Sunday, 2 March 2014

Inspirational Song Of The Day

The combination of having a cold and having schoolwork to do for Monday when it is currently Sunday is apparently not a good one. I have seriously broken my New Year's Resolution today (and I was doing so well!), but I also found a really cool song by Within Temptation (my favourite band). It's called Sounds Of Freedom and it was written for a game called The Chronicles Of Spellborn, which personally I have never heard of - but my God is the song inspiring!

Unfortunately it has not yet inspired me to stop contemplating sleep yet, but there is still time. :P

Monday, 24 February 2014

A Happy Dragon

I reread Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus recently, and it's just as beautiful second time around as the first time around. This led me to Ms Morgenstern's website, which is also really cool. Ms Morgenstern posts ten-sentence stories on her blog periodically (weekly? I can't remember), and I found one I particularly liked. I thought you'd like to know. :)

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Essential Songs For Existence 12: The Man Who Can't Be Moved

I first discovered Irish band The Script (comprising of lead vocalist/pianist/guitarist Danny O'Donoghue, guitarist Mark Sheehan and drummer Glen Power) when they supported a Take That concert I went to when I was about thirteen with my parents, my aunt, and a couple of my mum's friends (I know, I was such a cool kid). They clearly made a good impression on my mum, because she later bought their second album Science & Faith. I'm sure it won't take much to work out from there what occurred to that album.

The song that I am recommending is not from Science & Faith, however, it is from The Script's self-titled debut album. The Man Who Can't Be Moved is an amazingly beautiful song, so full of feeling that it sometimes makes me want to cry slightly. It reached Number 2 in the UK charts - I'd say deservedly so, but really it probably should have reached number 1 - and you can find proof of it being one of my favourite songs by checking its play count on my iPod (167, the fourth most played song out of a little over a thousand on my iPod).

I'll then continue by saying that the top three most played songs on my iPod are also by The Script, the title song of Science & Faith being top. From that same album I also recommend (apart from, you know, all of them) Dead Man Walking, If You Ever Come Back, and Nothing. From The Script (their debut album), I recommend The End Where I Begin, If You See Kay and We Cry.

Science & Faith and its lead single For The First Time was unfortunately not as successful as The Script was with The Man Who Can't Be Moved and We Cry, but the band found more commercial success with their third album #3 and the single Hall Of Fame, which featured #3 is certainly not my favourite of The Script's albums, but I am particularly fond of the songs Millionaires, Six Degrees Of Separation and If You Could See Me Now (I dare you not to have your heart broken by this song, written about the deaths of Danny O'Donoghue's father and Mark Sheehan's parents).

(I'll make this one the last paragraph, I promise) What I love about The Script, as you may have noticed, is the emotion they put into their songs, and my God do they write some good songs with fantastic lyrics, too. I went to see them live last year, and they were absolutely phenomenal. Also, The Voice UK is just not the same without Danny O'Donoghue. I just thought I'd put that out there.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Essential Songs For Existence 11: Misery Business

Released from their second album Riot!, Paramore's Misery Business was certainly a favourite among my friends when we all raved about this band. I don't really rate their latest album - the self-titled fourth - and I know my friends agree with me, but that doesn't mean we can't reminisce about Paramore's golden age.

The third album Brand New Eyes was always the favourite for me, stand-out tracks being Careful, Brick By Boring Brick, and Ignorance. Second favourite was the previously mentioned second album Riot!, of which I very much liked Born For This, Let The Flames Begin and When It Rains. I don't recall having any particular favourites from the first album All We Know Is Falling, but I know that it was the favourite of some of my friends. There were also a couple of songs which weren't on any of these albums; the single Monster being one that I was especially fond of, and Stop This Song (Lovesick Melody) which I believe was technically unreleased, but it somehow ended up on the Internet anyway.

So, in conclusion: this is a pretty cool song, good for a sing-along, and if you don't know who Paramore are, then now you do, which is a good thing if we're going by the first three albums.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Essential Songs For Existence 10: Bring Me To Life

Somebody at school once started singing this song one lunchtime a couple of years ago, and everyone joined in. It went swimmingly, until someone sang the wrong words about three lines in, and it all fell apart.

Evanescence's Bring Me To Life is taken from their debut album Fallen (2004), which sold over 18 million copies. One of those copies belonged to my mum, which is how I came to hear of Evanescence, whose music has since influenced me to listen to genres I never thought I'd listen to, much less like (genres I hadn't, in fact, ever heard of before - who knew there are so many different types of metal?) Bring Me To Life is probably their most famous song, having reached the top ten in the charts in a number of countries, and it deserves the recognition it gets - in my opinion, it is one of Evanescence's best songs.

The line up of the band has changed over the years and, having finally released their third album in 2011 (self-titled Evanescence, because, according to lead singer Amy Lee, it is the album they felt they identify most with, or something along those lines), are currently on hiatus again, but that does not change their backlog of good songs. Every song on Fallen is worth a listen, but if you pushed me to pick out favourites apart from Bring Me To Life, I'd go for Taking Over Me, Everybody's Fool, and My Last Breath. Personally, I don't think their second album The Open Door (2007) quite lives up to their first, but nevertheless, from this album I recommend Call Me When You're Sober, Sweet Sacrifice, and All That I'm Living For. The third album Evanescence is certainly heavier than its predecessors, and on first listen I didn't think I'd like it, but after I got used to the new sound I found that this wasn't the case. My favourite songs from Evanescence are The Change, Lost In Paradise, Oceans, and Never Go Back, which was written about the tsunami and earthquake in Japan.

Bring Me To Life is certainly always going to be somewhere on my list of favourite songs, because it's just so awesome. It has the drama of a powerful metal band behind it, it has the beauty of Amy Lee's voice and piano playing, and it has a catchy tune and sing-a-long-able lyrics. Apart from any difficulty in mastering said beautiful piano introduction when you're used to playing keyboard chords not piano bass clef melodies, what's not to love? :)

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Essential Songs For Existence 9: I Believe In A Thing Called Love

I'm starting to run out of things to say about each song. The songs I pick for this playlist I pick because they just have a certain timeless something; they're famous, popular and often anthemic, and I Believe In A Thing Called Love is no different. Again, like all the other songs, it's just one that, when you sing it, you expect everyone else to sing it too. We can't reach those high notes very well, but who really cares? Not me. :)

Despite never actually reaching the dizzy heights of number one in the charts (instead peaking at two), I Believe In A Thing Called Love is undoubtedly The Darkness' most famous song; released from their 2003 album Permission To Land (which sold over a million copies in the UK), it is the most well known song of the four singles taken from the album, which was followed up in 2005 with a second album, One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back. Shortly after, the band split up, but staged reunion shows in 2011, and then continued to release a third album (Hot Cakes) in 2012. According to Wikipedia, they're still together. How nice.

Going back to the song I have chosen for this week's Essential Songs For Existence, I Believe In A Thing Called Love is actually the only song by The Darkness which I have heard, but nevertheless it's a good one. I imagine it would be amazing performed live, as even sitting at home, I can't help but clap along to the chorus as if at a concert. I do not understand how it can't make absolutely everyone want to dance.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Songs On Repeat

Occasionally, there is a song that I like so much I play it on repeat. This evening, there has been not one song that I have played on repeat, but two, and both by INCREDIBLY talented singers. :) Much love for these songs already.