Mellisonant Apogee

I could nev­er under­stand why some songs could make my eyes water.

  • Radiohead — Paranoid Android, with its con­tra­dic­to­ry chords
  • Thrice — Artist in the Ambulance, with its repent­ing, inspi­ra­tional move­ments
  • Dreamtheater — Disappear, as the harp leads to dis­tor­tion in a bit­ter­sweet explo­sion
  • Billy Talent — Nothing to Lose, with its heartwrench­ing cho­rus
  • Godspeed, You Black Emperor! — Hungover as the Queen in Maida Vale, right when a sin­gle vio­lin inter­rupts the ser­mon
  • No Motiv — Born Again, when the drums kick in heavy and lead the lis­ten­er to the present
  • Lovage — Anger Management, with its pin­ing soft rock melody
  • The Dears — Heartless Romantic, with its thump­ing, dis­tort­ed bass hits against the dron­ing organ synth and dual vocals
  • Elliot Smith — Waltz #2, with its steady, but heart-break­ing tone
  • Bad Astronaut — These Days, every time the effu­sive cho­rus rush­es in
  • Strung Out — Match Book, in its entire ener­getic hope­ful­ness
  • Postal Service — The Dream Of Evan And Chan, through all the open­ing lines
  • Misfits — Saturday Night, as soon as the drag­ging gui­tars kick in
  • Portishead — Undenied, with Beths frag­ile voice accom­pa­ny­ing a sim­ple, dis­tort­ed loop

For the longest time I had assumed that it was the songs them­selves, com­posed so well with so much pain, that would blur my vision. These songs were sad, and tears were the prop­er response.

Then I heard some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, some­thing that was calm­ing yet lift­ing. A dreamy song by Modest Mouse called Float On, that filled me with an inde­scrib­able sat­is­fac­tion every time I heard it. And I real­ized that all these songs, as sad as they are, were mak­ing me hap­py.

So hap­py that tears are the prop­er response.

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