Music to My Ears

I’m thinking I need to write about something positive and uplifting today, just because I had a rough twenty four hours. Some aspects of this may not be positive, but my goal will be to end this on a positive note (haha, I’m so punny right?). This post today will be about music in my life, and though I doubt I’m alone in my experience, I hope mine is unique.

When most people look at me, I don’t know what they think, but when I look at myself, I see someone who doesn’t fit in. Naturally, I listen to country music most of the time. I don’t know what it is about country music, but it just makes me feel good most of the time. There are some songs that drive me nuts, but other times I just want to move to Tennessee and embrace my inner redneck. Anyway, my favorites are Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Rascall Flatts, The Band Perry, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Josh Turner, Miranda Lambert, Kellie Pickler, Little Big Town, Danielle Bradbery, Cassadee Pope, and so many more. Some of these people you may not identify as country (looking at you Taylor Swift), but all of them have their roots in country. I will admit that I am a new country lover, not as much an old country lover. Of these people, some of them, namely the females, have embraced a more pop-country genre that fits right with what I like, because I like pop and I’ll get to that later. Of course, if anybody hasn’t picked up on it yet, I’ll state it plain and clear: I, Jacob Smith, am a die-hard Carrie Underwood fan. She has everything I could ask for in an artist, and maybe she doesn’t do it for other people, but she does it for me. To explain the on the surface appeal, she is beautiful, kind, Christian, talented, writes some of her own music, 95% of her music is clean, and the pipes on the lady are top of the line. I get chills when I hear her sing, and I really couldn’t ask a whole lot more of her. To dive more in depth, Carrie was probably one of the Lord’s greatest tools in getting me through my depression. I’d like not to dwell on that, so just see my past post if you’d like to know more on that.

Anyhow, Carrie’s music is inspiring to me and pleasing to the ear. In order of my favorite albums of hers, though there isn’t a bad one, it goes “Blown Away”, “Some Hearts”, “Play On”, and finally “Carnival Ride”, or 4,1,3,2. Meanwhile my favorite songs of hers, in order, are 1. “See You Again” 2. “Good Girl” 3. “Blown Away” 4. “Starts With Goodbye” 5. “Cowboy Casanova” 6. “All-American Girl” 7. “Just A Dream” 8.”Temporary Home” 9. “Jesus Take the Wheel” 10. “Quitter”. Now there isn’t a single song, in my opinion, that is bad of hers. “See You Again” is my all time favorite song ever, by any artist in history and if you haven’t heard it, I’d recommend it. It speaks to me in that some day, spiritually or not, I will see my friends and loved ones again. My friends who go away for college I’ll see again, my loved ones who pass on to heaven I’ll see again, and it’s just so uplifting to me, while also making me sad. Not sad I guess, but nostalgic of all the good times I’ve had with people. “Good Girl” and “Cowboy Casanova” are just great songs to dance to, and I do when nobody is around. By the way, I know 90-100% of the lyrics to all these songs, so of course I sing along to all these songs. They’re upbeat, empowering, and just great to sing/dance to. “Blown Away” is powerful in lyrics and in notes. The high notes she reaches are insane, and the power behind the lyrics are dark, not in a bad way, and can identify with me when I have bad days. “Starts With Goodbye” talks about how moving on is painful and hard, but it is necessary to move on in life. In a time with no friends and the loss of my ferrets and grandfather, this helped me a ton. “All-American Girl” is just a nice, sweet song of a girl living the American dream, and makes me feel better on a bad day. “Just A Dream” is one of her most powerful songs in terms of lyrics, talking about the death of a husband going to war and not being able to believe it. Carrie’s voice in this capture the emotion so beautifully and the song itself is so beautiful I am almost brought to tears whenever I hear it. “Temporary Home” identifies with all Christians I think, and so does “Jesus Take the Wheel”. This earth is our temporary home, and it is another one of her powerful songs and gives the ol’ heart strings a big yank. “Jesus Take the Wheel” on the other hand, is just another reminder to me, when I hear it, that I can’t handle life on my own and make it out the other end happily. I need Jesus to help me, and I’m glad he’s there for me. “Quitter” to me is inspiring because it’s talking about being a quitter, and then saying that she’ll make an effort not to give up on a relationship, and that’s kind of how my life has gone. I quit a lot of stuff that I don’t like, I even thought about quitting life. But you know what? I never did because I felt I was robbing myself of things getting better, and they have. I’m still trekking through mud, but at least I’m not drowning in it all the time any more.

Sorry for the long list of songs, but here are some more that aren’t in any particular order, just songs and quick tributes to why they mean a lot to me. “Up” by Shania Twain for reminding me that things will always get better. “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” by Taylor Swift for inspiring me to be the best friend I can be, and show the importance of little things in life. “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri for beautifully capturing how I imagine love, and making me feel it. “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel for reminding me to let it go, and be who I am without regret. “Smile” by Avril Lavigne for, despite the language, for bringing a smile to my face no matter what. These are only a few, I love all my music, and I’ll explain some more now. I know I’ve left a lot up in the air, but I think I’ll let you all catch some of it, maybe go look at some of these songs and people, even the ones without songs attached to them.

I am also a huge pop fan, less for the lyrics and more for the music and beats and such. I like Lady Gaga, One Direction, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Avicii, Miley Cyrus (mostly), Avril Lavigne, and I guess that sums most of them up actually. I guess Adele could fit under here. A quick favorite from all these people are “Applause” from Lady Gaga, either “Story of my Life” or “One Thing” by One Direction, “Circus” by Britney Spears, “Part of Me” by Katy Perry, “Hey Brother” by Avicii, “Can’t Be Tamed” by Miley Cyrus, “Smile” by Avril Lavigne, and “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele. If you count Shania Twain as pop, then I can’t really choose one song of hers, because all the top ones are pretty much tied, except maybe “Up” and “I’m Gonna Getcha Good”.

For my oldies, I definitely have some oldies favorites like ABBA, Queen, the Beach Boys, Dolly Parton, and some of the Beatles. ABBA is great, I haven’t found a song of theirs I don’t like, but my favorite is “Dancing Queen”. Queen is definitely the “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the Beach Boys is “I Get Around”, Dolly Parton is “Jolene”, and the Beatles I really like “Here Comes the Sun”. I’m sorry this is so short, but I don’t want to make this too long.

My final genre that I listen to is Christian Rock, and I guess some gospel from church. I am really bad with most of the words and artists, but I still enjoy it. I’ve found I like the Newsboys, particularly “God’s Not Dead” because it’s really a testament that God is alive and real. At a conference in Denver called Dare2Share, I found I really like Desperation Band, even though a lot of the songs they sang weren’t written by them like “Majesty” is my favorite one of those. I like “Rain Down”, I can’t remember the name of the song and it’s killing me right now, but the one line I remember off the top of my head right now is, “You comfort those in need, you lift us up on wings like eagles”. Sorry, maybe you guys know the lyrics, I’m unaware of who exactly my audience is haha.

Overall, my music selection is fairly hodge podgy I think. I don’t like electronica, dubstep, metal, death metal, hard rock, screamo, punk, that sort of stuff. I don’t even know what a lot of the modern styles are. Like what the heck is “alternative rock” and hipster music and ugh, I’m content in my own little bubble of music.

That’s pretty much all I can think of for the moment. I don’t like to play music much, but I love to listen to it and sing along to it and dance to it. I hope I stayed positive through the whole thing, and my final closing statement for today will be this: music is the only material thing in this world that I will rely on and trust to make me feel genuinely happy and genuinely alive. Music is my soul.

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