Can we talk about soul music for a second? It’s funny how your musical taste evolves as you grow and your life changes. Some things always remain true to your soul, but sometimes you cringe with embarrasment over that one concert you went to in middle school (*cough* NSYNC *cough*). I remember dreading long road trips with my father because we would have to listen to Neil Young. Guess what little me from the past? Neil Young is an absolute effing legend. You just didn’t know anything besides reading Mad Magazines and collecting Beanie Babies because you were just a child.
I never pegged myself as a soul music fan before. It never really connected with any phase of my life thus far. I was either into rebellious angry loud music or rap music. I also had a post-carribean-vacation reggae phase.
Things change though, and now I’d like to say that my musical taste only becomes more refined with age. I live such a more calm and zen life where I’ve realized how good it is to feel relaxed and how amazing soul music is. It’s important, it’s timeless and it makes you feel good, and feeling good is really important.
If you haven’t dabbled with the soul, check these songs out. Here are the 5 soul songs that I’ve claimed as my favorites.
“Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight and the Pips:
You know that Iphone emoticon with the heart eyes? My face literally turns into that everytime I hear this song. Not only does Gladys have the voice of an angel, but I can totally relate to this song. At least my interpretation of it, which is that this guy just couldn’t quite cut it in LA. He was struggling and went back home to live a more simpler life. She also followed him there to be with him because: love. Actually the only part of that song I can relate to is the struggling in LA part, but I’m sure all Angelenos at one point have thought of throwing all their paperwork in the air and moving back to their little hometown to plant vegetables and knit scarves.
“Pusherman” by Curtis Mayfield:
I’m sure you have all heard this song multiple times, but really give it a deep listen. Curtis was way ahead of his time. He really was the OG: original gangster. He addressed some pretty heavy topics back in the 70’s. He sang about drugs, women and politics, but he did it with grace and style and way before it became the norm in most all rap music that we hear today.
“The Boss” by James Brown:
This is a song I listen to when I’m either feeling really badass and accomplished or I’ve got to psyche myself up for something I don’t want to do. “Look at me, what do you see? you see a bad motha$*” Always remember that. You’ve got to pay the cost to be a boss.
“A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin:
This song is so sweet. I think it has been played on a shampoo commercial in the past. Really though, it’s about love and how her man makes her feel like a total babe. It’s sexy, romantic and it makes me feel excited and hopeful that someday I might meet a man who will love me so much inside and out, because of who I am and not because I’m really good at doing my eyeliner.
“Use Me” by Bill Withers:
Have you ever found yourself with someone who was totally incompatible and didn’t deserve you? None of your friends or family liked him but you were just sprung and didn’t care. I’m pretty sure thats the general meaning of this song, but as a whole I’m going to appoint Bill Withers as legendary in everything he does.