Music might be the most important piece of culture through history. No other media has the power to engage or influence people like music do. It empowers our greatest moments, it comforts us when we cry over lost love, it helps us channel anger and it just makes us want to move our body to its rhythm. Music is in us, even as our surrounding is completely quiet. I think music works best when it is used as a mean to enhance an emotion. This is of course the whole purpose of music: To enhance/emote a feeling. That is why we make music and that is why we listen to it.
Something I really like is discovering a great song that I never heard before. It doesn't need to be newly written or anything, just new to me. I often pick up these new songs on the radio, on Spotify or iTunes but the place where I have discovered most of the new truly great songs is in the movies. It happens once, maybe twice a year: I visit the cinema or rent a DVD and halfway through the movie, an amazing song starts playing that fully encapsulate the scene and emotion that the film is aiming for. A perfect choice. Many of my favourite movies has introduced a song to me that really made me shudder out of pleasure. So I thought I'd make a Top five songs introduced to me in movies. The rule I follow here is that I mustn't have heard the song before I saw the film it was featured in. Also, it musn't be a song written specifically for the movie. These are not just good songs, but they're featured in really good movies. So go and see the movie, as well!
Number five: The Promise by When in Rome (Napoleon Dynamite)
I was late to discover Napoleon Dynamite. The buzz about this low-budget nerd-comedy had already been going on for some time before I rented the film on DVD. I really liked it but I wasn't blown away by it. I saw it a couple of times and it grew on me. Especially the ending is a nice scene with Napoleon, the protagonist, and Deb, his love interest, playing a game of tether ball together. It's a scene of future promises and possibilities. This is where "The Promise" kicks in and really cements the feeling of true faithful love.
Number four: Stop Crying Your Heart Out by Oasis (The Butterfly Effect)
I first saw The Butterfly Effect sometime during my second year in high school and by then it was a few years old, I think. I remember being totally sucked in into the plot and I really cared about the characters. Aside from the most obvious message, for me, the film is about a love that we yearn for so very, very hard in our hearts but can't reach. I felt touched by it and felt sorrow deep down, as if I were in the same situation. "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" is played right at the ending and sums up all those feelings of loss and lost love that the film contains. A very strong ending to a great movie and it was after seeing this movie that I really started listening to Oasis.
Number three: Extreme Ways by Moby (The Bourne Identity)
"Extreme Ways" is featured in all of the three films in the Bourne-trilogy but it was in the first mind blowing part where I first discovered it. I had heard a lot of praise for the Bourne-films and I bought The Bourne Identity and Supremacy on PSP UMD for a cheap price. At the time, Ultimatum hadn't reached the cinemas yet. I saw the first movie while travelling by train and though I had a hard time hearing the voices in the film (due to the weak sound of the PSP) I still quickly discovered a new favourite film. The Bourne-films were a whole new level of action and displayed some really amazing skills in editing fighting scenes. After seeing the movie, my heart beat quickly and I felt as in ecstasy and this is when "Extreme Ways" kicks in. Yes, just like number four and five this is the credit song of the movie but it was so fitting to end an action packed adrenaline rush as The Bourne Identity with this soothing techno song.
Number two: Love Reign O'er Me by Pearl Jam (Reign Over Me)
Yes, this is originally a song by The Who and yes, the original Who-version is also featured in the movie. BUT the Pearl Jam-version is played earlier in the movie and it is specifically covered by Pearl Jam just for this movie and, dear lord, is it good? Yes, yes, it is. It is fantastic, amazing, incredible and f-ing AWESOME! The emotions caused by listening to this song cannot be described. Oh, I mustn't forget to mention the movie because I think that everyone who has an interest in movies, especially GOOD ones, should see this. If I tell you Adam Sandler is one of the main character you might think of some of the other films he's been in but no, this is nothing like that. This movie is an emotional powerhouse and the relationship between the different characters really feels real and honest. It's a nice change to the usual Hollywood formula of making movies. See it sometime. And listen to the unbelievably good song.
Number one: Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes by Beck (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
Where do I begin to describe what this movie means to me? It is significant in so many ways that it may well be a definition of who I am. The movie is about love but not as you might think and it wouldn't be fair of me to define what Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind really centres around. For me, the most important aspect of this movie is how it reflects upon our memories and how utterly important some of our memories are. It may be all we have in the end. I won't go on with this incoherent review of this masterpiece of a movie but let me just say that the one thing that really made me fall in love with it was when Beck's "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes" began playing for the first time in the movie. I don't remember but I think I cried. The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind will forever stand as one of my personal favourites, a movie dear to the heart and Beck's melancholy song is the very best song I ever discovered while watching a movie.