As you guys have probably noticed by now, I am making posts every day this week in celebration of my birthday week! I had to save my favorite for today, though, because today is my actual birthday! As I say in every Music Monday post, my very favorite Music Monday posts are the Beausic Original Playlists, so I wanted to make a second, bonus playlist for the post on my actual birthday! I knew that I wanted to do an extra special Beausic Original Playlist for my birthday – a kind of selfish one that is, to be frank, all about me. Yes, this is a much more personal playlist that I thought might be another way to help you guys get to know me a little bit better! So, I have gathered a collection of some of the songs that mean the most to me in life; my personal anthems. It was a pretty difficult playlist to put together, to be honest, because there has been so much music over the years that has affected me in so many deeply personal ways, so it was hard to narrow down to a playlist and not an anthology. However, I kind of made the decision to focus on songs that are pertinent to where I am in my life right now. Some of them are songs that I have felt the same way about for as long as I can remember and still apply to where I am in life right now, as well as some songs that are very specific to this moment in my life. I have long said that music can often express what I am feeling better than I am able to myself, so this Beausic Original Playlist feels so much more personal than anything else I have ever posted here on the blog because this collection of songs are kind of like my own diary, only not written by me. I’m really excited (and oddly nervous) to share this with you all! So, all that having been said, I am proud to present you with The Queen: A Beausic Original Playlist.
THE QUEEN: A BEAUSIC ORIGINAL PLAYLIST
- Simon Curtis – Put Your Makeup On
- Hilary Duff – Beat Of My Heart
- Natasha Bedingfield – Touch
- Gossip – Move In The Right Direction
- Kylie Minogue – Stars
- Dream – When I Get There
- Scissor Sisters – Year Of Living Dangerously
- Alanis Morissette – Underneath
- No Doubt – Under Construction
- Alexz Johnson – The Music
- Demi Lovato – Open
- Charlotte Church – Moodswings (To Come At Me Like That)
- Kate Voegele – It’s Only Life
- Jessica Simpson – Who We Are
- Mandy Moore – Extraordinary
- Chantal Kreviazuk – Wonderful
- The Weepies – Riga Girls
- Sheryl Crow – Love Is All There Is
- Jewel – Stronger Woman
- Dashboard Confessional – Don’t Wait
- Lindsay Lohan – A Beautiful Life (La Bella Vita)
- Alexandra Burke – They Don’t Know
- Lady Gaga – The Queen
For the cover of this playlist I wanted to keep it really simple and kind of fun but I wanted the image to be something iconic and undeniably “Queen.” What says queen better than a crown? I searched through tons and tons of images of queen’s crowns but I wasn’t sure if I wanted an image of one being worn or an actual photograph of one being displayed or what I wanted exactly but as soon as I stumbled upon this particular image I kind of fell in love with it. I just felt that it really captured the simple and fun image I wanted for the cover. I also felt like it kind of captured a little bit of my personality, in a silly sort of way. I just really wanted this playlist to have a very simple cover because I loved the idea of that juxtaposition of really simple and minimalistic cover to a playlist that is actually pretty complex. So, that’s really the story behind the cover. Now, let’s get on with the track-by-track commentary!
1. Simon Curtis – “Put Your Makeup On” – As soon as I made the decision to make this playlist, I knew EXACTLY where I needed to begin with it. If you follow this blog or subscribe to my YouTube Channel this song must sound familiar to you! It is the unofficial Beausic theme song, the song featured in the intro and during the “credits” to all of my YouTube videos! As far as the song itself and how it fits in to the theme of this playlist, this is a song that kind of reached out to me immediately the first time I heard it. The general concept of the song is about letting go of your sadness or troubles, (or more accurately, covering it up,) in order to just have a good time. It’s about painting over any pain you may feel and putting on a show, something that I can relate to a lot. Another really fascinating element of this song, and perhaps the part I can relate to the most, is the lyrics in the bridge that say, “As a kid I got a lot of shit for liking my music, but what is it for? ‘You should listen to this because it gives more,’ ‘Yeah but it sounds lousy on the dacefloor.‘” As you all have to know by now, while I love all different types of music but I do have a very special place in my heart for pop music. This love for pop music has caused me to get a lot of shit from a lot of people, so it was kind of amazing to hear somebody actually say that in music. Aside from the rest of the song, this part alone could make this an anthem for me.
2. Hilary Duff – “Beat Of My Heart” – I don’t think anybody will “get” this song being included on the playlist more than my Mom. The very first time I heard this song I fell in love with it and nobody had to hear me play it more than my Mom. I lived with her at the time and would constantly play it in the car or when doing anything around the house, etc. Aside from being a really catchy, fun and upbeat song, I was immediately drawn in to this song for it’s message of staying true to yourself and always following your heart. I find this song particularly pertinent to my life right now as it is, to me, about coming out of something and kind of re-affirming to yourself that you just need to stay true to yourself and follow your heart moving forward, which is not exactly where I’m at currently but something I am kind of aspiring to right now in my life.
3. Natasha Bedingfield – “Touch” – Natasha Bedingfield is one of my very favorite artists and this is one of my favorite songs of all-time and really expresses one of my very strongest beliefs in life. The lyrics of this song tell a story about a girl throwing a party where she wants a particular guy to show up, but he is unable to due to some appointment he has. Unknowingly to the girl, while she is out preparing her party, she slips and spills coffee on a man, who turns out to be the man who the guy she wanted at her party has an appointment with, causing him to cancel the appointment and make the guy available for her party. The lyrics are all kind of tied together by the bridge, which really plainly expresses the belief I am talking about when it says, “Every choice we make, every road we take, every interaction starts a chain reaction, we are all affected when we least expect it and when we touched then it all connected.” It’s just the whole concept that every seemingly minor move that we make in life has some effect on our life and everything we do is connected in some way or another to something else.
4. Gossip – “Move In The Right Direction” – This is probably the newest addition to my long list of personal anthems, as I just heard it for the first time a couple of weeks ago, but I really fell in love with it because I felt like it absolutely captured where I am at in my life right now. It’s kind of in the same vein as the Hilary Duff song above but with a much harder edge to it. I don’t know why I wasn’t overly familiar with Gossip before but I have fallen in love with the band in general and Beth Ditto, the lead singer, and their newest album, “A Joyful Noise.” The chorus of this song just immediately struck me, with the lyrics, “So I will hold back tears so I can move in the right direction, I will face my fears so I can move in the right direction, I’m doing fine, one step closer every day at a time, I won’t lose my mind, lose my mind.” You will notice throughout the playlist a recurring theme of needing to pull myself together and move forward. I am in a really strange position in my life right now and have a LOT going on and feel a LOT of pressure coming from a LOT of different places, so music with these themes are really appealing to me right now because if it isn’t exactly where I am currently it is definitely where I am trying to get to.
5. Kylie Minogue – “Stars” – As you all must know from my Spotlight: Kylie post last month, Kylie Minogue is one of my top 3 favorite artists of all-time and the only of those 3 featured on this playlist. I considered multiple songs from Madonna, (my number one favorite of all-time,) and Liz Phair, (my number two favorite of all-time,) but didn’t find anything particularly pertinent to right now or that I really felt necessary for this playlist. I also considered something like 12 different Kylie tracks but I kind of knew, of all of them, I had to go with this one. This song is another that really expresses one of my strongest beliefs in life with it’s chorus of “When you look deep into the pockets of the universe, you never know what you’ll find because stars don’t shine in singular places.” Essentially, you never know what you are going to find in life and you never know where you are going to find it, so you have to be as open as you can to absolutely everything. It can be difficult to do, particularly as you move through life and have more and more negative experiences with different things that make you more and more cautious, but I believe more strongly than I could possibly express here that it is absolutely vital to living your best possible life.
6. Dream – “When I Get There” – I first heard this song in 2001 when Dream released their first (and only) album when I still lived in California and had never set foot in the state of Florida or even been further east than Arkansas. When I moved to Florida the first time in 2002, this song was a major anthem for me. When I moved back to California in 2003, this song was a major anthem for me again. When I moved back to Florida in 2004, yet again this song was a major anthem for me. I haven’t left Florida yet but I have been longing for the past few years to move back to California and this song has been sticking in my head a lot over the past couple of months. I don’t know that any major moves are going to happen any time soon but even without making an actual move to another state, this song definitely feels very appropriate in my life right now. The chorus of the song says, “I don’t know where I’m going but I’m going and I’ll know it when I get there, Can’t wait another minute cause your heart just isn’t in it and it’s not fair, I don’t know how to make it so I guess I’m gonna fake it til I’m somewhere, I don’t know where I’m going but I’m going and I’ll know it when I get there.” In some ways it seems like kind of a shame to say it but it is absolutely true – 11 years later and I still don’t know where I’m going… but 11 years later, I still have absolute faith that I will know it when I get there.
7. Scissor Sisters – “Year Of Living Dangerously” – This is another more recent addition to my list of personal anthems and one that feels incredibly appropriate to my life in this very moment. As I mentioned previously, I am in a strange state where I am under a lot of pressure from a lot of different places and what that makes me feel, more than anything else, is out of control of my own life. I can’t think of a worse feeling than the feeling that you don’t have control of what happens to you. I don’t believe in the concept that it can ever be true that you don’t have control of what happens to you in your life, however I am in a place where I just don’t know how to take and use the control that I do have, which leaves one feeling powerless. This song is about taking that power and that control back. The chorus sticks in my head so frequently it has become kind of ridiculous. The lyrics say, “This is my life, this is my dream, this is my belief, it’s my fantasy, I still haven’t found what’s gonna set me free, this is my year of living dangerously.” That is exactly where I need to be right now and I am fighting every day to figure out the way for me to get there.
8. Alanis Morissette – “Underneath” – This is another song that expresses one of my strongest beliefs in life far better than I ever could. Alanis Morissette is one of those artists who just does that for me and I actually had a very long list of her songs under consideration for this playlist, as well, but I knew that if I were to only include one song from her it had to be this one. This song is, quite simply, about how our attitudes towards each other affect the entire world that we live in. The chorus of the song says, “There is no difference in what we’re doing in here that doesn’t show up as bigger symptoms out there, so why spend our time in dressing our bandages when we’ve the ultimate key to the cause right here, our underneath?” Essentially, this is saying that what we do in our own homes and how we treat one another is reflected in the status of the world as a whole. When we are all sitting around creating negative energy in fighting with our families, friends, lovers or whoever else we may be fighting with it is doing nothing more than putting negative energy out into the universe and causing more negativity not only for ourselves but for everyone. It’s basically that old saying about how charity starts at home but with a much broader scope. I really do believe that this song is speaking absolute truth.
9. No Doubt – “Under Construction” – No Doubt are one of my absolute favorite bands of all-time, (and, as a sidenote, I am extremely excited for them to FINALLY be releasing a new album in September,) and this is one of my very favorite songs of their career. I also think this is the first in a number of songs on this playlist of tracks that I just ALWAYS wind up going back to when I find myself feeling the depression that comes with going through hard times in your life. It’s funny how there is music that just always works during those times. Like I said, there will be a few more songs like that a little later in the playlist. This song is a very simple statement that I have always found so powerful because I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel like it was true for me that, as the chorus says, “I’m under construction everyone, You’ll have to mind the mess, I’m under some construction.” I kind of feel like life is really a constant cycle of construction, at the end of the day. We are never going to be complete. We are always going to be changing and evolving and will forever be “under construction.” There is something really beautiful about that whole concept, as painful as that construction can be at times.
10. Alexz Johnson – “The Music” – This is another song that I have always, and probably will always, come back to any time I am feeling pressured or struggling in life. It is also another very simple yet very powerful statement. The chorus of the song says it all, “Try to break me down, shut me in, this so-called love is wearing thin, but I won’t back down, I won’t fade away, I’ll make it through as long as the music plays.” As I’ve discussed on the blog previously, up until shortly before I started this blog my dream and only real goal in life was to make it as a musician. It was an unrealistic goal, considering I don’t play any instruments! Still, I have written lyrics and melodies and sung for as long as I can remember and music has always been my first and strongest passion. It is even still, in spite of my having given up on those dreams, and I have always known even before this song existed that I could always “make it through as long as the music plays.”
11. Demi Lovato – “Open” – Where much of these songs have been things that could apply any time in life, really, this is one song that applies to this moment specifically. Sure, there have been times in the past where it applied, as well, but it isn’t one of those songs I could apply to my life at any time, like many of the others have been. This song is definitely a very strong anthem of mine in this moment. The chorus of the song says, “Am I all alone in this cause I am kind of feeling like I’m screaming with my mouth shut when it’s really open.” That is exactly how I am feeling in multiple areas of my life right now; like I don’t have a voice, like I am screaming on the inside and nobody can hear or will acknowledge it. It is one of the most incredibly frustrating feelings in the world and kind of goes back to that whole feeling of not being in control. Like I keep reaffirming in some of the other songs, though, I know I can get through it and will be fine. It’s just difficult to deal with in the moment.
12. Charlotte Church – “Moodswings (To Come At Me Like That)” – This is another song that I always come back to at one point or another. It could easily be seen as just another fluff pop song by many but it is so much more than that to me. This song, in a lot of ways, really captures a certain part of my personality. The song opens with the lines, “Now first of all I gotta let you know that I’ve been know for some minor mood swings now and then, it all started back when people were doing me wrong and because of my position I would hold my tongue for them.” It’s like the story of my freakin’ life right there! The chorus goes on to say, “You don’t know what I’m going through and you might think it’s all about you but it’s everything I’ve been holding back, it’s just bad timing to come at me like that.” Preach, sister Charlotte! I just know exactly what she is talking about and exactly the feeling that she is expressing. I have a really bad habit of holding back what I am really feeling and remaining neutral or just not speaking up because it doesn’t seem worth the hassle but I find more and more that this causes you to have irrational outbursts or complete emotional meltdowns at seemingly random times. That is something that I have been trying to work on for years but I have yet to actually figure it out.
13. Kate Voegele – “It’s Only Life” – Here we have yet another of those songs that I just always come back to. As I am typing all this out I am realizing that all of the songs I am saying that about I am also saying, “it’s a really simple but really powerful statement,” because I was just about to type that for this one, as well. It makes sense, I suppose, because in times when your mind is muddied with stressful situations it just seems natural that you would seek out simplicity in music. The chorus of this song really says all that needs to be said about it – “Don’t look away, don’t run away, hey, baby it’s only life.” I have just always found it so refreshing and so brilliant that the line is treated so casually, like “hey, it’s just life, no big deal.” In some ways it’s like it’s trivializing the importance of life but in some ways I think that’s a really good thing. Life, in many ways, seems quite trivial. I don’t know how to elaborate on that properly, so I will just stop there.
14. Jessica Simpson – “Who We Are” – This is actually one of my favorite songs of all-time. I first heard it as the theme song to Jessica Simpson’s television series, “The Price Of Beauty,” (which was absolutely brilliant if you ever get a chance to see it,) and was not only a perfect theme song for the series but was a song that really spoke to me personally. The second verse, in particular, grabbed my attention and has kind of stuck with me ever since, “We all have broken days, we paint it on our face, it gets too much to take and we wanna hide away who we are inside, We’re beautiful, our flaws and all, they’re beautiful to me, It’s who we are, it’s who we are, it’s who we’re meant to be.” If there’s anything I love in a pop song, it is an uplifting, positive message and this song hits the mark absolutely perfectly.
15. Mandy Moore – “Extraordinary” – This song is another that I will always wind up coming back to. This song is taken from my all-time favorite album, Mandy Moore’s “Wild Hope.” It was also the first song that Mandy released that she had written herself, which she did with the entire “Wild Hope” album and everything she has done since. This song is an absolutely perfect anthem for anybody and everybody, in my opinion, not just for me. It is, once again, so simple but makes such a powerful statement. The chorus is as simple as one line – “Now I’m ready to be extraordinary.” That is how I feel all of the time. Sometimes I have to remind myself but, inside, I always know that I am in that place and I am completely ready to be absolutely extraordinary. The same could be said for everybody else, though, I believe. They just don’t all realize it yet.
16. Chantal Kreviazuk – “Wonderful” – This song starts a move into a different kind of anthem for the next couple of songs. This is a song about love. More like, this is a song about looking for or longing for love. I feel almost uncomfortable discussing the whole topic of looking for love. I don’t know why that is exactly but I just have this prominent thought in my head that actually telling people or discussing the fact that you are lonely or that you wish you had somebody makes you seem kind of pathetic and I hate that idea. I also don’t see why that would make you seem pathetic – everybody needs love. It is the single most important aspect of all of our lives, albeit in many different forms. Some people’s lives are driven by their love for the work that they do, some their love for their family and for some people it is the love of a significant other. I have always felt like my love for beauty and music, Beausic, are what drive my life the most… but you can’t have sex with music. Music won’t share a bed with you at night… at least not in a tangible way. So, yes, sometimes I am lonely and sometimes I long for somebody to share my life with. I guess I should talk about the actual song, though. Chantal Kreviazuk has said that she wrote this song about a female friend in her 30s who just hadn’t found the right person yet and how she imagined that person must feel. She captures it really well, too. I especially love the chorus of this song and it’s line that says, “If you’re looking for wonderful, I’m wonderful.” I get that.
17. The Weepies – “Riga Girls” – This is another really simple song that just means the world to me and is something I have been able to relate to for ages. The chorus is as simple as this: “Riga girls go like this, Make me wish I was someone else, Oh Riga girls, are you sad? Oh I wish I had someone.” Steve Tannen from the Weepies has said that he wrote this song after receiving some spam porn email that said “Riga girls go like this” and included some obscene picture of a girl from Riga, (the capital city of Latvia – I had to look it up the first time, too,) and this song was written kind of as a reaction to it, which is fascinating and unusual. I always loved that story because, as someone who has written lyrics most of my life, I totally get that whole idea. It is a very simple song, though, about being lonely and wishing you had someone. As I stated above, that is a concept I can relate to.
18. Sheryl Crow – “Love Is All There Is” – Just one more song on this theme, I just knew that this song had to be included on this playlist because it is a song that I always come back to, as well. This song has kind of haunted me over the past few years, honestly, with it’s questions of “Does anybody want you? Does anybody need you? The question is, Well, all I really know for certain, babe, is love is all there is.” As I kind of mentioned above, I do believe that to be absolutely true; I just believe that the love comes in a number of different forms. Still, on a bad day, those looming questions of the chorus can really stick in your head – does anybody want you? does anybody need you? I don’t know. It can be a bad thing but it is a really powerful song and one that has hit me hard ever since the first time I heard it.
19. Jewel – “Stronger Woman” – This song just makes me happy in general and I play it a lot because of that, as well as because of the fact that it serves as a fun, catchy reminder of some of the most important things in life – “I’m gonna love myself more than anyone else, Believe in me even if someone can’t see a stronger woman in me.” As much as I am really good at being aware of my own greatness and as much as I really do love and believe in myself, it never hurts to be reminded… especially when you are being reminded in the form of a really fun, catchy song that makes you smile by one of your favorite artists of all-time, as Jewel is for me.
20. Dashboard Confessional – “Don’t Wait” – First of all, let me just say, Dashboard Confessional are one of my top 10 favorite artists of all-time. You wouldn’t really have known that before now, though, because I really haven’t featured him/them on the blog at all before this post. It’s just kind of odd because this blog focuses a lot more on more current music trends and, in general, features a sound very different from what Dashboard does, so there’s never really been a post that would work for including them. It’s just a shame because they are, like I said, in my top 10 favorite artists of all-time. Dashboard Confessional started out as just one devastatingly handsome man, Chris Carrabba, who was one of the pioneers of the emo sound and the whole scene in general. Over the years, he expanded into a full band and has made continuously incredible music. They have veered more in the direction of mainstream rock in later years, like with this song, which is one of my very favorites of the bands. It is definitely an anthem of mine and makes the very simple statement of the title, “Don’t wait.” In life in general there is no need for hesitation or holding back or not going with your gut. That is, essentially, what this song is about. It is an absolutely gorgeous song and obviously, given that it is on this playlist, a personal anthem of mine in life.
21. Lindsay Lohan – “A Beautiful Life (La Bella Vita)” – This is the last of the songs on this playlist that I just always come back to in life. This is also the most prominent of those songs. This is one of my very favorite songs of all-time. It’s one of those songs, though, that I only ever listen to when I am going through something difficult. It just always screams out to me during those times and I find it one of the biggest comforts when I am upset or having trouble in any way. This is probably one of two songs on this playlist that I would select if I had a gun to my head and had to pick an absolute single anthem for my life. I just can’t ever get past this song. The chorus of the song sums it up best when it says, “and this is my beautiful life, the only thing certain is everything changes, the lows and the highs and all those goodbyes, as hard as it gets I know it’s still amazing to feel alive, it’s a beautiful life.” I really can’t think of a better summation of life than that.
22. Alexandra Burke – “They Don’t Know” – If you downloaded the Alexandra Burke sampler from the Buzz Artist post on her last month you would have heard this song and if you did hear this song you would surely have fallen in love with this song, too. It is simply an amazing song and one that I can relate to in so many ways. The lyrics begin with the lines, “I went to my mother to show me how to cry, she said ‘baby, let me shed those tears, I will make the sacrifice,’ but ain’t no crying in this world that can take the place of mine cause they don’t know.” I love that whole concept and the universal truth that it speaks – nobody else can ever truly know or understand the pain that anybody else feels. All of our experiences in life are solely our own and nobody else will ever completely understand our feelings and, in a broader sense, who we truly are. This can be kind of a sad idea, the thought that we are truly all alone in our lives, but I prefer to think of it as a much greater thing – we are all individual and unique and special and different from one another and, at the end of the day, isn’t that a bond that we all share? The song goes on to finish with the lyrics, “I went to my father to get some prayer for me, he said I hold my head up high cause there’s something there for me, Crying but I’m smiling through cause suddenly I see what they don’t know.” I’ve always found that a particularly inspiring ending because, to be frank, and it may sound strange or conceited or something to say, but I have felt for a long time now that there is something in life that I happen to see and understand and know for myself that most people just don’t seem to. What is it? It’s pretty simple and I have already said it here a few times – we are in control of our entire lives; there is nothing random or accidental or outside of ourselves. The entire world that we live in exists solely inside of ourselves. This is true for all of us. We interact with one another and sometimes our worlds actually connect but, at the end of the day, our worlds are completely individual to us and we have complete control over them. We just have to learn how to take that control. This is much more than I can really express my full thoughts on in this space but it is something that I have always felt… or maybe I just sound crazy right now. Either way.
23. Lady Gaga – “The Queen” – As I said with the Lindsay Lohan song above, this is the other of the two songs on this playlist that I would kind of credit as my main anthem in life. This song feels so incredibly personal to me ever since the first time I sat down and listened to it’s lyrics. It’s basically a song about believing in yourself and what you know you are capable of becoming. The chorus says, “I can be the queen that’s inside of me, This is my chance to release it, Be brave for you, you’ll see, I can be the queen you need me to be, This is my chance to be the dance, Our dream is happening, I can be the queen.” For Lady Gaga, this serves as a love song to her fans and a battle cry that she will fight to be everything they want and need her to be. For me, though, this is basically the same love song and battle cry only it is not to fans or even anybody else. This song, to me, is the love song to myself. This song is my way of saying to myself, I can be the queen I need to be. I can be the queen inside of me. I can be the queen that I already am. I can make any dreams I truly believe in come true. That is why I chose this as the title for this playlist, as well.
Also, for my birthday I decided to treat myself to a nice lunch and a movie that I have been dying to see for a while now. This post and playlist were already done before all of that but after the movie I really wanted to add one more song to the playlist… definitely a personal anthem of mine at the moment, anyway, but after seeing the movie I was really moved and reminded of how much I love the song and how much I could really relate to it right now in my life. So, I’ll bet you’re wondering what movie I am talking about…
So, there you have it! Like I said in the intro to this post, this playlist honestly feels like the most personal thing I have ever done on this blog. I hope you guys feel like you may have gotten to know me a little bit better based on this post. I also hope you guys don’t think I’m completely deranged because of it! There is only one more post left for this week, The Friday Feature, and I am pretty excited about it! The Friday Feature this week is actually the one I had initially planned on doing the week that my computer died and didn’t get to do! It is actually the first in a new monthly feature on the blog, which I am also really excited to get started! I can’t wait to share it with you all tomorrow! In the meantime, though, I wish you all a beautiful evening and a beautiful life!