Have you ever felt so overwhelmed, so anxious, the world seemed to be inescapably caving in at the speed of molasses rolling down a winter’s hill? You suffered through the motions, forced the occasional smile, and engaged in the bare-minimum in order to maintain a socially-acceptable façade. Or maybe the burden was so heavy the only feasible option appeared to be a date with your bed, covers pulled tight, as the Lord of the Rings trilogy looped on the tube. I understand. I’ve been there too. We all have at some point or another. Yet, when the darkest of nights creeps its nefarious visage above the horizon, music has always been my diversion; my buttress. I am sure you can relate. Here are some of the albums that have, time and again, reached a hand out to push that molasses back up the hill and into the jar. Feel free to reblog with the Albums That Get You Through too!
Bruce Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge of Town
Somewhere between my irrefutably conforming teenage years and the dubiously defiant beginning to my twenties, I became a born-again Boss fanatic. This is not to contend that I rejected my Springsteen upbringing in some ill-suited attempt to jump off the musical cliff. No, much like Springsteen needed a break from New Jersey after Born in the U.S.A., I needed a break from Springsteen. Yet, as I entered the post-college quagmire, and found myself mired in rudimentary tasks and treated as a spare nut in some Ikea ensemble, Darkness on the Edge of Town returned and pulled me out of the fish bowl. With his unbridled empathy for the working man and prideful belief in some promised land, Springsteen threw a life-jacket to a young man who dared to question whether there was no shame in hard work.
The Format – Interventions + Lullabies
There is that singular instant during “On Your Porch” where Nate Ruess shares his father’s moment of parental reassurance: “What’s left to lose? You’ve done enough,” the elder Ruess chimes, “And if you fail, well, then you fail; but not to us.” Nate’s father’s faith is just one of the many hopeful themes that weave in and out of Interventions + Lullabies; forgiveness, reflection, and aspiration being a few others.
The Morning Of – The Way I Fell In
One would be hard pressed to find a better harmonizing duo in the contemporary alternative emo scene than Justin Wiley and Jessica Leplon. There undeniable sunniness is just a springboard into the positivity that oozes from The Morning Of’s 2010 sophomore album. Whether the outfit is stumping for me to dance with them or simply taking my hand as they lead me into their sublime daydream-like realm, The Morning Of have this uncanny ability to lift the disheartening veil off of my occasionally susceptible head through glorious piano-pop.
Third Eye Blind – Third Eye Blind
Perhaps the best remedy for the gloomy halls of life’s castle is to employee the age-old cop-out, “well, at least I’m not doing crystal meth.” … which is precisely why “Semi-Charmed Life” works wonders on those dispiriting days. So strap yourself into your 1998 Ford Contour, pop in Third Eye Blind, and go cruising around your development with conviction. Just be sure to be back in time to catch the beginning of Are You Afraid of the Dark?