I had an interesting conversation earlier today with a coworker. When I asked her what type of music she liked, she said she just really didn’t listen to much music at all. After I picked my jaw up off the ground, I realized that not everyone is as caught up in and with music as I am, that it could honestly become an afterthought to others. While I love having music in the background as much as the next person (and I’m listening to Katy Perry’s new album in the background as I write this), I also use it as a focal point for just about everything I do. It helps me focus and concentrate, and it brings me such joy, from a simple pop song to a complex anthem for a generation. It’s been a while since I put this thing on shuffle and let you in on some of the music on my iPod, so here goes…
1. Good Girls Go Bad (Crash Crash Remix) – Cobra Starship
While I prefer the original to this remix, the best thing about the song is its repetition which is everywhere in both versions. Plus it has a guest appearance by my girl, Leighton Meester (Blair from Gossip Girl), so that makes it cool also. “I make them good girls go bad.”
2. Spring – Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman is the soundtrack to my adolescence. Well, her and Nirvana, sort of like a yin and yang. This song reminds me of fall, even though it’s named Spring.
3. Brenda’s Got a Baby – 2Pac
My mother’s name is Brenda, so I imagine 2Pac is rapping about me in this song. I’m not sure my mother would be thrilled to know I think this so please don’t tell her.
4. Never Named – Soundgarden
Out of all the Soundgarden songs I have on my iPod (every one they ever released), this one is probably the one I’ve listened to least. Not because I don’t like it, but because there are just so many good Soundgarden songs out there. “I’ll put my hand in flames.”
5. Rolling in the Deep – Haley Reinhart
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a huge American Idol fan, and I have been since season 6. Ms. Reinhart was featured in season 10, and I voted for her many times. This was one of my favorite songs she performed on the show. And no, she doesn’t sound like Adele.
6. Another You – Brian McKnight
Brian McKnight is the master of the “broken down love song,” where the two of them are no longer together but they still pine for each other. He’s done it so many times but it never gets old, at least not to me. His voice is so vulnerable in this song.
7. Better Ways (Live from Aspen) – Ben Harper
You know how much I love live music, and Ben Harper is one of the best at transforming songs to fit a live setting. This one is no different, and it showcases his great songwriting talent. Highly recommended.
It’s almost like my shuffle function knew I was just talking about how much I enjoy live music, and wanted to give me another one of my favorite live songs right away. It doesn’t hurt that it was supposedly co-written by Bono either. “I will walk unafraid. I’ll be clumsy instead. Oh my, love me or leave me high.”
9. Wanted (Live) – The Cranberries
Okay, so I have a ton of live music on my iPod. That’s not a bad thing at all. And the Cranberries are a guilty pleasure that I have to sing along to most times I hear them, especially stuff from their first record.
10. Dizzy – 98 Degrees
This is a leftover from my boy band days, when I thought anything from a boy band was incredible, even if I hadn’t heard it yet. But this one really is good, about a relationship that makes him dizzy. “I get next to you and I get dizzy, dizzy.”
11. We’re All Mad – Natasha Bedingfield
I tend to like those British chippies who sing pop music, like Dido and this ingenue whose claim to fame came from her first single, Unwritten. The whole album is amazing, including this song. “Different people all the same. Each reveals a meaning.”
12. Slow Down (Live) – Howie Day
It’s amazing to me that this was from a concert recorded in 2002 because it sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday. Howie Day is a modern day poet who is definitely underappreciated. If you like The Killers or Matt Nathanson, you have got to get your hands on some Howie Day music!
13. Taking My Ball – Eminem
This is one of my favorite Eminem songs (he’s another guilty pleasure), and I’m glad this played instead of one of the songs from his most recent album. I identified more with him in those Relapse days. “Nobody wants to play with me, so I’m taking my ball and going home.” This song is not for the faint of heart, though. You have been warned.
14. I Want Somebody (Bitch About) – Kristin Chenoweth
Country gets a revamp in this song about wanting somebody real, not a perfect being that doesn’t really exist. I love the idea of the song, because it accepts that we all have issues, but there are people out there who will love us in spite of them, not because we hide them.
15. Her Name is Alice – Shinedown
This is from one of the most epic “soundtracks” to come out in the past 10 years, the companion piece to the new Alice in Wonderland with rock bands performing the songs. It’s a great tribute to the original story as well as to the movie. “And even though she’s dreaming, she knows…”