Friday, April 8, 2011

Playlist of the Month: “Bipolar” Songs (er, slow and fast songs)

Quick Update: Now to save le blog from a serious case of abandonment. Since this thing’s not even a year old yet, that could be considered child abuse.

Song Stuck In My Head: Tiny Dancer - Elton John (who’s been very prevalent in the media lately. I love this song in the movie “Almost Famous” though).

Hello, strangers! Haven’t really gotten much computer time at home to blog, since my laptop charger sparked its last cold last week (let’s just say you can SEE the metal wires inside the black rubber). I hope no one has forgotten me!

Main news includes: new music vid from favorite band (YAY!), newfound obsessions with the band All-American Rejects (mentioned later), switch from original Twitter to something called “Tweetree” as Twitter’s been giving me the cold shoulder, and a case of James Cameron syndrome (definition: sudden urges to watch Cameron movies - couldn’t find our copy of “Avatar” but did get out the box set of “Titanic” and sobbed over Leo DiCaprio’s death, as per usual.

So funny how this blog post came about. While back, I was writing with a Top 40 radio station playing. Since my WIP takes place in a mental ward, one of my MC’s is diagnosed with “manic depression”, a fancy term for bipolar.

Anyhow, I was idly considering a switch of moods for her in the scene when…BAM! Katy Perry’s hit “Hot N’ Cold” started playing on the radio.

I believe they call that “fate”, haha!

So here are the songs that are bipolar themselves, starting out smooth and slow, then picking up in an extremely energetic part two. It’s mostly alternative rock, but it has some soundtrack love too, as well a guest appearance from rock royalty.

LET IT DIE by Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl’s post-Nirvana band has turned out several bipolar songs over the years, but this one reaches high and low extremes. The song starts out soft, with very melodic and almost whispery vocals reminiscing about a lost love as an acoustic guitar plays. Slowly, voice tracks, base, and drums are added in small amounts. Then an explosion of loud, furious singing and electric guitar tears open the beat and a whole new song emerges. Pretty epic stuff.

SWEET DREAMS ARE MADE OF THIS ( Eurythmics cover) by Emily Browning. Taken from the soundtrack of the film I reaaaaaaaally want to see, SUCKER PUNCH! This cover is super-psychedelic, and starts out very calm before delving into a whole range of craziness. It’s sung by the movie’s lead actress, Emily Browning, a British starlet you may recognize as Violet Baudelaire, or from the horror film “The Uninvited”. Her modest voice and accent make the song take a whole new life.

THE POISON by All-American Rejects. Another soundtrack tune, this time from “Almost Alice”, the compilation album for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. I recently realized that AAR - pop/rock band with well-known songs like “Gives You Hell” and “Move Along” - is one of my favorite bands. This song is only more reason why. The love song starts out like a catchy, sugary, acoustic song that works perfectly with singer Tyson Ritter’s dark vocals. And then the tempo changes into a heavier, shouty song that sounds more like the band’s mainstream mess. There’s something wonderfully hypnotic about it. Very much worth a listen if you like the band at all!

ONE (cover song) by Filter. I love this band! Filter, mostly known for “Take a Picture”, also have a soundtrack song. Theirs goes all the way back to the 90’s, for an X-Files film. This is pretty much a rock take on “One”, a classic bluesy-oldies song that croons “twooooo can be as bad as one”. The song has an intense change in tempo. It begins with gloomy, but strong, singing over loneliness. Then, with only a pounding of drums, the depression becomes screaming and a grunge-rock song ignites. Talk about emotional!

And last but never least…

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY by Queen. Anyone who dislikes this band is probably un-American. I kid. In any case, these rock icons had a variety of hits, a lot of which switch tempos so much that it feels like listening to two or three songs in one sitting. Bohemian Rhapsody is a very fitting - and enjoyable! - example. From saddening, piano ballad to crazy, opera-esque, to classic rock fight song. The song feels a dream that makes no sense, but was awesome in every sense of the word.

And that would be it! I avoided mentioning Sick Puppies, as half of their songs could go here (I mean, their third album TITLE is “Tri-Polar”!). You could check out “Pitiful”, “Anywhere but Here”, or their cover of Smashing Pumpkins’ “Cherub Rock” though, if you need more proof. Or you could check out their new music video, the not-so-bipolar "Riptide"! Just saying!

Other than that, I hope you are all doing well. And if you’re not, then just go to the grocery store and get some Easter candy before it gets too expensive - it‘ll cheer you right up! I had a couple of Peeps for breakfast this morning (and no, I realize nothing about that even sounds remotely healthy).

Oh, and how does Ellen Hopkins sound for a “Rec of the Week”?



  1. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is awesome!! not to mention it`s the only song you mentioned that I`ve ever heard....
    I love bipolar songs. they`re so nice, the way they swing around from loud to
    take care

  2. Yay! I'm starting to really like your taste in music too! Haha!