If My Year Had a Soundtrack, This Would Be It

23 Dec

John-Mayer-Paradise-ValleyEvery year has its share of ups and downs.

My 2013 was no exception.

There was hope, disappointment, fear, elation, relief, frustration, happiness, and much more. Sounds like a great movie.

Of course, like any movie, there’s a soundtrack. Here are the songs I was listening to this year, which, when listened to together, provide a pretty accurate representation of the emotional roller-coaster I was on in 2013. (For the record, no pun intended, I did the same thing last year.)

I invite you to relive the year with me — musically, anyway — if you choose.

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“This Is the New Year” – A Great Big World
After the way my 2012 ended, I appreciated this song’s messages of hope and optimism.

“Hold On” – Alabama Shakes

“February Seven” – The Avett Brothers
After nearly a year of looking, I got a new job in March. After all that time, this song hit the nail on the head: “I’m rested and I’m ready to begin.”

“Dirty Water” – The Standells
My civic pride was at an all-time high after the bombing at the Boston Marathon. “Boston, you’re my home.” ’Nuff said.

“Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967” – John Mayer
Mayer’s Born and Raised album gets better with every listening. That’s just one of the reasons it got lots of play this year. I like nearly every song on the album, but this one, with its story of a dreamer who proved his naysayers wrong, remains high on the list.

“Bruises” – Train with Ashley Monroe
A song about reconnecting with a high school flame.

“Pusher Love Girl” – Justin Timberlake
Mirrors” — with its cheesy but still kind of poetic line “Yesterday is history, tomorrow’s a mystery” — may have gotten all the airplay, but I love the lush sound of the opening track on JT’s first album this year.

“Lover of the Light” – Mumford & Sons
It’s the rare song that you like even more the more you listen to it. This is one of those songs.

“Save Your Soul” – Jamie Cullum

“Love Is Blindness” – Jack White
The inclusion of this song was one of the best things about Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.

“Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” – Colin Hay
I’ve had happier birthdays than the one I “celebrated” this year. This song accurately summed up how I was feeling that day. In many ways, I’m still checking the horizon.

“I Want Crazy” – Hunter Hayes
My pick for what I thought would have been the song of the summer.

“Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke with T.I. and Pharrell Williams
What most people are calling the song of the summer.

“Can’t Hold Us” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, feat. Ray Dalton
The actual song of the summer. Maybe the year. The ceiling can’t hold it.

“Never Wanted Your Love” – She & Him
“All I know is that I’m tired of being clever. Everybody’s clever these days.”

“Sight of the Sun” – fun.
This song, from the Girls soundtrack, is not on Spotify, so listen to it here.

“Sea Change” – Tin Bird Choir
Same thing: Listen to the song here because it’s not on Spotify.

“Remix (I Like The)” – New Kids on the Block

“Life Is Hard” – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Yes, everything’s relative. But when you get a job then lose a job, then your unemployment benefits run out and your job prospects start to thin out, and you don’t have much of a social life, things become less than easy.

“The Waiting” – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
This song was like the anthem of my job search, and it’s so true: “The waiting is the hardest part.”

“Work to Do” – The Isley Brothers
When I got another gig in August, I was happy to play this song a lot. Because it was true, and I couldn’t wait to get back to work.

“Easy” – Sheryl Crow
A shout-out to my current employer.

“Royals” – Lorde

“Somewhereinamerica” – Jay-Z
“Somewhere in America, Miley Cyrus is still twerkin’.” And that’s all I want to say about her.

“Black Skinhead” – Kanye West

“Started from the Bottom” – Drake
This song sums up the Red Sox season this year. Worst to first, baby!

“Three Little Birds” – Bob Marley & the Wailers
A shout-out to Shane Victornio, and a message to myself that eventually, “every little thing’s gonna be alright.”

“Best Day of My Life” – American Authors

“Take Back the Night” – Justin Timberlake
So what if this sounds like a Michael Jackson Off the Wall outtake? The lead single from JT’s second album was one of the best tracks of his career.

“Shot at the Night” – The Killers
A decent song that I liked much more after watching its video.

“Here Comes the Night Time” – Arcade Fire

“Demons” – Imagine Dragons

“Bleeding Out” – The Lone Bellow

“The Wire” – Haim

“New Constellation” – Toad the Wet Sprocket

“Love Don’t Die” – The Fray
Really digging the Fray’s new sound. Looking forward to hearing more of their new album in the new year.

“Good Times Bad Times” – Led Zeppelin
This song is all over the ad campaign for American Hustle, one of my favorite movies of the year, even though it’s not actually in the movie.

“Drive All Night” – Glen Hansard, feat. Eddie Vedder and Jake Clemons
A great cover of a Springsteen tune.

“Dream Baby Dream” – Bruce Springsteen
I’m very much looking to the new Springsteen album, coming out less than a month from now.

“Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song)” – Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford
A song from Inside Llewyn Davis, another one of my favorite movies of the year.

“On the Way Home” – John Mayer
No competition: My favorite album of 2013 was Mayer’s Paradise Valley. There are lots of good songs on it, but this one, which closes out the set, seemed like a nice way to close out this playlist.

What songs would be on YOUR soundtrack for 2013? Let me know by leaving a comment in the space below.

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2 Responses to “If My Year Had a Soundtrack, This Would Be It”

  1. MJ (@popblerd) December 23, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    You like that Fray song? #recoils

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