Life is stressful and excellent in equal measures, and I realised recently that that also describes some of my favourite albums. I believe myself to be melodramatic, having extreme high joy times and equally extreme down days (a shade bi-polar perhaps, but Iâ€™m high-functioning and fun so I donâ€™t think I need to worry). My mood can change at the flip of a switch, and nothing cheers me up or pulls me down so much as music. Below are three albums which contain extreme high and low points for me, emotionally. You are welcome to laugh at my choices, agree, or simply offer your own. Individual songs donâ€™t count, it has to be an entire album which takes you through the full gamut of emotions. Letâ€™s hear â€˜em.
Poses â€“ Rufus Wainwright
High point: Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk
Cry point: Poses
The first time I heard Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk was a few days after Iâ€™d met a guy I would go on to have a six-year relationship with. During our first meeting, I purchased two items for him. Guess what they were? Coincidences are always exciting, although the song is awesome anyway. Lots of people find Rufus depressing, and Poses (also the name of the album) is a good example of why. Itâ€™s quite droney, but I really like that quality in his voice, and the lyrics tell the story of a fall from an essentially shallow grace: â€œI did go from wanting to be someone now I’m drunk and wearing flip – flops on Fifth Avenueâ€.
Honky ChÃ¢teau â€“ Elton John
High point: Think Iâ€™m Going to Kill Myself
Cry point: Think Iâ€™m Going to Kill Myself
This album is brilliant (although the best EJ album is Tumbleweed Connection, of course), and Think Iâ€™m Going to Kill Myself is both the emotional high and low point. High because itâ€™s upbeat, it makes me want to move, it contains a tapdance solo by Larry â€˜Legsâ€™ Smith and is massive fun to sing along to, low because itâ€™s about teenage suicide. The jolliness is ironic or something.
Something â€“ Shirley Bassey
High point: Spinning Wheel
Cry point: Yesterday When I Was Young
I realise that my music choices are a littleâ€¦camp, but camps are where the best emotional rollercoasters are to be found. Shush, it doesnâ€™t have to make sense. Shirley Bassey is amazing, and Something is one of my favourite albums of all time. I dare you not to jump up and start grooving to Spinning Wheel. From the opening bars it sparks a little happy in my heart and whichever part of my pants the soul resides in. By contrast, Yesterday When I Was Young depresses the hell out of me. Iâ€™m protesting aging every step of the way, and this song takes the worst of old age (and none of the greatness like free bus travel) and wrings out every drop of sentiment like a musical Miss Haversham. â€œThe friends I made, all seemed somehow to drift away, And only I am left, on stage to end the playâ€. This is true melodrama. R.E.S.P.E.C.T.