For My Sunday Song #337, we are going to explore the song “Sweet Euphoria” by Chris Cornell. The song was off his debut solo album ‘Euphoria Morning’ from 1999 and wasn’t a single but probably should’ve been as it is one of my favorites from that album. The album did really well going to #18 on the Billboard 200 list.
The song was written by Chris Cornell and the meaning can be different to every listener but to me it is about his struggles with depression or even bipolar disorder. Apparently, euphoria is a symptom of bipolar disorder in a roundabout way. You have the depression side, but there is also the mania side that can make you be full of energy, full of great ideas that might seem like it euphoria. That up and down feeling can be exhausting and so hard to handle and he battled with it and hid it well most of the time. The song feels like his confession and an opening up of his problems.
Musically, it is just Chris with his voice, armed with his lyrics and an acoustic guitar. The song feels like pain, like sorrow, like sadness and at the end when he screams “save my love’ it almost devastatingly heartbreaking. There is nothing else to it and yet, it is more than enough to convey his feelings and for something so sad, it is also so hauntingly beautiful. This might be the most powerful song he’s ever written.
For My Sunday Song #319, we are discussing the song “Auf Wiedersehen” by Cheap Trick. The song is off their 1978 album ‘Heaven Tonight’ and but was not released as a single. Instead, it was the B-Side to their hit “Surrender”. The song was written by Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson and talks about a very serious subject matter.
The song is about suicide. And not the first on ‘Heaven Tonight” because the title song is also about suicide. “Auf Wiedersehen” is actually German for “Goodbye” which is appropriate. The lyrics also say goodbye in Spanish and Japanese. The lyrics give a nod to Bob Dylan’s song “All Along the Watchtower” with “You feel that life is a joke”. The song isn’t trying to talk the person out of committing suicide. It is simply saying goodbye in a not so kind way.
It is a pretty heavy song both lyrically and musically and is so upbeat and face paced that you can’t help but enjoy it despite its subject matter. The guitar riffs on this one by Nielsen are some of his best on the album. Robin attacks the vocals with an aggressive tone that is both abrasive and then he can turn it around and be kinda sweet. Towards the end, he seems batshit crazy and that he has completely lost it. It is a perfect combination of the rawness from the first album mixed with the power pop of the second.
For My Sunday Song #169, we are going to talk about the very first Needtobreathe song I ever heard. The opening track to the album ‘Daylight’ called “Don’t Wait for Daylight”. The song that started it all for me. The one that said…these guys are special…they have a sound I like…their songs are interesting…I can get it in to this…and I did. 13 years later they are now one of my all-time favorite bands.
This song is really interesting as a band that was supposed to be a “Christian” band (which they are not) tackled a very delicate subject. Well, actually two delicate subjects…Suicide and Affairs. The song is about a woman who was having an affair with man and while she was going to his house to end it, she wound up stealing his coat so she could have a piece of him to remember and never said a word. Inside the coat pocket was a note. Not just any note. A suicide note that he wrote for his wife. Now here is where it gets interesting. Does she tell someone and save him? If she does, it will then be known she has cheated on her husband. Quite a predicament. The song is telling her not to wait. She has to let people know. She has to come clean and save this man’s life even if it mean destroying her world. Wow!
Musically, it is a great rocker, upbeat tempo and a standout opening track to an album. The guitar work is fantastic with a nice opening riff and pulsating beat accompanying Bo’s guitar. The song has punch and has an intensity that matches the lyrics. There is a sense of urgency in the music the same as the urgency in the need for the woman to let someone know about the note as she struggles with her decision. Bear’s vocals show range and has a maturity that most singers don’t have on their first album. It has a little raspiness to it that gives it the grit that makes for a great rock singer.
Rick Springfield has been releasing music since the early 70’s. You have the teeny bopper music from the 70’s to the pop hits he had in the 80’s including “Jessie’s Girl” which made him very famous. And now at 68, he brings his 20th studio album called “The Snake King”.
He has done many styles over the years and this time he ventures into the Blues genre. The album is a mixture of Blues Rock and straight up Blues. Now, this isn’t Blues like you would think with Curtis Mayfield or Robert Johnson, heck it isn’t even Blues like Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang. This is Rick Springfield Blues. He can try different genres, but he will always have that Rick Springfield sound and feel to his albums. You can’t be around for 5 decades in music and not have your own style or vibe.
The Blues can be very depressing and sad at times and you might think, how is Rick going to honestly convey those emotions. Well, let me tell you he hits the nail on the head with the blues. Rick has suffered immensely with depression and he has had many issues in his life. He digs deep and captures the stories and feelings from those dark times.
Another shocking death this week. First David Z on Saturday, and now Chester Bennington from Linkin Park has died. Apparently the cause of death is hanging by suicide which is completely tragic to me. He has battled addiction in the past and apparently had many more demons.
My wife told me that she read that Chester was really good friends with Chris Cornell and today would have been Chris’ Birthday. Chester even went out the same way as Chris Cornell which makes this death even sadder.
I have followed the band since the beginning and this death saddens me greatly. I loved when Chester did some work with Stone Temple Pilots and hated he left that side project, but still glad Linkin Park was still going strong. They were schedule to come here to Charlotte in August and I hate to think that won’t happen now.
The band had recently released a new album while receiving a lot of criticism from fans for the change in their sound. Chester was very outspoken about the bands new direction and whole-heartedly stood behind that change. I recently reviewed the new Linkin Park album and agreed with the fans as the change was a little too drastic for me although there were a few really good songs on the album.
I will leave with one of my favorite Linkin Park songs called “Numb”. Rest in Peace Chester Bennington!!
photo by: Stefan Brending / , via Wikimedia Commons