the girl Riot asked over Twitter: “[W]hat songs -move- you?” Needless to say, I’m a sucker for “moving” music, and 140 characters can’t do my list justice, so here we go (with last.fm links to listen if possible):
- Am I Ever Gonna Change? by Extreme. Yes, I fully realize this is the “More Than Words” band. However, this song defined the second half of high school for me. I identified perfectly with its introspective and at times turbulent tone of a person struggling with themselves. The emotion in the song overtook singer Gary Cherone so much that he sang a different lyric at the end of the song. The song is altogether calm, haunting, and jarring at the same time — truly one of Extreme’s best works, and goes far beyond what anybody in “hair metal” (lousy term) was doing at that point. (The entire III Sides to Every Story album is just incredible.)
- All Systems Go – The Launch from James Horner’s Apollo 13 score. I love instrumentals, and I especially love it when an instrumental can tell a story, and do so in dramatic fashion. Horner nails it here, with the hopeful buildup to the triumphant climax — the launch — and the intense moments during the launch sequence (including when one of the engines failed in the second stage of the Saturn V). It’s an epic at 10 minutes, but it’s so, so worth it. The entire Apollo 13 score gives me goosebumps.
- Would? by Alice in Chains. This was the defining song of my summer before college. The treatment of Layne Staley’s voice here in the chorus is incredible as he implores the listener to “try and see it once my way”, and Jerry Cantrell’s guitar work is solid and haunting.
- Gravity of Love by Enigma. Enigma’s mixing in of Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna,” a sultry and powerful drum arrangement, and Sandra Cretu’s vocals make for a song that turns me into a conductor toward the end. I always find myself cranking the volume louder and louder as the song builds to its crescendo at the end. This song particularly inspires creativity and gets plenty of plays.
- Event Horizon (Live Acoustic) by Blue Stone. The regular electronic version of this song is moving in its own right, but to hear it pulled out to the bare minimums with just the vocalist and piano accompaniment? Powerful. I tend to enjoy the acoustic version more than the electronic version, actually.
- See What I’m Sayin’? by Boney James. This one moves me literally — I’ve been known to bounce around in the car to this upbeat, uptempo jazz arrangement. If I’m in a bad mood, I can play this once and instantly turn it around. (Yes, this song was once on The Weather Channel.)
- If Only by Ryan Farish. Yes, another Weather Channel song. There’s something about the piano in the song’s chorus that just riles me up. The song does dramatic pretty much perfectly. Sure, it may not be the most technically challenging song in the world — I can play most of it on the piano and I suck at piano — but it’s still an intense song that gets me focused.
There’s plenty more where that came from, too — but there’s something to be said for brevity, after all. :) Now, I turn the question to you — what songs move you?