What can I say, I am a sucker for pop rock; over the years I have tried to keep this to myself because I have been made fun of for this "fetish" by everyone who I let in on my dirty little secret. In my personal and professional life, I have a love of the complex, offbeat and unusual, but when it comes to musical taste, my ear leans towards those songs with the most mass appeal and mainstream sound; I love boy bands, teenybopper singers and ballads. So you can imagine how happy I was when Columbia records sent Glenn and me some music CD's
to review, with the majority being pop music. I picked out a couple of CD's to listen to while I surfed the internet and was fairly pleased with the choices I heard. I will tell you about two of the CD's although I doubt either of the musicians would appreciate being called a "boy band" or teenybopper and neither one is--certainly not Five for Fighting
, who appeals to an adult audience.
First up was Five for Fighting
's CD, Two Lights,
which I found to be an incredible combination of good lyrics, wonderful melodies and great vocals. Usually on any given CD, there will be a number of songs I will skip over, be bored by or plain not like, but with this album, each tune was remarkable and I noticed a war or soldier's theme in a few of the songs. For instance, the first song of the album, "Freedom Never Cries" has some interesting lyrics: "I never loved the soldier until there was a war or thought about tomorrow 'til my baby hit the floor, I Only talk to God when somebody's about to die, I Never cherished Freedom, Freedom never cries." I wasn't surprised to read in an interview
with John Ondrasik that "'Two Lights' was inspired by a conversation with a Vietnam vet and his son, who was going back to Iraq for his second tour. It illuminated to me the sacrifice families make for our way of life." Ondraskik also stated that he spoke to many people when researching "Freedom Never Cries" including Tom Ridge, the Ex-Head of Homeland Security. Interestingly, Five for Fighting's
served somewhat as a theme song for America following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Next up, I listened to John Mayer's Continuum
which starts out with the popular song, "Waiting on the World to Change." I loved the tune which is catchey, straightforward and simple; I hear it often on the radio and like it fairly well. Not sure if I like the lyrics much
but heck, most songs, like most art, I just invent my own interpretation of what I think it means to me--regardless of what the artist wants me to come away with. There are other good songs in Continuum
including "Stop this Train" that deals with growing into adulthood. "So scared of growing getting older, I'm only good at being young, So I play a numbers game, To find a way to say that life has just begun." I think all of us can identify at some level with the speeding train of life but Mayer's lyrics and amazing vocals can help the journey. Other songs like "Bold as Love" and "Belief" are just fun because they include some really great guitar playing. I was surprised to see that like me, Mayer has had a problem with cardiac arrythimias and subsequent panic attacks. I guess that's where he gets the introspection.
Well, that is some of the music I am listening to these days and enjoying. I hope my readers are not too put off by the fact that I like pop music and will still respect me in the morning.