Over the last several months there has been something happening in the background of this blog. On what I thought was something of a whim I shared a piece of music that I really enjoyed. I commented in the post that I had always enjoyed music, but expressing my musical preferences always seemed like dangerous ground socially. I just figured there was no need to offer up information about oneself that would be judged. There was something liberating about that post and I have since begun sharing more music and in most cases explaining the significance of the music to my life. This process has created something of an awakening inside me relative to the power of music as a media of emotion. As I have explored this I have uncovered some powerful music that has moved me. Much of what I have discovered is pretty popular stuff, and by admitting that I have never heard it I am basically revealing that I do in fact live under a rock. The thing is I discovered a couple of these songs in a way that separated me from their original sound, and it is that which I hope to share here.
My wife and watch very little television, the TV in our house mostly exists for weekend movie rentals, information, football watching, and to get the occasional Law & Order fix. A couple weeks back my wife and I decided to snap the TV on after the boy went to bed. It last been on to watch Sunday Night Football and when it came on it was tuned to NBC. The Voice was on and the following rendition of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” was just getting underway. I had never heard the song, but found this shortened version to be wonderfully performed and powerful emotionally. The next day I went looking for the original version and found this sort of funky electro folk tune that I liked, but lacked the emotional punch of what I heard the night before. I listened to several versions some live some recorded. Some were better than others, but if you know and like the song you should really here this version as it really is fantastic.
After discovering this performance I will admit that when the show is on we have tuned in. We haven’t followed it closely and I usually have my computer in my lap and just look up to take in the performances. I was generally unimpressed with what I had heard after the “lights” performance until I heard this. In this clip two singers each sing a minute or so of a song of their choice, but I have edited out the first girl. The second performer had chosen The Fray’s “You Found Me”. I have alluded to my spiritual confusion in this blog before with my desire to write a post on the topic, and my confusion has been highlighted in the musical postings of “Hallelujah” and “Beer With Jesus”. This woman’s rendition of the song gave me chills and made my eyes water. Maybe it just caught me at the right moment, but I felt this was an amazing and powerful performance.
On a final note, and at the risk of making folks scratch their heads and wonder where I have truly been, I will also tell you that I had not heard Adele sing until about two weeks ago. I had heard of her, but they don’t play her on the music stations I frequent and I had simply not heard her sing. In looking up some of the music in this post her stuff came up in the related video side bars. There was a live version of her “Set Fire To The Rain” performed at the Royal Albert Hall so a gave it a listen. This was the first thing I ever heard her sing and I was shocked. I don’t really relate too heavily to the song lyrics, but the emotional power of her voice is hard to deny. If you let yourself you can feel her sing as much as you hear her. I was also taken by the effortlessness of her sound. It appears as if she just opens her mouth and this beautiful music happens. This is in stark contrast to someone like Ellie Goulding performing “Lights” live which can be almost painful to watch. If you haven’t heard this here it is. It is really not to be missed. Happy listening.