I’m back for another installment of songs I’m obsessed with.
6) “So Cold” Breaking Benjamin
I will try to compose myself. But this song. This band. Breaking Benjamin is easily my favorite band of, I guess, my generation. Well, they’re my favorite band past the 70s. I love them. LOVE them. And that clichéd line I said before about how one band saves you? Yeah, for me, it’s Breaking Benjamin. Ben Burnley is life. You better believe I was/am/will forever be in love with this man. I don’t even care.
It’s hard to pick just one song from them to obsess over, and just so you know, this won’t be the last time I talk about them on this blog. But I chose “So Cold” because it was the first song I ever heard by them. I used to watch the Rock Countdown on MTV2. Is that channel still around? I saw the video and heard the song and I was never the same. Ha! No, but it was sort of an instant connection, I guess I could say. This must’ve been before YouTube was around, because I remember specifically watching this show so I could see the video. I’m showing my age here. I’m older than YouTube! The video is creepy, but it’s Breaking Benjamin, so whatever. At the the end of this song, when Ben tells you “it’s all right” over and over again, you believe it. You have to.
“So Cold” started a Breaking Benjamin obsession. I bought this album, listened to it exclusively, bought the next album, and repeated the process, until I had their entire catalog. They were all I listened to for a long stretch. At home, in the car, it didn’t matter. Then they had some legal trouble and weren’t around for years. Ben fired everyone because he’s a badass, and he got a new group together. And the new album is surreal. It’s in my stereo right now actually.
This is also one of those songs where every version or variation is awesome sauce. This is the best live version. This is the best acoustic version, and it may just be my very favorite acoustic version of any song ever–with the exception of “Everlong”, because, duh, it’s “Everlong.” And don’t forget the instrumental.
And, oh, what’s that? Ben does covers too? He covered Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”. Know why? He’s Ben Burnley. That’s why.
I could write about Breaking Benjamin until my fingers fall off. I just have to say they saved me. Believe me when I say this. They. saved. me.
7) “Hallelujah” Pentatonix
Oh, my. So, here goes. I was a faithful viewer of “The Sing-Off” because my man, Ben Folds, was a judge, and I would listen to him talk about literally anything. This group won the competition for obvious reasons. They blow me away with any song they do. So much talent. Amazing.
I think I listened to “Hallelujah” on repeat for the entire month of December 2016. Few songs make me cry, and as I sit here, no other one comes to mind, but at the end, around 4:08, when they start those “mmm”s, something happens to me. A major case of the feels. I don’t cry every time, but it has happened more than once. Mitch, the little guy with the big hat, has the most beautiful voice. But Avi. Ah, he’s my favorite. He’s the one with the deep, deep voice. My favorite part is around 0:38, when that bass first comes in. Man, the feels. I don’t know if they’ll be able to top this one.
8) “Vermilion Pt. 2” Slipknot
Really? Slipknot again? The scary band? Yeah. True. Of course I relate to this song since it’s about obsession. Ha! I first heard this less than a year ago, and I remember thinking, why oh why haven’t I heard this song before? I usually alternate between this and “Snuff” back to back, over and over. Sorry, I have to pass on “Vermilion Pt. 1”, but Part 2 is too good. It’s just…you know, I can’t even talk about it.
You can check out the music video if you want to, but I prefer a lyric video for this one. The repetition of “I won’t let this build up inside of me” is extremely powerful and poignant to me for reasons I don’t want to get into here. But trust me, this song is therapeutic.
9) “Famous Last Words” My Chemical Romance
Emo! This band was big when I was in high school. But only for the kids who wore all black and who you were afraid to talk to. I’d say I was a casual listener of MCR in high school. I loved, I mean Loved, “I’m Not Okay”, but I didn’t have any of their albums. Strangely enough, I saw them in concert, but only because they were part of the line up for Projekt Revolution, so it was sort of an accident.
In the last year or so, I became obsessed with their album The Black Parade. OMG. It pisses me off that I didn’t see them live when I actually loved them. Now they’re broken up. Bummer. But this album is one of my favorites of all time. Another one of those in the car, in the house, whenever/wherever. I like to listen to the album in its entirety because it’s cohesive, like a concept album bands used to make. I play it cranked up, and I sing through the entire thing. I’d definitely say Gerard Way doesn’t have your typical lovely voice. He wouldn’t win any kind of singing competition. So I don’t know if you just get used to it or what, but I love it now. And if you’re into guy liner and lots of black attire, he’s your man. Crush? You bet. Gerard decided to go blond. Whatever. It was red for awhile. Black is best.
Anyway, “Famous Last Words” is the best song on the album and my favorite song of theirs. I can’t listen to it enough times. I think most people would say “The Black Parade” is the best song off the album, but they’re wrong. Fun fact: “Famous Last Words” is my current ringtone. The lyrics are everything, and I relate to them too well to mention. Is the instrumental good too? Of course it is. It’s one of my favorites of all time. Shocking, I know. I actually have the entire album in instrumentals. You can find them all of YouTube, if you’re so inclined. It’s good background writing music.
10) “Comfortably Numb” Pink Floyd
The song equivalent of EPIC. “Comfortably Numb” is a synonym for “Play it again!” I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, David Gilmour is a god. Is this the greatest guitar solo of all time? Yeah. No doubt.
I’ve been listening to this for years, but the older I get, the more meaningful it is. Maybe that makes sense to you. I don’t know. If I ever need to feel the feels, whatever that means, I put this song on. And again. And again. Another fun fact: the section with “There is no pain…” was my cell phone alarm to get up for school for probably a year. As a teacher, not a student. haha
There used to be this super, awesome, amazing live video from when Roger Waters was on tour recently. David Gilmour came out to do his part and the crowd erupted. These guys had a bit of a falling out, so seeing them together was pretty cool. But it’s not on YouTube anymore. Sad face.
While all these songs are obviously songs I listen to a lot and I love, not all of them are what I’d consider my favorite all-time songs. But this one is in the top ten. Dare I say top five? What can I even say about it? It’s brilliant and awesome and sounds like what heaven must sound like, and every time I hear it, I love life just a little bit more. In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m overdramatic. But hey, I didn’t force you to read this.
OK, then. I’ll have another five songs for you soon. In case you missed the first installment, shame on you, but here’s Part One.
Now, go forth, and listen. You are so welcome.