I listen to music while I write each prompt in addition to being influenced by the photo, art piece, or poem. In fact, I like to listen to the same track while I’m researching too.
It used to be that I’d only listen to instrumentals, or classical, or soundtracks (without words), or songs in foreign languages that I couldn’t understand. Then a couple years ago, Jen introduced me to songs like “Lights” by Ellie Goulding and “Howl” by Florence + the Machine (which, btw, I refer to as the werewolf song or the heart song because I have no head for details like titles). It amazed me that the underlying feelings could seep into my scenes, which were completely unrelated to the song / singer. And here at Cimmerian Tales, we want art to fuel art.
Justin Timberlake’s most recent addition to his discography is a bit darker than previous albums. There have been heavy songs in the past like “Cry Me a River” but this is the first time that most of the songs take on that dark side of the moon aspect. It’s been one of my fav albums to have playing on repeat while I research things that go bump in the night. And Timbaland’s beats keep me hitting repeat again and again. Plus, all the songs (except Cabaret) log in at over 5 mins = great audio value.
Here’s a quick run-down of the 11 tracks found on “The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2”:
1) Gimme What I Don’t Know (I Want) This song is hypnotic with a touch of exotic. JT’s vocals play a game back and forth. I’m hooked. “Show me your teeth and then spread your wings.” That line’s begging to be a story.
2) True Blood This song makes me happy. It makes me dance. I wrote “Ramapo High Parts I & II” to this song. “When she got the bite of my type she told me that she’d found her perfect blood mate.”
3) Cabaret (feat. Drake) Dirty and catchy. If this song doesn’t make you want to join a pole dancing class, I don’t know what will. The addition of Drake seals the deal. “Cuz even though I’m a professional / I like to do my work at home.”
4) TKO If “Cry Me a River” grew up into an abusive relationship, this would be it. The video immediately reminded me of one of Audrey’s stories where the girl wins in the end. If by wins, I mean murders someone horribly. YAY! “Tried to go below the belt, through my chest, perfect hit to the dome. Damnit, babe / This ain’t the girl that I used to know.” Cuz she be crai.
5) Take Back the Night The first single. Love the horns. When it was released in July, I thought it would be my very fav on the entire CD. Turns out, it’s not, but it’s damn good. “Ooh, don’t know when the sun’s rising next / Take back the night.”
6) Murder (feat. Jay-Z) Good beat, but the lyrics get a bit repetitive — and not in a chorus kind of way. I wish there were another verse. “I line ’em up, she shoot ’em down / (Murder).”
7) Drink You Away Upbeat and musical, but darker lyrics. This is something I first noticed in Hanson songs. They’ll be singing about pain and loss, but you can’t stop tapping your feet to the beat — is that irony? “Don’t they make a medicine for heartbreak?”
8) You Got It On I could take or leave this song, tbh. It’s happy/sappy, and kind of doesn’t go with the rest of the album’s tone. Probably written for his wife, which is sweet, but it’s too pretty here. Ugh, I’m such a sap killer. “Sounds like falling in love.”
9) Amnesia Reminiscent of other JT songs from past albums, but with a new maturity. His falsetto and style really come into their own on this track. “I could feel it almost start to change / But then it hurts too much, that’s when it starts to fade.”
10) Only When I Walk Away The bluesy feel on this track is damn catchy. I feel pulled and pushed, like the ebb and flow of the tides. “She loves me now, she loves me not / She loves me now, but only when I walk away.”
11) Not a Bad Thing An interesting departure from other song choices on 2 of 2. Again, it doesn’t seem to quite fit. It feels more like an *NSYNC track from the past, even with the gratuitous swearing that really feels out of place here. What I’m saying is, I skip this song when listening to the whole. It’s not a bad song on its own, but I’d swap out Blindness or Electric Lady (found exclusively at Target) with this one. “When someone cuts your heart open with a knife, and you’re bleeding / But I could be that guy to heal it over time.”
Do you listen to music in order to crank out pages, or do you prefer absolute silence? What are some of your fav songs?