bops that make me smile
There's something truly beautiful about the pure unfiltered joy from a song that you love. We all have songs and indeed, artists that we like but there are those special moments when a song comes on that you just can't help but smile. It's an unwritten law that you have to sing the lyrics under your breath, right? Sometimes, you just can't control yourself. So, I thought I'd list a few songs that never fail to brighten my day. These may not all be my favourite songs but there are just so many of them. Also, I'm fully aware that we all have different music tastes, mine are kinda everywhere so this will be quite varied. If you haven't listened to any of these before, I suggest you try them at least once.
Incomplete, Thousand Foot Krutch
Incomplete, Thousand Foot Krutch
I stumbled across Thousand Foot Krutch about a year ago. The first song I ever heard was give up the ghost, I think it may have been on a fanvid (this is how I discover a lot of good music) but I decided to try some of their other music. This song just jumped out at me and after listening to it a few times, I was absolutely hooked. It captures a sense of hope in the incompleteness of us all. It's also about all the things we experience in life:
'No one knows the walls
that we've climbed,
the knots we've untied,
the shots that we've fired.
I have a lot of "friends"
who want what we've made
but don't know the pain,
the beasts that we've slain.'
We all have our own battles but we're all incomplete. Somehow, this song manages to be uplifting. I have to listen to it like three times in a row, there's no way I can just listen to this one time if it comes on on shuffle. Side note: the album cover is just gorgeous.
Failure, Breaking Benjamin
I just assume that most people know about Breaking Benjamin from songs like Dance with the Devil and Diary of Jane. If you've never heard of Breaking Benjamin or either of the aforementioned songs, I demand that you take a break from this, listen to the songs first in the order of Diary of Jane, Dance with the Devil and Failure. I'm pretty sure that's how they go chronologically, the first two are from the same album Phobia which came out in 2006/2007 (ten years ago). I discovered Dance with the Devil first but not for a few years after they were released, then I delved deeper to discover some of their other stuff, I was obsessed. It's rock music, it's stunning and not too heavy (I'm not sure how to describe it really). The latest album Dark Before Dawn came out in 2015 and after a six-year gap between albums, it's safe to say I was a little bit excited. The first song I listened to was Angels Fall first which is also a bop but it was failure that captured my heart. Like the previous song, it's uncharacteristically uplifting for a song that is about failure.
'Tired of feeling lost, tired of letting go
tear the whole world down, tear the whole world down.
Tired of wasting breath, tired of nothing left.
Tear the whole world down, tear the whole world down.
The whole album is unsettlingly familiar. When I first sat down and listened to these songs, I thought I already knew them ... creepy, right? The album is so familiar yet completely new. The song is classically Breaking Benjamin. The whole album is a journey that's beautiful both instrumentally and lyrically. This song has been a favourite of mine since it came out two-years ago. It makes me feel happy when I'm sad and is also a great song to listen to when you feel doubt in yourself, I don't know why it just is. Sometimes, when I'm listening to it I just imagine somebody tearing down furniture in a fit of rage and that's really comforting to me.
The Resistance, Skillet.
I want to apologise in advance because there's no way that this is going to be a short one. I discovered skillet when I was in sixth form, I'm not entirely sure when but I heard the song Not Gonna Die (Rise, 2013) and I remember having to watch the lyric video because they hadn't actually released the real video. Now, thinking about it, I may have already known them but I'm sure that's the song that started it all, it seems to be one of the most popular ones. I downloaded the whole album, well, all of their albums and started listening. It surprised me how much I liked them because they are classified as 'Christian rock' but the religious messages in their songs were beautiful, it only made me like them more. The lyrics were beautiful, there are a couple of songs like Fire and Fury and Salvation which I listened to non-stop. I discovered a love for not only their latest album but the older songs too. So, Unleashed dropped in 2016 and I was aching to listen to it. Feel Invincible dropped first and it was a hit for me immediately, I listened to it non-stop. I'm one of those people that get bogged down in the three songs that I like and neglect the rest of the album even though I pre-ordered the album from Apple. So, with the whole album on my phone and lots of work to do, I decided to sit down and listen to the entire album while writing an essay. Firstly, the whole album is beautiful, I obviously like more songs than others and I find that this is often because, when I'm writing or planning something, I picture things according to the music, it's a habit. So rock songs often provide a good backdrop for action/dramatic scenes that I'm mapping out in my mind. I didn't listen to The Resistance properly till fairly recently, within the last year or half a year. I have no idea how I overlooked such a beautiful and powerful song. It's now one of my favourites from the album.
'You can take my hear, you can take my breath
when you pry it from my cold, dead chest'
This has honestly got to be my favourite part of the song. I discovered early on that I prefer the songs with female vocals in them, not over the male vocals but because of how well the vocals worked together and the drummer is such a good singer, and also a drummer, she's perfection. Within this song, you have both the male and female vocals and the entire thing is a thing of beauty. Side note: I had the chance to see them at the end of last year but sadly, because I was waiting on my exam timetable, I missed out on them while my sister and best friend saw them. I'm not bitter but I'm extremely bitter and they don't come to the UK often.
Dear Daughter, Halestorm
Halestorm are amazing. I don't think there's anything better than finding a new band with a female lead vocalist. I have been an avid fan for about the same as I have been for skillet. They're amazing and I love a lot of their music, particularly the older stuff. One song on this album is definitely worth a listen to. Dear Daughter is a slow paced but very powerful song. Honestly, this album wasn't my favourite but this one song made the entire album worth a listen. Dear Daughter is the kind of song you want all of your female relatives to listen to because it's stunning and so meaningful. In my second year of uni during an anxiety attack, I listened to this song in a dark room and I cried so much. It's honestly so beautiful and I beg you, please listen to it. I would recommend anything by Halestorm especially: Innocence, Beautiful with You, Rock Show, Here's to Us, You Call Me a Bitch and any of their covers. I could start listing their entire albums here but I'll restrain myself.
This song holds a very special place in my heart. In my first year of sixth form, I was asked to step in for my friend to sing a song for another friend's performance piece which was getting sent of to the examiners. So, the day before the performance I had to learn an entire song which I'd never heard before so I could do the vocals for her - she was the bassist. I was asked because there were only a couple of vocalists and I was the one with the highest range, so this song was better fitted to my voice. Honestly, I have no idea how I ever performed because my anxiety is sky high but the next day I performed this song a couple of times with my friends in front of my class and a couple of other classes in the department - we'd stolen the classroom. It was exhilarating and probably one of the best experiences of my life, it was my first time performing properly on my own and we had the whole band set up being recorded, it was something else.
I'd Rather Drown, Set It Off
I'm rather late to the Set It Off hype but I love them so much. There are so many songs of theirs that I love and listen to regularly but this one is the first one that I had to listen to on repeat. I love it so much and when planning out an action scene, this song came in particularly useful. I love it.
You Can't Kill Us, Icon For Hire
Firstly, if you've never listened to Icon For Hire I suggest you do some immediately. This song is especially powerful and they probably have the most accurate description of depression within their music. There's something about the overcoming of such despair within this song which is extremely powerful and inspiring, it's both personal and general enough for listeners to feel akin to the lyrics. I find this song extremely beautiful.
'We've been lost, been to the bottom.
Beaten up, torn and forgotten.
Still we fight, we will survive.
Can't kill the fire we feel inside.
We've been burned, drained and depleted.
Left alone, we're not defeated.
Still we fight, we will survive.
Can't kill the fire we feel inside.'
Their songs cover a range of issues that are extremely relevant and make them worth a listen to.
For all intents and purposes, these songs do not exist except they do. Yes, there's a juxtaposition in there but bear with me. These songs are accessible to listen to on youtube in the form of lyric or fan-videos but you cannot buy them anywhere, apple and Spotify do not know that they exist. This is such a shame because they are so beautiful. Freeze You Out is often featured in a Huntsman video and the lyrics are just so beautiful, perfect for not only the film but also, so poetic. Also, I Forgive You is short, sweet and extremely powerful. I would listen to these songs all the time if it didn't rinse my data.
You knew there had to be some Disney on here, right? The Hunchback of Notre Dame was probably one of my all time favourite movies growing up, there's something fantastic about the entire thing. So, in my opinion, this is the best song in the film. Hellfire. Yes, I like the others but this one struck a chord with me, maybe because it's the villain's song and Judge Clause Frollo is particularly evil. I think it's because he's a realistic evil and not some kind of witch or monster. He's a man persecuting people because they're different and the song, well, it's very disturbing. He's quite literally singing about a woman who he is obsessed with and condemning her to the fires of hell unless she choices to be with him, and yes, he thinks he is the sane one. Also, it wasn't until fairly recently that I caught the word 'licentious' in the lyrics which quite literally means 'promiscuous or unprincipled in sexual matters'. YIKES. I love the original version of the song but I discovered a cover annapantsu which is absolutely stunning. It's so refreshing to hear the song with powerful female vocals. Also, the other month I saw the thumbnail for Jonathan Young's rendition and it blew me away. It's a rock, metal cover that fits the song like a glove. Check them both right now.
All the aforementioned songs are absolute bops. I was going to do ten songs but I'm wracking my brain, forgetting everything I like and I'm super tired, so I'm going to listen to these songs and call it a night. I'm sorry this is such a long post but thank you for taking the time to visit my blog.