Seven Songs That Make You See G-d

We've all heard enough droning about the genius or complexity of the art world's favorite artists; I don't see much correlation with what time actually ends up celebrating.

Seems to me, as we age and our joys gets simpler, and I think this best comes with having children, the faith-inspiring, purpose-inspiring segment of art occupies more of you. And those types of works are simple. They will forever just come from pretty stuff layered on to simple, awestruck thoughts: “I miss you.” “Don’t go.” “I’m lost.” “I’d die for you.” “I’m so alone.” "Don't worry, we'll make it through."

Despite a half-century of prattle about the perfection of Bob Dylan’s inscrutability, most never feel a rush of spirit from that, and I don’t think his defenders do, either. For the purposes of being lifted up, drawn out, that comes from simplicity. I’d bet you more likely feel spiritual joy from “roll down the windows and let the wind blow back your hair.” With Dylan, “Don’t think twice, it’s alright” lasts longer than that stuff about the dude with a Siamese cat on his shoulder.

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("Speak for yourself.")

And music, despite being taught as some pure form of human expression, gets dominated by timing and culture. A contemporary intending to bare his pain isn’t going to drop “Danny Boy” on a pan flute in 2015; he’s going to offer something based in the aesthetic comfortable to him, and digestible to his audience of normal people who aren’t making art for a living. Literally every male I know over the age of 35 lifts weights to Soundgarden. Our parents will go to their graves humming the Beatles. Conversely, the Four Tops will never, never again make a teenager squeal. “Brilliant” sounds considerably more dopey or pompous as we age, accompanied by the realization that it sounded that way to everyone else beyond 21 who had other things to do when it had hold of us.

Much of the following reflects my having been an American teenager in the 1990s -- and obviously, as an editor of PJ Media, you might guess that I’ve come to loathe a significant strain of the culture behind the music I nonetheless respond to. But this generation of political and media leaders ascending and soon dominating the field is shaped by this stuff, and I don’t see some of these missing anyone. That rush of finding G-d in art came from these for me -- starting with just seven, I may try another post soon if asked -- and I expect their simplicity and awe-inducing properties can't be missed. 

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