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Music with Feeling?

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There's a lot of music out there that's great to listen to while doing a number of things, but often times it's just background noise while you do something else. What I'd like to inquire is about music that does more than that.

Music with emotion (not Emo music silly) ya know that kind that you can listen to without doing anything just to absorb the feeling of it all. It's hard to find songs that really have that kind of emotional response, that feeling that comes through the music. So, I looked through my catalog to find some. I am a musician, but I don't take myself or music too seriously; so it's especially difficult for me to find songs that do this.

Overall, the most emotional piece of music I could find was Maggot Brain by Funkadelic. It's basically a 10 minute guitar solo done when the guitarist (Eddie Hazel) was told by a high George Clinton to play a song as though he just found his mother dead. It's incredible to listen to as you can really feel the music; not to mention a great song by a great band.

Of course there's Adagio for Strings (IE the Platoon song) which may be the saddest song ever written.

So what kind of music brings you to that place?

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You need to discover the blues. Personally, when I want a fucking overload of musical emotion, I put on Buddy Guy's Stone Crazy. For something at the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells' Alone and Acoustic is great.

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exp(x) said:

You need to discover the blues.

Have a suggestion?

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Bank said:

Have a suggestion?

Edited post. I'm also a big fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan; not only is a lot of his stuff packed with emotion, it's also packed with technique. Then, of course, there's B.B. King, who doesn't use nearly as many notes as Stevie when he solos but still conveys emotion. John Lee Hooker is very good, too, but his style may take some getting used to.

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Trance...well at least GOOD trance really puts me into the mood of the song, whether it be happy, sad, flying, etc. Does that count for "music with feeling"?

If you're looking for some tracks to sample, try sectionzmusic.com.

Mods, that aint an illegal link, its all usermade music so there should not be any piracy issues.

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Dark Side of the Moon.

Particularly, Brain Damage/Eclipse.

Having said that, there are a few oddly random tracks that get an emotional response out of me, because they're related in my head to certain memories etc. I'm sure that happens to anyone, so you'd get a large selection of stuff coming up.

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http://modarchive.org/

My favorite artists are Minomus, The Deviant, Tarantula, Sidewinder, Mortimer Twang (though you might have to use google to find him), Area 51 DNA/Dan Nyman, Tarantula, Opinash.

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You need to discover prog rock. Try "Islands" by King Crimson or "Going For The One" by Yes.

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One of the few times I have ever felt real emotional response in music is when i listen to Shostakovich. It blows me away every time i listen to the Jazz Suites. You feel real fear when listening.

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Sad songs:

Alice in Chains - Don't Follow
Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb
The Beatles - Yesterday
The Smiths - How Soon Is Now?
The Legendary Pink Dots - Fate's Faithful Punchline
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird

Happy songs:

The Beatles - All Together Now
The Beatles - Hey Bulldog
A lot of other Beatles songs...
Frank Zappa - Peaches en Regalia
Led Zeppelin - The Ocean

I could also add a ton of songs that either cool me out or fill me with energy. I just love music.

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By the way, there are some samples of Buddy Guy's Stone Crazy here. I don't think I can really describe how crazy this album is; he completely loses it at some points.

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Whenever I introduce someone to Iced Earth, many describe their album "Burnt Offerings" to be a little musical journey when they first expirience it. This is my favourite album by them; I've probably listened to it a few hundred times, but rarely can I just listen to it as background noise.

King Diamond obviously does a lot of concept work in their albums. You can't really enjoy a concept album to it fullest without first sitting there, listening to it, and reading along to the lyrics. Most King Diamond albums are basically scary campfire tales, and I guess I'll admit to being spooked out when having a listen with the lights out. I guess the better example to introduce someone to would be the album "Abigail".

I think a lot of users here are familiar with Opeth, but I'll just throw their mention out there, anyway, since they do put a lot of emotion into the music they write.

The Carpenters. For face value, they're nothing more than some 70s-era soft contemporary group, but they're one of those bands that have more meaning in hindsight. If you know much about Karen Carpenter's life and death, their music's sometimes melancholy nature starts to become overwhelmingly disturbing and depressing. South Youth's cover of the song "Superstar" is one of my favourite covers of all time.

Jandek is about as "underground" as music gets. I'm not even going to bother trying to explain this, it's way too complicated to explain in a single post. Start yourself off with the Wikipedia article, then move on to the various websites it links to; that alone is a great time killer. If you manage to get your hands on a few Jandek MP3's, I know the eeriness and obscurity of the music gets to me after only a couple songs.

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I think it really depends on the style of music you like. But here are songs that I think are extremely well:
I think a lot of Supertramp's music (although being very 70s pop rock) is very well done, especially some of the more instrumental stuff that goes on and on but also their vocals. Don't Leave Me Now has great sax and guitar solos. Take The Long Way Home is probably my favorite song, as the lyrics are some of the best I've heard in my life I think. Also, it uses harmonica and piano and then in the background has some sort of organ going on as a precursor to pads almost that glues it all together but you only pick up on after listening to it for the millionth time. Supertramp also has a ton of other great stuff. Give A Little Bit is probably their best known song and it's what got me into them as a band. Now it's backburner material since I used to only listen to that song by them and sort of killed it but recently it's coming back to me and it is a good song although much more radio-friendly (and now car ad friendly) then some of their "deeper" stuff.

Next up with the Cars another one of my favorite bands. They can be cheesy (but in a retro-ironic way) but if you are looking for summery this is the band you want. Or at least one of the bands you want. Drive is very well known and still plays on 80s/90s/2000s stations and Classic Rock stations (The Cars were New Wave until now in retrospect they are seen as been clasic and/or 80s rock for the most part). I think that as far as 80s synthpop goes, Drive is one of the best songs. Synthpop has the potential for cheesiness but Drive, IMO, is a great song even if it is stereotypically top 40 80s material. I think it deserves more respect than that if you are one of those people who poo-poos everything that charts. Just What I Needed is their famous car ad/radio play song that you've probably heard. You get sick of it when listening to real Cars music, just like Give A Little Bit is to the rest of Supertramp.

Neil Young. After The Gold Rush (especially the Live Rust version with the harmonica solo) is a great song, Sugar Mountain, Helpless, Heart of Gold, Winterlong are all great songs. Then his Rockin In the Free World is pretty good for Anthem Rock. Like A Hurricane is one of the most amazing songs ever, truly shows why he is the Godfather of Grunge despite his classic rock/folk roots. The 2 guitar solos just go frickin crazy by the end. Plus all his other stuff. So much from him.

Those are my top three artists/bands.

Now onto other stuff:
I really love this Live version of Bob Marley's No Woman No Cry. I'm not sure what concert but its on the Legend collection. It's very uplifting/summery. I want to call it Anthem Reggae at risk of sounding cheesy (and its much better than "anthem" genre music if you look down on the "anthem" label).

Harry Chapin's Taxi is a good folk story song, which is really nice.

I would continue but I realized that the thing is part of what makes music have feeling to me is what I associate it with. Music that has already a great structure becomes very emotionally powerful when tied to ones life so in the end its kind of futile to get other people's ideas.


EDIT:
I have to add Time and Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd, and also Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd based on reading previous posts. Youtube the Oakland Coliseum performance of Free Bird in like 77 or something (a few months before most of the band died in a plane crash) and watch it. Billy Powell especially on the Piano is amazing. I've been learning that solo for the last month trying to nail as perfectly as him. Also the insane 7 minute guitar solo obviously :P

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Coopersville said:

Whenever I introduce someone to Iced Earth, many describe their album "Burnt Offerings" to be a little musical journey when they first expirience it. This is my favourite album by them; I've probably listened to it a few hundred times, but rarely can I just listen to it as background noise.

Hell yes.

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Depends what kind you're looking for.

By "music", I'm assuming you're talking about music; composition, choice of instruments or sounds, performance, progression, etc. - not lyrics.

If so, it's a really hard thing to nail. You can have everything technically correct and fully in line with proper theory; it's all in key, in time, perfectly harmonized, well performed, etc. - and even carries an obvious purpose - but it's just an emotional dead zone, and it leaves a blank display on your mental movie screen.

If you're familiar with Strunk & White's "Elements Of Style" book, there's a final chapter dealing with "Style" that makes the basic point that effective writing is not merely a trick of grammar, but an act of faith, and a mystery that must constantly be solved and re-solved for every new composition, one that full grammatical correctness will never come close to cracking. It's a perfect parallel of song composition.

I'm always surprised at how so many people I know, who are so well versed in music theory and composition, completely miss this level of music and see it as nothing more than glorified math equations.

I would say that any effective music starts with a purpose of conveying a vision. If it doesn't have one, it's not going to help me conceive one. The ways of communicating it are limitless, but few people ever realize them, and fall back on lyrics instead. Which I typically hate, since 99% of them either falling into the realm of "overused clichés" or "obtuse, whiny crap nobody cares about". I think music should be able to speak for itself through themes and motifs rather than vocabulary.

I remember making similar complaints years back, when the band music just wasn't cutting it anymore. Eventually I ended up at the film music section of the library, looking for war movie CDs with a track dedicated to somebody's death. Just for fun, I grabbed a few others too - and have been amassing soundtracks for the four years since. They usually succeed for me as the middle ground between megalomaniac band music and pompous classical. They always have specific visions or stories to communicate, as well as the resources to do so, yet the lack of lyrics allows your mind to wander free and match the abstract themes and feelings of the music with your own specific ideas. I especially like getting soundtracks for movies I haven't seen - if it's a good one, you should be able to pull your own story out of it without ever having seen the film it was made for. Helps a lot with writer's block too :P Heh actually, I've come up with so many story ideas and scenes while listening to them that I don't think I'll ever have time to get them all written out.

Anyway, that's my general suggestion. If you've got a decent library nearby, you could probably get a great sample selection. I started with movies I was familiar with and which had scenes containing a memorable song that matched the moods I was looking for, and branched out from there once I got more familiar with who were the good composers and who weren't.

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Bucket said:

You need to discover prog rock. Try "Islands" by King Crimson or "Going For The One" by Yes.


In The Court Of The Crimson King and THRAK FTW

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Tango said:

http://modarchive.org/

My favorite artists are Minomus, The Deviant, Tarantula, Sidewinder, Mortimer Twang (though you might have to use google to find him), Area 51 DNA/Dan Nyman, Tarantula, Opinash.

Since I like a lot of those artists as well, I'm going to recommend my favorites that aren't already listed.

Fusion Faktor, y0da, KRS Metal, GrondaGronda...those are the only ones I can remember right now.

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Some more random songs that haven't been listed (only the ones I could find YouTube videos for):

David Bowie - "Heroes" (the video is horrifying though - those teeth!!!)
David Bowie - Strangers When We Meet
Soundgarden - Like Suicide

A couple of spooky albums:

Coil - Musick to Play in the Dark Vol II
Tear Garden - Last Man to Fly
Tear Garden - To Be An Angel Blind, The Crippled Soul Divide

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I think listening to music as "background" is a hangup (which makes one insensitive to music, rather than the nature of the music), unless it's integrated into the activity (such as in movies or games). Any good music has that effect you ask for, so I'd probably have a huge list of recommendations, but I'll fling 3 (performers/bands) that come to mind immediately:

Thin Lizzy
Nick Cave (and the bad seeds)
Björk

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david_a said:

Some more random songs that haven't been listed (only the ones I could find YouTube videos for):

David Bowie - "Heroes" (the video is horrifying though - those teeth!!!)
David Bowie - Strangers When We Meet

As far as Bowie goes, I think this one gets me more emotionally.


A couple of spooky albums:

Coil - Musick to Play in the Dark Vol II
Tear Garden - Last Man to Fly
Tear Garden - To Be An Angel Blind, The Crippled Soul Divide

Holy crap, my two favorite Tear Garden albums. To be an Angel Blind, the Crippled Soul Divide also wins my award for best album title ever. And In Search of my Rose is one of my favorite songs of all time. Also, I like both parts of Musick to Play in the Dark. I haven't heard any Coil in a long while.

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The only studio album that I can really just lie there and listen to without doing anything else is Radiohead's Kid A. I also have a bunch of mood-specific mixes that I've made, but that sort of cheapens it.

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Listen to music from when you where growing up, even if it is shit. Spice Girls, Pulp and that "Because you're gorgeous" song bring loads of memories back. Scatman, Ebeneezer goode and 2Unlimited are further back and the memories are a bit more hazy.

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darknation said:

I'd actually recommend the entire Outside album. The thing is shit fucking hot.

Yeah, it's an awesome album. I've been meaning to find the original version of Strangers When We Meet from The Buddha of Suburbia to see how it differs (some people claim it's better).

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