Music can give you inspiration. It can give you movement, hope, excitement and joy. Music can make you feel as though you could do anything in this world. I’ve relied on music to get me through some of my darkest times, and it has never failed me. I know it has the power to change lives because it has changed mine over and over again. Throughout my life, all kinds of music were playing in my home, and I created some of my own as well. It has the power to heal, and it has the power to change things. So, on this #SCS, might I suggest, a bit of musical magic for you?
I’ve always gravitated towards music in times of need. There is nothing in life that a good pop song can’t make, at least, a little bit better. I used to obsessively lie on my floor, with my ear pressed to my little tape player, listening to the “Thriller” album my dad had recorded for me off of his vinyl copy. I loved him, and his music, so much. That music led to other music, like Whitney Houston, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and the New Kids On The Block. They were the first band I ever really remember shutting myself up in my room for, and listening to their album over and over until I knew all of the words. In fact, I think if you put on the “Hangin’ Tough” album right now, I’d know all the words. And, you know what else? I’m not even ashamed. I was 10, and they made me happy. Though their music doesn’t sound as good to me as it once did, it holds a special place in my heart.
Loving pop music has allowed me to really love the type of music that a lot of people would laugh at me about. I mean, sure, I had a No Doubt phase (I graduated high school in 1997, so yeah, I had a phase!), an Alanis phase, and when I graduated high school, my favorite band was The Wallflowers. Don’t get me wrong, I still love all of those bands, but nothing can even come close to what happened to me when The Backstreet Boys came on the scene. It was like someone had come in and turned a switch on inside my brain. Suddenly, music made me giggle and squeal and made me have so much fun! I fell fast, and I fell hard, and once I was on board, I didn’t ever want to get off. I have so many memories from that time that make me smile: my mom got Howie D’s autograph at our first BSB concert; my sister took me to see them in Vegas and fell in love too; I was part of a team who wrote some serious BSB fan-fiction, and we had it on the internet! I love that time in my life because it took me out of places I couldn’t handle being.
One of the hardest times in my life happened in 1999, and I will never forget it. The Backstreet Boys’ “Millennium” was going to come out on Tuesday, and the Sunday before, I had gotten up to watch them on MTV back when MTV used to play videos and musicians mattered. Anyway, I watched them, had an awesome morning, and then received word that someone I had known was killed in a car accident. I spoke in a previous post about this death, and how it sent me into a spiral, and it did. But, at the same time as all of this was happening, “Millennium” came out, and I’ll never forget it. I remember ripping open that tape (I told you, it was 1999) and jamming that tape into my player in the car, and hearing the first song on the album, “Larger Than Life” and letting it wash over me. Suddenly, I wasn’t sad or scared, I was just there, in the moment. That album carried me for the whole summer, and beyond, and I have been grateful to that band ever since then. I still sunk to the bottom, but they kept me buoyant for a good amount of time.
I’m older now and I don’t seek out all information on the BSB anymore, but I still listen to them. I don’t take it as personally as I once did, but it still makes me happy. You could say pop music, in general, is what really makes me happy when I’m feeling down. I always know I’m in a sad mood when I pull out the “big guns”: BSB and *NSYNC. Yes, you CAN like both of them! And, even now, I pump myself up with some One Direction, and will tell anyone who asks me that yes, Harry Styles is, indeed, talented. Pop music, especially this kind of pop music, saved me, and I don’t take that for granted.
So, maybe your style of music isn’t exactly this, but hey, it’s all subjective, right? Who’s your favorite band? What makes you get up and dance? What changes your mood? What helps you when nothing else will? Of course I have other favorite bands, and other musical moments in my life that have meant a great deal to me, but I think the Backstreet Boys came along when I needed something like them, and their music, the most. Through them, I found my creativity, a voice I didn’t know I had, and friends that I’m actually still in touch with to this day. Maybe you won’t break out your copy of “Millennium”, but why not take out something that made you feel so good at one point, and see if it still holds that magic.
It’s Sunday. Sit back, play your favorite album, and let it change you.