It’s that time again, folks! What time, you ask? Time for a new Beausic Original Playlist! As I briefly mentioned in one of my recent YouTube videos, I have decided that the Beausic Original Playlists will be a monthly feature here on the blog. The reason for this is that I don’t want it to be overkill, and I don’t particularly want downloads to be too prominent a feature here on the blog with all the drama surrounding music downloads here lately. Still, I definitely didn’t want to cut it out completely, so making it only a monthly feature seemed like a good plan.
For the February Beausic Original Playlist, I figured there was no better theme than Love Songs. February is the month of Valentine’s Day, which is next week, and is a time to reflect upon the love you have in your life or the love you hope to find. I didn’t want to do just a collection of happy love songs about the joy and beauty of being in love but really focus on those of us, myself included, who don’t have someone to share this Valentine’s Day with. You’ll likely notice that there is a bit of a progression from the beginning of the playlist to the end. It’s funny because when I first put this playlist together the tracklist was actually going in kind of the opposite direction. Something didn’t feel right about it, though, and after reversing the playlist I realized exactly what it was; it wasn’t a proper narrative. When I reversed the tracks I suddenly realized that this playlist actually has a pretty clear story that it is telling. Keep that in mind as you listen. There are also a few songs included in this playlist that have extreme personal meaning to me and very strong relevance to some experiences in my past, which I will elaborate on a bit more in the track-by-track notes. First, though, here it is: “M.F.E.O.: A Beausic Original Playlist.”
“M.F.E.O.: A Beausic Original Playlist”
- Simon Curtis – “8-Bit Heart”
- Travis Garland – “Believe”
- Taylor Swift – “Enchanted”
- Katharine McPhee & Zachary Levi – “Terrified”
- Angel Taylor – “Chai Tea Latte”
- Leona Lewis – “Iris”
- Mandy Moore – “It’s Gonna Be Love”
- Jessica Simpson – “Be”
- Scissor Sisters – “Might Tell You Tonight”
- Foo Fighters – “Everlong”
- Copeland – “There Cannot Be A Close Second”
- Ashlee Simpson – “Pieces Of Me”
- Jack’s Mannequin – “M.F.E.O. Part 1 – Made For Each Other”
- Lit – “Miserable”
- Darren Hayes – “God Walking Into The Room”
- Katy Perry – “Hummingbird Heartbeat”
- Alanis Morissette – “Surrendering”
- Idina Menzel – “Where Do I Begin”
- Paramore – “The Only Exception”
I definitely feel like this playlist is a bit more “serious” than the “Happy New Year!” playlist from last month. This playlist also leans a lot more towards alternative and rock music than the last one did. Still, it definitely has it’s fun, light-hearted moments and by the end it really is a celebration of the joys of love. This was a major influence in the design I came up with for the cover, as well. Initially, I was looking at making the cover an image of a heart tattoo, perhaps even my own, but I didn’t feel like that really captured the overall feel of the playlist. I was also really close to going with this image I found of an empty heart-shaped box but decided against it in the end because I felt that it was too much of a sad image. Then, I stumbled upon the image I wound up using. I felt that the heart being represented as a diamond, the more animated style of the image and the sparkles coming off of it made it a really strong image that represented the thrill of falling in love! I also wanted to include some more detailed, track-by-track notes like I did last month.
1. Simon Curtis – “8-Bit Heart” – First of all, if you do not know who Simon Curtis is you need to get familiar IMMEDIATELY. Check out his official website, where you can actually download his debut album, also titled “8-Bit Heart,” for free. In any sense, this song is absolutely amazing and seemed like the perfect place to begin this playlist. It is a song about being alone/lonely and trying to reach out to somebody “knowing” that you are going to be rejected. The chorus is absolutely perfect, with Simon’s gorgeous falsetto repeating, “is it so so wrong to love and to be loved in return?” This song is kind of my personal anthem this Valentine’s Day.
2. Travis Garland – “Believe” – I didn’t necessarily mean to do it but, as it turns out, I have started out the playlist with 2 self-made male pop artists. They also both offer a free download of their debut albums on their official websites. I also highly recommend checking out Travis Garland’s official site and downloading his debut album, “Last Man Standing.” This particular song is not featured on that album, though. “Believe” is one of my favorite songs of the past couple of years that most people haven’t heard. “Believe” is a song about trying to convince somebody to trust you so that you can move forward with a happy, healthy relationship. To me, this song is also kind of a fantasy or a set precedence of sorts. The chorus of this song says, “Way too many of these same old guys they tell way too many of these same old lies, I ain’t just anybody, put your faith in me and I will make you believe.” Ever since I first heard this song I have kind of lazily dreamed of finding somebody to say that type of thing to me. This is not the type of thing that I would generally share but, as mentioned above, this playlist gets pretty personal to me.
3. Taylor Swift – “Enchanted” – I have long said that Taylor Swift does not write songs but writes beautiful fairy tales set to music. This has never been more true than in the case of “Enchanted.” While having that beautiful fairy tale feel to it, though, this song is also very rooted in real life and describes an experience that we have all had at some point. Based around the line, “I was enchanted to meet you,” this song is about a chance encounter with somebody that leaves you intrigued, wonder-struck and, well, enchanted. My favorite part of the whole song, though, is the bridge where the song kind of breaks down and she steps out of the fairy tale and gets vulnerable, singing “Please don’t be in love with someone else, please don’t have somebody waiting on you.” I love this song so much because I, and I’m sure so many others, have lived this exact experience.
4. Katharine McPhee & Zachary Levi – “Terrified” – This song was written by one of my favorite songwriters and former “American Idol” judge, Kara Dioguardi, along with country singer Jason Reeves. It is also included on one of my very favorite albums of 2010, Katharine McPhee’s “Unbroken.” This song is all about those earliest stages of falling in love, when you are overflowing with emotions – joy, excitement, thrill and terror. Yes, it is difficult not to be terrified when you find yourself feeling more and more for a person. I felt like this song kind of perfectly captured that period in the process of falling in love.
5. Angel Taylor – “Chai Tea Latte” – This song describes a situation that is very close to my heart. In fact, I fell in love with this track because the first time I heard it my mind was blown by the fact that it was so close to real life and experiences that I have had myself. This is a song about longing for somebody to finally notice you, finally make a move, finally ask you out, finally… whatever. I love the conversational lyrics of this song, even going so far as to say, “I live at 2505 Stillwater St., #217, and I’ll be waiting for my doorbell to ring.” I also love the fact that the song is written all around the concept of wanting to be asked out “for a chai tea latte.”
6. Leona Lewis – “Iris” – First off, this song is a cover of one of my all-time favorite love songs, originally by the Goo Goo Dolls. This song, to me, is all about falling into a love that you know nobody else will ever understand. I have always thought that this song had an underlying theme of homosexuality because the lyrics remind me so much of the stories I’ve heard from many of my gay friends and in gay-themed films, television, etc. Leona Lewis’ cover of the song is absolutely stunning.
7. Mandy Moore – “It’s Gonna Be Love” – This song is kind of where the playlist lifts off into the direction of celebrating the blossoming of new love. This is another track about longing for love but it is much less of a sad, lonesome longing than “Chai Tea Latte” and more of an optimistic, joyous celebration of the love that you know is coming. This song was featured on the soundtrack to the film “A Walk To Remember” and is one of Mandy Moore’s earliest forays into a more serious, mature sound, although it does still have a really gorgeous pop sound. I just love the positive affirmation of the chorus, “It’s gonna be love, it’s gonna be great.” It is absolutely gorgeous!
8. Jessica Simpson – “Be” – This is one of the songs I mentioned above that has a really strong meaning to me, personally. This is the song that I have long said is what I would want to play at my wedding, should I ever wind up getting married. I think that this is the most beautiful, positive song about the start of a relationship and all the hopes and dreams that fill your head when you become involved with somebody new. It is like the perfect starting off point for the journey that is a relationship and, to me, is also a great starting off point for an occasion such as a wedding.
9. Scissor Sisters – “Might Tell You Tonight” – This is a song with even greater personal meaning to me than probably any on this playlist. This song is about that feeling of being overwhelmed with the urge to just spill your guts and tell somebody that you are falling in love with them. This song is particularly close to my heart because at the time that this album was released I was in the process of falling in love with somebody who I was just friends with at the time, who went on to become one of the most substantial relationships of my adult life and this song was basically the experience I was having at the time and meant a LOT to me.
10. Foo Fighters – “Everlong” – This is one of my favorite songs of all-time. To me, this song has always been about a moment in time; a shared moment with somebody. It’s about a moment where you wonder, as the lyrics say, “if everything could ever feel this real forever, if anything could ever be this good again.” It is, to me, a song about a moment where things are more amazing than you ever thought possible and that fear that the moment will end.
11. Copeland – “There Cannot Be A Close Second” – Copeland are/were an indie rock band from Lakeland, FL, (just an hour or so from my home here in Sarasota,) who disbanded in 2009, although not before releasing their brilliant debut album, “Beneath The Medicine Tree,” which included this song. This was another song from the time when I was in the relationship mentioned before and one that perfectly described my feelings for this person at the time. My favorite part is the first verse, where the lyrics read, “You’ve got an extra special heart, a perfect light that shines through, and it seems the hardest part is shining back at you, so forgive me cos’ I don’t know what to do.”
12. Ashlee Simpson – “Pieces Of Me” – This song is a bit of an ideal of love for me. To me, there is no greater concept of love than the concept of being known inside and out or being seen fully and for every piece of who you are. It’s the whole idea of being fully accepted and appreciated for every aspect of yourself, positive and negative. At the end of the day, in my opinion, what we are all looking for is somebody to see us for everything that we truly are, and while it is a simplistic pop song, that is what this song has always represented to me.
13. Jack’s Mannequin – “M.F.E.O. Part 1 – Made For Each Other” – This song also holds a great meaning to me and has a lot of history behind it. In the relationship I mentioned before, which I bring up so much because it was not only my most substantial relationship but also kind of my “one that got away” and one that I think about a lot when it comes to the subject of love and relationships and such, as it was the first and last relationship I was ever in that I ever really felt was successful. This was our song.
14. Lit – “Miserable” – This song is really special to me because it was the song that played when my brother and his wife walked out at their wedding reception. It was absolutely perfect for the two of them. I love that this song is, essentially, a song about letting your love for somebody else completely envelope your life and, as the lyrics say, make you complete and completely miserable at the same time.
15. Darren Hayes – “God Walking Into The Room” – One of the most brilliant, powerful statements of love I have ever heard in my life, and never would have come up with myself, is the whole concept of this song. Darren Hayes has a flair for making powerful statements about love in his lyrics but never has it been like this one. The chorus of this song says it all: “You build me up, you give me love, every time we kiss is like God walking into the room.” What an amazing concept! I can’t necessarily say that I have ever felt this way myself, although perhaps I have. Either way, I think that this song is absolutely amazing and describes a feeling of love that I pray to one day experience.
16. Katy Perry – “Hummingbird Heartbeat” – This song, to me, describes a feeling that I think we must all be familiar with; that heart-racing, thrilling rush of love taking over, except that this song kind of implies this still being the case further down the road. The impression I have always gotten of this song is that it is about still having that heart-racing thrill long after the newness has worn off. This is a beautiful concept to me, although one that I am not entirely familiar with. Still, it is another experience of love that I hope to have one day.
17. Alanis Morissette – “Surrendering” – This song is one of my absolute favorites by Alanis Morissette, who is one of my top 5 favorite artists of all-time. The song is a celebration of and tribute to somebody who is willing and able to let go of their fears and reservations and just be open to love. These things sound simple on paper but can be the biggest obstacles in the world for many people. Those fears are what hold a large portion of people back from going after what they really want, in terms of relationships. When somebody is able to let them go and just love and be loved, it is definitely something to be celebrated and this song does a great job of celebrating it!
18. Idina Menzel – “Where Do I Begin” – While I didn’t include any showtunes in this playlist, which I had initially intended to include in every Beausic Original Playlist, I have included the singer of some of my very favorite showtunes, my absolute favorite Broadway diva and one of my favorite voices out there, Idina Menzel. Idina Menzel starred in the original casts of both “Wicked” and “Rent,” as well as being heavily featured in seasons 1 and 3 of “Glee.” She has also released 2 brilliant solo albums, as well as a stunning EP. This song is featured on her major label debut album, “I Stand.” I love this song because it is all about trying to find a way to express your love for somebody who has been there for you and loved you for so long; somebody who has changed your life and made you a better person.
19. Paramore – “The Only Exception” – This song felt like the absolute perfect closing for this playlist. It is a very simple song about not believing in love but finding that one person who makes you feel like it could be true; about not believing in all the love in the world but finding your one exception.
So, there you all have it – the second of the monthly Beausic Original Playlists. I hope you all enjoy it and find something you can relate to, or perhaps just a great soundtrack to your Valentine’s Day, whether you are happily in love, at the start of something new or, like me, all on your own. Even when you’re single, Valentine’s Day can be a really special time and cause for celebration! So, please, go out and celebrate in any way you can! In the meantime, I wish you all a beautiful week and a beautiful life!