Entries in Editorial (2)


Photo of the day: The Sentiment


What's a love song?




Earlier this week I read the question 'What's your favourite/most memorable love song?'. I read the tweet, started to write and answer and got quickly distracted. Later that day I caught myself thinking about the same thing, and my choice of song became obvious. What wasn't so obvious was why I chose that one.



I was probably 14 when my friend John lent me the Smashing Pumpkins album 'Pisces Iscariot'. I really didn't like most of it. I was used to the fuzzed out thrash of their big songs, but after a few listens 'Landslide' grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go. At the time I had no idea that it was a classic Fleetwood Mac song. The internet was a weird idea, not an everyday part of life so information like that was not so accessible.


I remember walking down the street listening to it on my discman and realizing that this was made for someone. You can't pull that passion, and sincerity, and depth of emotion out of thin air. I'd been moved to tears by my head phones, two guitars and a voice, while I walked down a familiar sidewalk. The odd part of it was that I had no personal relation to the track, and where it's coming from.


The experience in the song was so far beyond anything in my life but I could still feel that power. That music could emote what someone else had felt, and I could feel it and know it was different from my life was life changing.



It made me realize that such power grows organically, and cannot be falsely manufactured. 'Landslide' might not mean what it once did, but it taught me something important about music and life itself. It might not be my favourite love song, but it certainly did introduce me to the important concept that you can't help what music reaches out and grabs you. That experience, and a multitude of others like it make me skeptical of so called guilty pleasures.


I'd never heard a guitar solo that got my attention like that before.  And I don't think I'd ever heard an acoustic guitar solo that stuck in my memory.  It became clear to me that for your music to have that profound an effect on the listener, you've got to put something of yourself and your own experience in that song.  Even if you didn't live every word of it, the music still needs some of you to be that powerful.

Finding a version of this song online to listen to proves difficult, but click here to stream the audio of the Smashing Pumpkins version.  

-Words and drawing by @yahohyah