Music presents an uncanny ability to transfer you from one moment into another time. The memory takes advantage of different times, places and people. I was reminded of this several times this weekend. While in the car with my sister driving to the outlet malls at 11pm on Thursday night. While sitting at breakfast with my niece and nephew listening to them sing. Music transfers us instantly from one moment into another.
One of my favorite albums is Ne-yo’s Year of the Gentleman. Ne-yo has a long musical memory for me. I have memories that match several of his songs to various moments. Mad reminds me of the time I was driving a crush home from the bars. If you are unfamilar with the song( um, if so, please correct it instantly on YouTube), it like most Ne-yo songs is beautifully written. It weaves a story of a relationship on the verge of break up. “Nobody’s talking because talking just turns into screaming…we don’t even remember why were are fighting, so both of us are mad for nothing”. In Ne-Yo’s ability to weave the listener through the story you find out that he is talking from a perspective of someone that is still in love but knows the relationship is broken. His song Miss Independent reminds me of a friend that Dj’d and knew I loved the song. She would play it for me on the drop of a hat. Part of the List is one of my favorite songs. The list composes what this person misses about their former love. The best line is “What I notice is this, I come up with, something new every single time, that I sit and reminisce”. The heartache never stops, the list is always growing. The memory of the person still lingers.
Fade into the Background takes a twist from Part of the List and takes it one step further. Not only have you lost the person you love but you are watching them get married to the other person they now love. This song to me is personal. This song breaks my heart listening to the narrative. “Wondering why did I come here, face it you messed up and now she is with someone else. And now all I can do is smile and fade into the background”. The song isn’t bitter, it doesn’t take the emotion and turn it bitter. I wish I had the same ability.
On my drive home today, my play list was put on shuffle. The emotional roller coaster was determined by an algorithm.