The Chill Sounds of Egypt

Artist: Beats Antique
Song: Egyptic
Album: Blind Threshold
Mood: No mood, if that’s possible

I’ve reached a point in the past few weeks where I’m tired of feeling. It’s not even a matter of being numb to everything. More so that my body can’t take the roller coaster of emotions as of late. But instead of picking some song like “Comfortably Numb,” I’d rather go the neutral route than the depressing one. In store for today are a lot of lyricless songs. Is it ironic to run a website based on mood music and not want to be in a mood?

I’m currently enjoying my friend’s Moroccan playlist on Spotify –she has a soft spot for Morocco and possibly belly dancing. The music is relaxing, there are no words to cling to, to permeate my brain, and even if there are, I cannot understand them. For today’s post I opted for the rhythmic sounds of “Egyptic” by Beats Antique. The group incorporates a worldly style, including Middle Eastern, flamenco, hip hop, dub reggae, and more. Listening to their albums transports me out of bleak Brooklyn to cultures and lifestyles unknown. If only my imagination could become reality I wouldn’t be relying on music to take me out of the mundane.

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Taking Chances

Artist: Florence + The Machine
Song: Falling
Album: Lungs
Mood: Fear and Uncertainty

Lately, I’ve found that along with myself, a lot of people I know are in situations where they’ve taken chances and found themselves hurt. Or they are in the process of taking that chance, with no idea what the outcome will be. It’s a pretty universal experience, actually.  The act of letting yourself jump is not the scary part. The fear comes from what happens when you hit the ground.

Florence + The Machine puts it as beautiful as possible with their song “Falling.” There are lines that touch me deeply: “Sometimes I wish for falling/Wish for the release/Wish for falling through the air/To give me some relief/Because falling’s not the problem/When I’m falling I’m in peace/It’s only when I hit the ground/It causes all the grief.”

It’s true. The act of falling, or relinquishing control of a situation and just going for it, can be a wonderful feeling. Whether you are falling in love, making a huge career change, or attempting something you never have before, there’s something to be said for just taking that leap. We hope that we’ll be falling forever, but often that’s not the case.

We all fail. We all hit the ground sooner or later. Sometimes it’s a hard hit, sometimes we just float gently down, and sometimes our feet never touch it when we are successful.  I hope those in my life who are falling (including myself) don’t have to reach an end. And I hope that those who have already hit, won’t be afraid to leap again.

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The Lights Are Calling Me Home

Artist: Ellie Goulding
Song: Lights (Bassnectar Remix)
Album: Divergent Spectrum and Lights (The Remixes)
Mood: Searching for light in the darkness

Ellie Goulding blew up the radio last year with her hit single “Lights,” but the song gained even more popularity in the dubstep world when Bassnectar did a sick remix of the song. Now it’s almost impossible for me to even enjoy the original –hence my remixed choice for today’s mood music. Fret not. The lyrics are still the same and you won’t hear the same line repeated over and over for ten minutes.

Lyrically the song speaks to my emotions today, “I had a way then losing it all on my own/I had a heart then but the queen has been overthrown/And I’m not sleeping now, the dark is too hard to beat/And I’m not keeping now the strength I need to push me.” It’s quite startling how our emotions can ebb and flow so easily, or at least mine do. One moment in time can instantaneously change how we feel. Or maybe we felt that way all along and we were lying to ourselves. Either way, what little strength I felt yesterday is long gone today. Maybe it’ll be back tomorrow, but for now I’ll keep the lights on and “tell myself that I’ll be strong.”

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Trying to Be a Fighter

Artist: Christina Aguilera
Song: Fighter
Album: Stripped
Mood: Attempts at strength

I’m not the biggest Christina Aguilera fan but I cannot deny enjoying a handful of her songs. What can I say? They’re catchy –and “Fighter” is one of them. I’m all for women empowerment and all that feminism jazz. I wish I could say my mood was exactly like today’s song. However, it’s more like I wish I had the strength of Aguilera. Well, I have some and according to my friends it’s more than I realize. Maybe so…

“Fighter” is Aguilera’s “You fucked me over but I’m still standing” song, if I were to sum it up so eloquently. Essentially her man put her through hell, either in their relationship or in the breakup –seems like both. Instead of hating him though, she wants to thank him because it made her a stronger person. It’s quite an inspiring virtue though. It’s so much easier to hate, to loathe, or to just plain cry about it. I think we all need to go through that negative period though. The trick is to come out the other side and not dwell in the hatred. It’s nearly effortless to lose sight of the good that can come out of a negative experience.

So while I’m not completely “wiser” or “faster” or “stronger” just yet, I think I’m at least facing the right direction.

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Stand Up to Be Stronger

Artist: Within Temptation
Song: Pale
Album: The Silent Force
Mood: Fighting for strength

I was uncertain if I would do a post today for My Lyrical Disposition. There are only so many depressing songs I can write about in a week. I went for a safe choice on my iPod this morning and settled on the epic symphonic metal of Within Temptation. As I sat on the 5 train I was taken aback when the song “Pale” came on. I know the band almost inside and out, know every song, but it’s interesting to realize how we sometimes gloss over songs when we listen to them –even if we’ve listened a dozen times. I knew the lyrics, I knew what the song was about but until recently I hadn’t connected with it so strongly as I do now. The song takes on a new shape. It’s much more personal to me now.

“Pale” is about finding hope even when you feel you can’t. It’s about searching yourself for inner strength, “I have to try to break free from the thoughts in my mind…/’Cause I know in the end it’s worthwhile/That the pain that I feel slowly fades away/It will be all right.” Unlike other songs that are attempting to inspire, “Pale” isn’t forceful, it’s not trying to rouse you with uplifting melodies and full choirs –no battle song here. Instead, we have a soft melody and a voice that echoes my own listlessness. It’s not like the rowdy speech from a quarterback to motivate his team. It’s soft, tearful. It’s the moment you grab a tissue, pull yourself out of bed, and tell yourself, “I have to stand up to be stronger.”

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Wait and Bleed

Artist: Slipknot
Song: Wait and Bleed
Album: Slipknot
Mood: Tired of emotions

Simply feeling is draining, both mentally and physically. The past two weeks have been nothing but a whirlwind of mixed emotions and I feel exhausted. If only there was some switch to shut off my brain and/or heart. No, I don’t feel numb. To feel numb right now would actually be a gift. Instead I’m left with the tedious job of sorting through a clouded mind.

Today I throw it back to 1999, the height of the nu-metal era and to a band both extremely loved and extremely hated by many. I’m not the biggest Slipknot fan but “Wait and Bleed” is a song I can’t resist. The song is filled with more anger than anything, but to me it feels like more of a release, a way to get away from my mind. I sit here, waiting and bleeding out every single sentiment I have. Like Corey Taylor, “I’ve felt the hate rise up in me/Kneel down and clear the stone of leaves/I wander over where you can’t see/Inside my shell, I wait and bleed.” The intense pounding of drums, riffs of guitars, and screaming is as good of a distraction as any. All I have left to do is wait for it all to pass.

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Shot Dead: The Gang Bang Theory

Artist: Madonna, Nancy Sinatra, Bon Jovi, Drowning Pool (Mixed by Robin Skouteris)
Song: The Gang Bang Theory
Album: Reincarnation
Mood: Shot in the heart

Mashups are either loved or hated. Some feel it’s tainting the songs used. But I feel as long as it’s done right, you can have the ultimate epic song. While Girl Talk makes some interesting mixes, I’ve always been a bigger fan of the Greek DJ Robin Skouteris. Mixing pop, rock, dance, and hip hop from all decades, Skouteris always manages to create something truly unique, songs with quite possibly the weirdest selections that just somehow manage to work flawlessly.

Today’s mood music comes from his newly released, and much darker, mashup album Reincarnation. “The Gang Bang Theory” is easily my favorite track, primarily mixing Madonna’s “Gang Bang” and Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang” interlaced with dialogue from Kill Bill 1 & 2. Skouteris’ new approach of not just using Top 40 hits with old school jams served him well on this album. The album is supposed to be his journey from darkness to deliverance. How apropos for my own life. As if you couldn’t tell by the song selection, we have a lot killing, primarily of lovers. Fantastic subject matter! The song is just plain sexy, but it also fits my current state: feeling a bit dead inside. Was I scorned? Not really, but a blow to the heart is a blow to the heart, regardless of the reason. But the dance beat mixed with gun shots makes my heart, and my tapping toes, know that I’m alive.

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New Relationship Excitement & Nerves

Artist: No Doubt
Song: New
Album: Return of Saturn
Mood: Excited meets nervous

New relationships are a funny thing. They can be incredibly exciting but they can also be, well, down right scary. Especially if the new relationship is with someone outside of your comfort zone. You know, when you finally break free of the “type” that never worked out. It’s exciting to get close to someone different, but it’s also nerve-racking because you don’t know how to handle them. It’s unpredictable and that can be fun and terrifying. Not to mention the regular fears you go through, like “Will this work out?” and “Do they feel the same as I do?”

No Doubt’s “New” exemplifies all of that. From the excitement of dating someone different from your exes (“Oh you’re different/you’re different from the former/Like a fresh battery/I’m energized by you”) to the sudden fear that you’ll get hurt again (“Why am I so curious?/This territory is dangerous/I’ll probably end up at the start/I’ll be back in line with my broken heart”).  This song is 100% how I’m feeling right now. Excited but nervous, unsure but happy.

But ultimately I’m just feeling exactly what Gwen says, “This feeling has got to stay/And I can’t believe I’ve had this chance now/Don’t let it go away.”

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A Song for the Heartbroken

Artist: Evanescence
Song: My Heart Is Broken
Album: Evanescence
Mood: Heartbroken

I actually wrote about this song a few months ago for Valentine’s Day…you know as a “screw you Hallmark holiday” post. But the intentions back then were much different. It was my attempt to help others who know what a depressing holiday it can be. Today it’s about me, this song trying to  help me sort through my own emotions and not someone else’s. It’s my catharsis, and I both hate and love Evanescence for creating it, but more so love it.

There are probably thousands, millions of songs written about breakups and heartache. But it’s rare to come across one in which I can relate so deeply, one that truly moves me. And that was probably the intention of Amy Lee, to write a more general song that everyone can connect with. The story of everyone’s breakups are different but the pain we feel afterward is exactly the same. For me, it’s the same it was six years ago, the first time someone broke my heart. The first time I understood that a heart can truly feel pain, feel broken sans a legitimate medical condition.

It’s difficult to even pick which lyrics from “My Heart Is Broken” to share because they all resonate, they all stand out. So let’s just go with the beginning, “I pulled away to face the pain/I close my eyes and drift away/Over the fear that I will never find a way to heal my soul/And I will wander ’till the end of time torn away from you.” What I love most about this song is its honesty. It’s not trying to offer you comfort. Everyone says your heart will mend in time. One day you’ll wake up and not think about your ex. But I already know this. Most of us, who are older at least, do. I’m not there yet. It’s not the future. And in order to get back to a state of happiness, one has to feel these emotions. It’s the very reason I created this site. Music is meant to heal, to purge when you are sad, to invigorate when you are happy. Sometimes you just need to wallow because it will help you release those emotions so you can move passed them. So wallow I shall, but not forever.

I’ll end with the one line that never ceases to tear at my scarred heart, “Release me, I can’t hold on.”

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