Writers’ Beat — Favorite Music Moments

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Introducing a new segment on our blog: the writing staff beat! Here we have our contributors discuss a prompt every week. This time around, we are talking about our favorite music moments. What is a specific section in a song that gets you really excited? Find out (and listen to) what our writing staff loves about their favorite tunes.

Andrea Williams: Coldplay's "Viva La Vida"

The first thing that I think of when it comes to an iconic musical moment in my life is the intro to "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay. In this intro you are totally immersed in the rich sounds that the cello is making that soon turns into the backbone throughout the entire song. The second time that this song captivates me is in the pre-chorus once you hear the sounds of the violin peeping through Chris Martins vocals and the grounding sounds of the cello. Once the pre-chorus comes to an end you can start to hear soft cymbals in the background and the tension starts to build and as soon as that tension comes to an end you are meet with two quick hits to the drum as Chris Martin starts singing the chorus. With those moments making up the whole song it's safe to say that this will remain as one of my all-time favorites.  

Kenneth Cox: New Order's "Blue Monday"

Almost exactly halfway through New Order's 1983 single "Blue Monday", the song skitters to a stop. The tightly programmed beat and layers of synths on the song suddenly fall apart and drop out, leaving just four hi-hat hits and a thundering crash sound before returning right back to the song. I'm convinced that the booming, immense crash in "Blue Monday" might just be one of the greatest moments in music history. The crash is an explosion of energy, a moment of catharsis that ties all seven minutes of the song together. It's a moment I spend the whole song waiting for, and leaves me thrilled and buzzing with energy every time I hear it. "Blue Monday" wouldn't be the song it is without that brief, ever so important crash.

Lily Doolin: Styx's "Mr. Roboto"

My earliest favorite "music moment" would have to be in the song "Mr. Roboto" by Styx. My mom listened to this song in the car all the time, and its electronic/rock vibe sucked me in every time.I would chant along when the lead singer started repeating "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto." Since I was so young, this was probably the only part of the song that I understood, and I just latched on to it like no tomorrow. Even to this day, I'll randomly find myself chanting those lyrics in the shower, in class, or when I'm trying to be productive but I just can't manage to pay attention.   This song has also become one of my go-to song when I feel like performing karaoke for myself in the car just so I can have an excuse to belt out "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto" at the top of my lungs. It's a song that's come to hold a lot of fun memories for me, so it always puts me in a good mood listening to it.

Mica Kendall: Catfish and the Bottlemen's "Rango"

This song is from the Welsh indie-rock band's debut album, The Balcony. Towards the end of the second chorus there's an abrupt break where it feels like the entire song is encapsulated by this droning guitar solo that makes your bones rattle. The guitar solo is so epic that it's entrancing until it sharply breaks when lead singer, Van Mann, comes back into the song and delivers the lyrics with fiery passion compared to the soft beginning of the song. This specific build up in the song is so powerful that the listener finds themselves emulating Van's sense of heartbreak. It is truly inhuman if the listener does not find themselves unconsciously screaming back the lyrics towards the end of the song when the chorus hits its climax of intensity.

Owen Murray: Radiohead's "Everything In Its Right Place"

I'll never forget the first time I listened to Kid A. My dad had shown me some music by Radiohead already and I loved The Bends and OK Computer, but I knew Radiohead only as a rock band. Kid A's opener "Everything In Its Right Place" chanced my perception of the band in its opening seconds. The song's foreboding synth line and steady beat perfectly sets the stage for what the album had in store: a bold departure from rock music. The way "Everything In Its Right Place" totally shattered my expectations for what a Radiohead album should be changed the way I listened to music. I made a habit of seeking out the unexpected and experimental elements of music. But nothing compares to the amazement I felt the first time I turned on Kid A.

Rodin Batcheller: The Beatles' "Rocky Racoon"

"Rocky Racoon" has always been one of the most underrated Beatles songs ever and is also one of my favorites. The way it starts off with an acoustic guitar and Paul McCartney rambling in a silly deep voice followed by a playful harmonica makes me smile every time I hear it. I remember this song playing in my house growing up and my father following along with every lyric by heart. As a youngster, the only parts I would end up singing were the parts where Paul sang "Do do do…" along with an old-timey saloon piano. That's probably my favorite musical moment in a song. Not just because of how fun and playful it is, but also because of the memories it holds.

Tiffany Carbon: John Mayer's "I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)"

John Mayer's known for how he so easily manipulates and takes control of a guitar and its proven on "I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)". It's arguably one of his best songs, as he soulfully sings about his fear of commitment. Halfway through, he switches up the tempo, slowing down his words to make it sound like he's almost talking to the listener. Then at the 2:40 mark, the guitars come in for their own breathtaking solo. It's the type of riff that I sing along to, one that always ends up taking control of my body. It only lasts for about 25 seconds but John shows the immense amount of effect guitars have on a track. I prepare for that part every time I listen, turning my volume to the highest then just going at it while it lasts before eventually rewinding to hear it all over again.

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