for having a large music collection, to cover as many different nuances of mood as possible.

Time and again, Choirgirl can be relied upon to be the best possible album for a particular kind of angst-ridden mood.  Nothing else I own possesses the same kind of power and drama.  No-one else sings to me - no scrap that, sings for me - about trying to hold back glaciers, about balloons not staying up in a perfectly windy sky, about boys who can't be men, about screaming at cathedrals, about just feeling that there's something wrong and not knowing how to fix it.  Song after song hits these kinds of marks with pounding beats and soaring melodies. It's intoxicating.

I know it's not healthy to be in that kind of place for long periods. But it's certainly easier to bear that kind of place when you can give it a fantastic soundtrack, and for me at least, being able to find an articulation of the mood is the kind of therapy that can help me move on.

And 54 minutes of music is a lot cheaper and more readily accessible than a counselling appointment of the same length.

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