10 songs I like
By Julien Rodger
Bob Seger - Till It Shines
I never got into Seger as much as my personal favorite Springsteen, but his best songs like this one are classics. His casual delivery in this song makes it feel like he is talking to you. The guitar and piano both play key roles setting the stage for his lyrics about isolation and mid-life frustration.
Eminem feat. Nate Ruess - Headlights
Late career Eminem is like the sports player that looks old more games than not, but once in a while plays like a star again. Headlights is one of his most emotional songs which has always been the thing that makes him one of the best of all time. The lines about his mom on the medication now and deteriorating and the story wrapping around to the metaphor of the headlights driving away always gets to me. The Nate Ruess verse about fearing the plane would crash after Eminem’s part is over could have been unnecessary, but manages to be the perfect way to end it.
Ghost - Square Hammer
I originally heard this song in a TV spot for a wrestling pay per view and it’s been one of my favorite metal songs since, although it’s so catchy it could almost be classified as pop. The lighter vocals in the verses help set up the monster chorus. The lyrics about kneeling to the devil is nothing new for a metal band, but sound so epic here.
J. Cole - Nothing Lasts Forever
One of my favorite rap relationship songs. Cole and the female’s voice both tell the story with his being both emotional and pretending he’s tough. Deep down they want to get back together, but their head knows they’re not right for each other, and are trying to talk themselves out of it by saying nothing lasts forever.
Machine Gun Kelly feat. Camila Cabello - Bad Things
With the slightly twisted sample of Fastball’s Out of My Mind, Cabello lets you know exactly what she means by doing bad things to him. I loved how she sang this verse before I knew the chart topper she was about to be. Machine Gun Kelly is just as good telling the story of his codependent, likely doomed relationship of two people pretending the high will never wear off.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Buffalo Madonna - Thin Line
Similar to Nothing Lasts Forever thematically, Macklemore wants to cut and run from the relationship because of emotional availability issues as much as its deterioration. His rising emotions in the second verse shows the internal fight he’s waging. The upbeat chorus makes the end of the relationship seem like an adventure he’s glad to have gone on rather than grim.
Jay-Z & Linkin Park - Numb/Encore
I dislike most of Jay-Z’s solo material, but when he’s paired with a star like Kanye, Rihanna, Beyonce, Eminem or Linkin Park, he becomes the ultimate compliment. Why do two totally disparate songs work perfectly together? Maybe it’s because Encore is saying goodbye to the rap game (well, pretending to) and Numb is emotionally cutting itself off from a painful family member. Encore provides the energy the depressed Numb is reaching out for.
Sheryl Crow - Leaving Las Vegas
Sheryl’s voice has always been one of my favourites for its authenticity and storytelling. Vegas is a metaphor for the rollercoaster or party that once enraptured you, but she wakes up one day to find she has to go find a real life. The song is about becoming an adult and taking things seriously, but her tone reveals someone who is closer to not giving a fuck anymore.
Lana Del Rey - Ride
Ride is a perfect vehicle for Del Rey’s character bringing in the Americana and romanticism, but hiding the irrevocable damage underneath that beauty. She wants to ride to ignore the pain, but it’s making her weary. Lana was largely a one year wonder for me as she’s struggled with songwriting since, but it was a memorable one.
Whitehorse - Tame as the Wild Ones
I discovered this song playing on the radio at work. The song begins with her describing how strange things have happened to her and the drawn out guitar notes sets a sense of mystery throughout the song. The two normally emotionally isolated singers don’t know what’s happening to them with these feelings. If only all country songs were this good.