I LOVE Music.
Primarily because I love words and how they express our thoughts and feelings. Without words we’d all just go around poking each other with sticks and loudly yelling gibberish to get each other’s attention.
Even though some people still do that, thank God for words.
Through music we’re blessed with the gift of song.
A song is the beautiful poetry of words melodically recited by people who may or may not be able to translate the emotion it’s trying to evoke.
A few months ago I was talking to my man Renzo and we got onto the subject of American Idol contestant Candice Glover.
This young sistah is everything. And when I say everything…I mean Every–fuckin’-THING! Eventually, she would go on to win the 2013 season, but during the show’s run I personally thought they should stop wasting the other girls’ time, give Candice the contract and whatever little ass Ford car they give away, then shut down production so they could show reruns of The Mindy Project every Wednesday and Thursday night.
As he and I were doting on Candice he mentioned that he would love to hear her sing Lions, Tigers and Bears by Philly hometown hero Jazmine Sullivan. Though he said Jazmine has a good voice, she doesn’t bring enough passion to the song.
I had completely forgotten about this conversation (which is fucked up because it wasn’t that long ago. Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol) until this morning when Jazmine and the song about her anti-zoophobia popped up in my iPod.
Not surprisingly, I heard what he meant.
And I realized that, even though she sings the hell out of the song, she doesn’t sing it with the conviction that someone who may have been through that kind of pain would.
Some songs trigger certain emotions in us and take us back to a time when we were experiencing great joy or terrible pain.
When I hear the song Yesterday by Mary Mary I’m taken back to right after I was fired from a job in 2006 and unemployed for a few months. It was a suck ass time, but whenever I heard that song, and listened to the way Erica and Tina sang it, it made me feel better because I knew that regardless of how bad things were at that moment the time for crying was yesterday, and the time for rebuilding was right now.
But I could have never felt anything from that song had they not brought the right amount of feeling to it.
Whenever I hear any song from Maxwell’s Now CD I’m transported to a particular Valentine’s Day where a little bit of champagne and a whole lot of Mary Jane turned me into somebody’s personal porn star for the entire afternoon.
Had Maxwell not brought the sexy in his singing then I probably would have only lasted one or two songs then kicked dude out to be alone with the weed.
And my final example is the song Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart by Alicia Keys.
Now, I know that The Element of Freedom sucked. Alicia has gotten a bit lazy with her music, I know this. BUT, you can’t deny that song knocks when you hear it.
Listen to the lyrics though. It’s a very sad song, which I didn’t recognize until I met this one dude who came through and fucked my whole world up, and not in a good way.
I. Could. Not. Sleep. At. Night.
I had never experienced that before, so the words to her song didn’t mean anything to me until they had to.
This is what Renzo was trying to explain to me. You can’t truly understand the lyrics to a song until you have had an experience that’s close to what’s being conveyed, and that works on both ends for the singer and the listener.
Jazmine may have never been scared of loving someone so, even though she does a good job, she won’t have the personal reference to put it into her performance.
If she doesn’t get married within the next few years and loves a lot more there will be a time when she performs that song like a Lion, Tiger or Bear much like how Mary sings No More Drama live.
I’m going to stop here.
Because talking about Mary is another post all together.