It’s that time again, folks! What time, you may be asking yourself? Well, it’s time for a brand new Beausic Original Playlist. For the month of April, it was relatively easy to come up with a concept because, well, frankly I had come up with the April concept back when I initially decided that the Beausic Original Playlist would be a monthly feature. Everybody has heard the old saying about “April Showers,” so it only seemed appropriate to me to do a Beausic Original Playlist centered around rain, and general stormy weather, both literally and symbolically. I will note, though, that this is the first Beausic Original Playlist I have done where every single song title somehow makes reference to the general theme. In fact, most of them have the word rain somewhere in the title. Don’t let the corniness of that scare you off, though. I feel like this is a really strong playlist, although perhaps a little more of a downer than many of the other playlists I have done or will wind up doing. It’s not a complete downer, though, and like all of the other playlists I have posted thus far, it definitely has a narrative and I feel like it tells a story that has a happy ending.
As a sidenote, I also wanted to mention that I found a lot of really classic songs, or songs by really classic artists, that I wanted to feature on this playlist and kind of decided to make that a sort of “behind the scenes” theme, as well. This means that you will notice a fair amount of divas on this playlist. You may also notice that there is not a single artist on this playlist who began their careers after the 90s. That was on purpose. That having been said, let’s get on with the playlist!
YOU’RE THE STORM: A BEAUSIC ORIGINAL PLAYLIST
- The Cardigans – Little Black Cloud
- Garbage – Only Happy When It Rains
- Madonna – Rain
- Celine Dion – Rain, Tax (It’s Inevitable)
- Queen Latifah – Cue The Rain
- Mary J. Blige featuring Ja Rule – Rainy Dayz
- Missy Elliot – The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)
- Cyndi Lauper – Raging Storm
- Cher – Rain, Rain
- Prince – Purple Rain
- The Carpenters – Rainy Days & Mondays
- Ace Of Base – Everytime It Rains
- Shania Twain – Raining On Our Love
- Tori Amos – Your Cloud
- Jewel – Deep Water
- Mariah Carey – Through The Rain
- Barbra Streisand – After The Rain
- Barry Manilow – I Made It Through The Rain
- Kylie Minogue – No More Rain
- The Cardigans – You’re The Storm
For this playlist’s cover I really wanted to go with a fairly simple image of rain on a windowsill with really bold lettering for the title and such because I felt that this would be a really good representation of the style of the playlist itself. I feel like, for the most part, these are a lot of really simple songs making pretty simple statements but when put together as one cohesive unit they make a much stronger, bolder statement. I wanted the cover I created for the playlist to reflect that same concept. I feel like it’s done a pretty good job of that, if I do say so myself.
As always, I also wanted to provide a little track-by-track commentary on the songs I selected for this playlist. I’m not sure if anybody else actually finds these of any interest but I do it because I recall, after a certain point, one of my all-time favorite artists, Jewel, started doing this on all of her albums and I always found it really added something to the whole experience of the album, getting a little “behind the scenes” sort of look at the meaning behind the music. So, I always figured if I ever got to record an album of my own I would do the same thing. While I have long since given up on the idea of an album of my own, I figured it would work with these playlists, as well.
1. The Cardigans – “Little Black Cloud” – This song seemed like a perfect place to begin this playlist, as it is all about seeing and recognizing that a storm is coming, that there’s a “little black cloud over town tonight,” but not minding and being willing and ready to face the oncoming storm. It is a metaphor for knowing that your relationship is heading for troubled times but being willing to face it because the good that you have is worth the bad that you may go through.
2. Garbage – “Only Happy When It Rains” – I couldn’t really do a rain-themed playlist without including this song, now could I? This song seemed perfectly placed in this spot because it kind of follows the same theme as the previous song, except taking it to much more of an extreme – “I’m only happy when it rains.” It’s like saying I’m only happy when there is trouble and drama and a downpour of negative forces. I don’t personally relate to this concept now but this was a very big song for me when I was a teenager and I had much more of that mentality.
3. Madonna – “Rain” – This song is kind of different from most on the playlist because this is talking about the rain as a beautiful, positive thing – “your love’s coming down like rain.” This is a song about the joy of falling in love and kind of being drowned in it or overcome by it, like getting caught in the rain. This is another song I couldn’t do this playlist without because it is an all-time favorite of mine, by my all-time favorite artist.
4. Celine Dion – “Rain, Tax (It’s Inevitable)” – I was very back and forth on whether to include this song because, let’s be real, it is not one of Celine’s stronger tracks. It’s a little nerdy and kind of dumb, at points, but I decided to include it because it kind of fits the theme of the previous song – your love is like the rain, except in this case it isn’t quite as literal a metaphor but just meaning it’s something that is just going to happen, without question. Plus, while not being a really strong Celine track, it is really catchy and fun and I enjoy it quite a bit.
5. Queen Latifah – “Cue The Rain” – I love this song and hate that the album it comes from was so little known – from Queen Latifah’s most recent solo album, “Persona,” which was quite brilliant. Anyway, this song is really a perfect fit for this playlist because it is about the ending of a relationship and kind of saying, “Okay, the storm is going to come now so bring it on.” I love that attitude. It’s like knowing things are going to go bad and welcoming it, in order to get it over with.
6. Mary J. Blige & Ja Rule – “Rainy Dayz” – I wanted to include this song because it is a track about the rain pouring down and going through a hard time in life but asking somebody to smile, to pick you up and help you through it. I am a huge fan of Mary J. Blige’s music and felt that this song was an absolutely perfect fit for this playlist because it is kind of fun and really catchy but also fits the theme of the playlist perfectly.
7. Missy Elliott – “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” – I included this song, really, just for the fun of it. This is a song that came out when I was just 14 and was one of my favorite songs of that time period. At the time, there had never been another artist quite like Missy Elliott and this song was her very first single as a solo artist and I felt it was absolutely brilliant. I also love the fact that this is a song with the simple hook of “I can’t stand the rain,” but it is not an overly downbeat song or anything. Just a lot of fun.
8. Cyndi Lauper – “Raging Storm” – There were a few different Cyndi Lauper tracks I considered for this playlist, from various points throughout her career, but this one seemed to me like the best fit for this playlist. From Cyndi’s 2008 ultra dance record, “Bring Ya To The Brink,” this song is all about the state of the world today – “there’s a raging storm in a troubled sea but you’re clouding my mind with celebrity.” These are very true words for much of the world, myself often included. There is definitely a raging storm happening in our world, and in this country in particular, but there is a lot of other stuff going on to distract us all from all of it. It is difficult sometimes to get past all the BS going on in the world to see what is really important.
9. Cher – “Rain, Rain” – This song was featured on Cher’s most recent studio album, “Living Proof,” and is basically a song about the darkness of when someone you love is not around for you. It’s like the sun shines when they are around and the rain starts pouring when they are away. It is one of Cher’s more modern, more dance/urban type tracks. I absolutely love this song.
10. Prince – “Purple Rain” – One of my all-time favorite songs. “Purple Rain” is an absolute classic. This track, to me, has always been about doing somebody harm, or bringing on the rain in their life, when you were only trying to be of help or to do something good for them. It’s like trying to help someone in a way that only winds up doing them harm. It is a beautiful song and one that I have always related to and responded to very strongly. I also could not have done this whole rain theme without this song being included.
11. The Carpenters – “Rainy Days & Mondays” – This is another of my all-time favorite songs by one of my all-time favorite artists. “Rainy Days & Mondays” is basically a song about being brought down by the rain but having someone who can bring you back up and make it all seem alright. Also, Karen Carpenter has one of the greatest voices in history – a voice filled with raw emotion, most often some sort of sorrow, which turned out to be a real reflection of her life, unfortunately.
12. Ace of Base – “Everytime It Rains” – Ace of Base were one of my very favorite artists growing up and that I listen to quite frequently still. This song is from their 2000 album, “Cruel Summer,” and is basically a song about functioning just fine during the sunny weather but falling apart as soon as the rain comes. I think this is a concept that everybody can relate to because after a traumatic experience it can be difficult to move forward, even if it seems like you are past it there are always times when it can all come rushing back to you.
13. Shania Twain – “Raining On Our Love” – When I was 15 or 16, I had my first experiences with karaoke, which is something that I have enjoyed for many years, (although I don’t do it so much anymore.) In my earliest times doing karaoke, I was kind of obsessed with Shania Twain, in particular her first album, “The Woman In Me.” This was one of my favorite songs on that record and one of my favorites to sing. I also felt like this song was a perfect fit for this playlist because it is a beautiful, sorrowful track about being so caught up in your own stuff that you didn’t realize that the rain had begun falling on your relationship with somebody you love.
14. Tori Amos – “Your Cloud” – This is one of my absolute favorite songs of all-time. The lyrics of this song are beautiful and express a concept that I have never heard in this form anywhere else. It is all about a separation happening, a relationship coming to an end, centered around the simple question – “if the rain has to separate from itself, does it say, ‘pick out your cloud?'” It is such a beautiful concept – what happens when our relationships fall apart? How do we decide the things that we are supposed to do and not supposed to do in these separations? Pick out your cloud, indeed.
15. Jewel – “Deep Water” – I felt very strongly about this song and it’s placement on this playlist because it kind of serves as the pinnacle, the turning point or the climax of the narrative being told through this playlist. This song is the point where the rain has been falling and it finally gets to be too much. It is the point where you find yourself, “standing in deep water and bailing yourself out with a straw.” Even more, though, this is the point where you realize that “it’s these little times that help to remind it’s nothing without love.” This is a song about the moment that everything turns around.
16. Mariah Carey – “Through The Rain” – This song’s placement, to me, was just as important as the last one because this song is the moment immediately after the last one – the moment that you realize, “I can make it through the rain.” It’s the moment that you realize that anything you are going through is not going to overpower you and you are strong enough to make it through it. This is a great song and one that I think is definitely perfect for this playlist.
17. Barbra Streisand – “After The Rain” – This is a beautiful ballad about the joys of the period directly after making love with a person you love. Yes, this song uses the rain as a metaphor not for something negative but for something sexual, which is a classic metaphor used in literature. I love this song and wanted to include it because it is about the joy of basking in the glow of love, with a different rain metaphor than any of the other tracks on this playlist.
18. Barry Manilow – “I’ve Made It Through The Rain” – Barry Manilow is my Mom’s favorite singer and an artist who I have been exposed to since I was just a child. Some of my earliest musical memories are of his songs, this one included. I have always loved this song because it is all about holding tight to your dreams and finally making it through all of the obstacles in life to make those dreams come true. Not only that but I love the fact that this song includes the line, “I made it through the rain and found myself respected by the others who got rained on, too, and made it through.” It’s so true that when you make it through these situations you not only gain your own self-respect but gain the respect of others who have made it through the same types of situations. It’s like there is a frequently unspoken camaraderie between people who have been through similar things in life, which I love.
19. Kylie Minogue – “No More Rain” – This song was placed here at the end of the playlist because it is just the most joyful, upbeat song about getting out of, and planning to stay out of, the rain. Like the lyrics say, “Sun coming up on another day, Got a secondhand chance, gonna do it again, Got rainbow colors and no more rain.” It just makes me so happy because it is such a strong, celebratory statement of making it out of a bad situation, (in Kylie’s case, surviving breast cancer!)
20. The Cardigans – “You’re The Storm” – This song is the track that I knew was the ending I wanted for this playlist. This is definitely where I wanted the story to end. The lyrics in the chorus say exactly what the ending of this story is, a story I have been through myself, when the lyrics say, “you’re the storm that I’ve been needing, and all this peace has been deceiving, I like the sweet life and the silence but it’s the storm that I believe in.” Basically, this song is all about realizing that the lack of drama and the peaceful experience you spend your life longing for is not actually the life that you want, and it’s the storm that is what you actually crave in life. The drama and the conflict that you have experienced in your life is what keeps things interesting and makes things exciting. I have never heard another song that really expresses that concept, so I knew that this had to be where the story of this playlist ended.
So, there you have it – the Beausic Original Playlist for the month of April! I hope you guys can find something new and interesting on there, or just a soundtrack to your own personal April Showers. In the meantime, I wish you all a beautiful week and a beautiful life!