Favorite Final Fantasy Songs

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about my love for movie soundtracks.  In the comments, Joseph Richardson mentioned video game soundtracks, and I realized I had missed an entire genre of awesomeness.  Although other games have wonderful soundtracks (and I will want your comments to inform me of specifics!), for me, it’s always about Final Fantasy.  (And some Kingdom Hearts, because FF characters are included in the gameplay.)  Click on the links to listen to the songs on YouTube.

1.  “Main Theme” – Final Fantasy VII

For me, video games begin and end with Final Fantasy VII.  So does my taste in video game music.  The slightly ominous beginning builds to an epic melody that will, for me, forever be synonymous with exploration and adventure.  Check out an orchestral performance of the song hereContinue reading

Not With Haste

Listening to Mumford & Sons’ Wilder Minds has got me listening to all of Mumford’s albums and fangirling over their beautiful lyrics all over again.  The line that gets me the most, every time, is from “Not With Haste” on their Babel album.

I will love with urgency but not with haste.

For a while, I wanted to hang a stylized version of this quote in my counseling office (whenever I get one of those).  I like the vulnerability and healthiness conveyed in its sentence.  It is boundaries explained in poetry.  I love the idea of learning how to love deeply and fully while also being slow, letting the other person feel however they want, trusting that the love is enough without forcing it down someone else’s throat.

This is something I could learn in every relationship, but especially in romantic ones.  When I like someone, and my word, especially during those beautiful moments when someone likes me back, I go crazy.  I love with urgency and with haste.  I am desperate for my love to be affirmed, desperate to be sure that they are still into me, desperate to move this thing along toward commitment so that I can stop worrying it will all fall apart.

Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t usually go well.  For them, obviously, because that level of neediness is always unappealing to healthy people.  But for me too!  Loving with urgency and haste is a recipe for anxiety, and I definitely don’t need more of that in my life.

But to love with urgency and not with haste?  That sounds lovely.  To give of myself and expect nothing back?  How remarkably refreshing.  To trust that whatever happens will happen, but here in this moment I am open to love?

This ain’t no sham
I am what I am
I leave no time
For a cynic’s mind

We will run and scream
You will dance with me
Fulfill our dreams and we’ll be free

Falling in Love with Mumford & Sons All Over Again

Mumford & Sons has been one of my favorite bands for the last five years.  Naturally, when they announced their new album, I was ecstatic.  Also naturally, when I first heard their single “Believe” on the radio, I was appalled.  Rock had replaced folk, and my knee-jerk reaction was to recoil from change.

However, my love is nothing if not loyal, so I bought their album with the intention of listening to it until I loved it.  So far I’ve listened through the whole thing twice.  I might have done more, but I got stuck on “Broad-Shouldered Beasts.”  THIS SONG.  This song reminded me of everything I love about Mumford & Sons.  It’s still not folk and there’s still no banjo, but the heart of the band is the same.  Continue reading

4 Guilty Pleasures

Whenever I feel guilty or ashamed about liking something, my coping strategy goes like this:  casually mention it in a way disassociated from myself.  Bring it up again, with a little humor added.  Talk about it ALL THE TIME ALWAYS until people beg me to shut up.  Write a blog post about it.

Although I have grown in self-confidence and I don’t quite care as much what people think about me or my opinions, my guilty pleasures are still pleasures that make me feel guilty, as though I am too old, too mature, too whatever to like the things that I like.  I will probably always have the spectre of Other People’s Judgments hanging over my head, but today I’m saying “I don’t care!” by fangirling real hard about the dumb things that I love.  Continue reading

I’m All About Girl Pop

Growing up, I had a lot of internalized misogyny.  I was convinced that boy things would always be better than girl things, and this definitely included musicians.  I loved Ben Folds Five and *NSYNC, but female singers?  Ew, they sang so high.  They couldn’t carry the weight of an emotional song like a man could.

Lies!

So many lies that kept me from loving some really wonderful female singers.  Thankfully, I’ve grown out of that internalized misogyny, and now I’m free to love both male and female musicians.  Which is fantastic, because there are some truly phenomenal girl pop creators making my kind of music right now.

1.  Taylor Swift.  Four months after 1989 came out, I still listen to the full album at least three times a week.  I cannot stop!  I was never much into TSwift as a country singer, but when she made the switch to pop, she stole my heart forever.  I love every song on her album (with the occasional exception of This Love, which is sometimes too slow for my preferred car jams).  I mean, seriously, the amount of times I say, “This one is my favorite!  No…this one is my favorite!” is ridiculous, considering I’ve had four months to decide.  Taylor is queen of pop, and I’m a happily devoted subject.  Continue reading