May 31, 2013

Music and Moments

Earlier this morning during my commute to the office, I decided to play some of the old songs from my mp3 collection.  I'm a 'discography' type of collector, meaning that if I hear a song that I like, I would tend to download acquire all the albums of the artist, even the demo and pre-mainstream ones (I still have an album of Maroon 5 when they were still Kara's Flowers, and I absolutely love their songs).

I was in a John Mayer mood then; the album queued on my music player was Room For Squares. When the intro of No Such Thing played (this was the first song of the album), I felt a sudden rush of sadness, as if the song triggered some emotional memory from my past.  Well, it did and I'll tell you what it is in a bit.

It was then when I realized that songs (well for me it's usually the whole album) are like pictures: they can serve as testaments of the past.  And if you allow them, they can be powerful enough to immortalize not only your memories, but also the emotions that you were feeling at that particular point in time.

Here are some of my "musical time capsules," and I swear, each time I hear the songs I can remember not only what happened during that time, but also how I was feeling... and even snippets of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of that past experience.

(I've embedded Soundcloud tracks of some of the songs; please feel free to sample them as you read along to this blog post.)

John Mayer - Room for Squares. This album came out during the latter part of my years in the university, and was frequently in my playlist even until the first couple of years after graduation. My sister and I enjoyed listening to the album, even if we observed that the songs in the album had a lot of hang-ups. Quite appropriate for me, I guess, because this was the album I was listening to during that time when things weren't going that well with my first boyfriend. When we broke up, I remembered bawling out each time I hear Back To You because I knew that that's never going to happen to us.  There was even a time when I was afraid to queue one song of the album because even the first few riffs of the songs were enough to bring back all the hurt and bitterness I was feeling post-breakup.

Perhaps the most depressing song in the album, for me, was 3x5, especially the intro part and the bridge with the lyrics "I guess you had to be there/ I guess you had to be with me" and the haunting riff at the end of the song.

Hale - Hale. This album came out in 2005, back when the pogi bands were all over the OPM scene. This was their first album, which I thought (until now, actually) was a musical masterpiece. Out of all the bands that debuted that time--Hale, Spongecola, Cueshe, Callalily, etc--Hale was hands down my favorite pogi band.  During that time, I had a close group of friends in the office (all of them moved on to different companies except for me), and there was this one time when we decided to take an out-of-town weekend trip to Tagaytay. There was only a limited number of audio CDs during the ride, and Hale was the one that was usually on loop. I can even remember myself sitting at the backseat during the ride, leaning against the window and looking out at the rice fields along SLEX. It was a fun, lazy kind of getaway that I really enjoyed. Those were such good times.

My absolute favorite song in the album is Underneath the Waves, as it is one of those songs that make you want to fall in love, but Blue Sky is equally memorable because it is the song that brings me back to that lazy weekend in Tagaytay.  I miss hanging out with them.

Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane. This album came out in 2002, but has always been a favorite of mine.  Some four years ago, I was in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend who was on onsite assignments for almost three years consecutively, with each trip lasting for six months or so. During that time, I became close friends with some of the juniors in the company--some of them I'm still pretty close with even until now. I was especially close with one of them, and we hung around often, even without the group.  This particular album would always be playing in his car when he drives me home.  We even had discussions on the genius lyricism of the album, as I subtly try to convert him to Incubus (my favorite band). We aren't as close now as we were before, but we still talk to each other once in a while.

I think the one below is Maroon 5's official Soundcloud account, so I'll be sharing one of the album's songs from there. My favorite song from the album, though, is Must Get Out.

Hana Yori Dango 2 OST. Hana Yori Dango was one of the first JDORAMAs (i.e. Japanese Drama) my boyfriend and I bonded over. The first season came out in 2005 and the second season came out in 2007.  We were only able to watch both seasons (with fansubs) some time after the release of the second season.  This was around the same time when he was often away due to his onsite assignments.  I can remember watching some of the episodes with him in our living room, right on our living room floor. We'd lay down pillows in front of the TV, where he'd set up this laptop to connect to the TV. Watching this series became our bonding activity during his flybacks, and I guess this was why the series held a little more significance than the other ones we watched together.

Arashi's Love So Sweet was the main song for the second season, and each time I hear this song I feel a mix of sadness (because of the LDR memories) and joy (because of those bonding moments).  Geez, this song makes me so emo hahaha.