Joy is my authentic self. What I mean is: I’m truly the best version of me when I allowed to find moments of joy in my current environment. I notice that it is hard for a guy like me to like a talented and yet maudlin artist like Adele. It is true that she sings beautifully. I have accepted the fact that I am in the minority when I say that she as an artist has yet to “WOW” me. At some level, I fail to echo the joy that everyone else feels when they hear her music. For me, I don’t see the it factor in very many of the compositions. It could be the style of music. When a musician writes music, there’s a wonderful urgency that is communicated through their work. For me, Adele is not urgent as much as she is lingering. If emotion is a kaleidoscope, currently her musical landscape seems inclined to sing only one note. When it comes to the expression of sadness, I’m picky. That’s because I’d like to believe that sadness and depression are states and not destinations. In some way, I think that her latest single “Hello” is boxed in to sorrow and apology. It seems to long the attention and approval that it’s never going to get. The song concludes with a seemingly indifferent acknowledgement of the idea that the other person has moved on. However, it also seems as if acknowledgement that the person singing is still stuck in the past, seems joyfully unfinished. I guess I listen to many of her songs and I imagine a very unpleasant image. I visualize a video loop of a two ton anvil weighing me down and dragging me through an obstacle course against my will.
Lyrics: I’m in California dreaming about who we used to be
When we were younger and free…
It’s no secret that the both of us
Are running out of time
Question: Are we both running out of time, or are you concerned about the time you have to mend the relationship? Is the “singer” running out of time? Are we wallowing?
I’d like to believe that even in sadness and depression there exists a color and hue that are yet full. I have always liked the music of Pink and Robyn when I’m dealing with a trial in my life, because as I listen and visualize their take on things so much better.
A song that seems to compare a similar musical idea is Robyn’s “With Every Heartbeat”
Lyrics: We could keep trying
But things will never change
So I don’t look back
Still I’m dying with every step I take
But I don’t look back
And it hurts with every heartbeat
At its core, the song “With Every Heartbeat” has movement. This movement is present in the rhythm of the song, as well as the lyrical refrain: “Still i’m dying with every step I take, but I don’t look back. “And it hurts with every heartbeat.
It’s worth saying that if joy is truly your authentic self, it pains you deeply when any person in your life attempts to invite you down the path of constant shame, constant rejection, or constant sorrow when you are a person that is motivated toward any behavior that reinforces true joy.
I am not saying that it’s bad to feel sadness. I’m saying that in sadness we must constantly look for ways to try. We must look for ways to move forward and to find purpose. There’s an undercurrent of joy that pins down the refrain in Robyn’s song. Somehow she understands that if you continually acknowledges her hurt as she moves toward progress, there will be a day when she doesn’t hurt anymore.
For as it hurts with every heartbeat, the chords and tones that follow say, but I’ll hold on, and I’ll try anyway.
This is the self I see when I truly experience the wonder of the world.