Favourite Songs: “Come On Get Higher” by Sugarland

Before hearing Sugarland cover this song, I’d never heard the original by Matt Nathanson. Between the two, I prefer the Sugarland version – there’s something about hearing a female voice sing lead – and a male voice accompanying her – that makes it even more powerful. It’s such a beautiful song; the melody, the emotion, the mood of it – Matt Nathanson wrote an incredible song. I can listen to this song for hours on end; I’ve literally had it on loop for an entire day. It’s incredibly fun to harmonize along with as well. Unlike my two previous picks, When You Call My Name by Paul Brandt, and World’s Apart by Jars of Clay, the lyrics of this song don’t speak to me in a particularly powerful way…but it’s still a beautiful love song worth having in your collection.

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[click here to listen to a 30 second sample of the song]

“Come On Get Higher”, Sugarland/Matt Nathanson

I miss the sound of your voice
And I miss the rush of your skin
And I miss the still of the silence
As you breathe out and I breathe in

Continue reading Favourite Songs: “Come On Get Higher” by Sugarland

Favourite Songs: “When You Call My Name” by Paul Brandt

Paul Brandt (Wikipedia) is a country artist, and for many, many years I really disliked country. I probably even said that I hated country music when I was in my 20’s. Sometime in my early 30’s, I started to enjoy some country music. One of the key artists to re-shape my feelings about country music was Paul Brandt. I really liked his music because it wasn’t the twangy “My dog got run over by a truck” stuff I thought of as being typically country. The first album I bought by Paul Brandt was This Time Around, his 2004 release. I liked it, and picked up a few more of his albums – and I discovered a song that blew me away, completely and totally: When You Call My Name.

To quote from this song, “the way that it moves me, it’s simply amazing”. Just like “World’s Apart” by Jars of Clay, this song impacted me in a big way when I first heard it, and it still does today. First, it’s live – the whole album it’s from, Small Town and Big Dreams, is live. Live music has a…realness that studio music can often lack. It’s raw, it’s pure, and it’s real (assuming there aren’t a rack of pitch-correctors back-stage). Paul Brandt’s voice is powerful, pure, and very real. I’ve heard him sing live (sadly, not this song), and his voice really does sound that good. Next, layer on some great playing/singing by the band, especially the background vocalists – one of which I think is his wife, Elizabeth. There’s also a male background vocalist that adds some great texture to the song. There are wonderful harmonies layered everywhere in this song – it’s amazing to sing along with – and some phenomenal mandolin and bass playing.

For me, the real power though is in the words. Music is poetry put to melody, and like all poetry, the interpretation is often left up to the reader or listener. When I close my eyes and listen to this song, I hear the cry of the created to the Creator. I hear the ache of a spirit, once broken, made whole.  I hear the gasp of amazement from a soul who hears his name spoken from the lips of Eternity. I hear the tears of joy falling on a face of someone who’s been forgiven, head tilted upward toward Pure Love. When You call my name.

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[you can listen to the entire song here]

“When You Call My Name”, Paul Brandt

Give me a moment
To try and explain it
And how it has changed
The man that I am
Life has a way
When you try to arrange it
Of makin’ a fool
Of the best laid plans

Guess what I’m tryin’ to say
Is you took me by surprise
One word is all that it takes
And forever’s on my mind
It happens every time

I hear the sweetest sound
My world stops turnin’ round
Like I’m on Holy Ground
When you call my name
It sets the sky on fire
Burning with my desire
Stronger deeper higher
When you call my name

The way that it moves me
It’s simply amazing
Yeah somehow it seems
Much bigger than words
When you call my name
Angels start singing
The most beautiful sound
That I’ve ever heard

And it starts all over again
This feeling deep inside
A blessed chain of events
A heaven sent desire
It happens every time

I hear the sweetest sound
My world stops turnin’ round
Like I’m on Holy Ground
When you call my name
It sets the sky on fire
Burning with my desire
Stronger deeper higher
When you call my name

When you call my name
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh
When you call my name
Ooooooooohhhh
It happens every time

I hear the sweetest sound
My world stops turnin’ round
Like I’m on Holy Ground
When you call my name
It sets the sky on fire
Burning with my desire
Stronger deeper higher
When you call my name

I hear the sweetest sound
My world stops turnin round
Like I’m on Holy Ground
(call my name)
When you call my name
It sets the sky on fire
Burning with my desire
Stronger deeper higher
When you call my name

Stuck in My Head: Emmy Rossum

I love music. I really love music. Silence can be nice, silence can be helpful, but when I don’t feel like silence I want to be awash in music. I stumbled, quite randomly (saw it in an Oprah commercial), across a musician by the name of Emmy Rossum, and the clip I saw had something to do with YouTube. I checked her out and this is the song I found:

Enchanting, yes? Perhaps not musically everyone’s cup o’ tea, but I really liked it. The fact that the song feels like it’s all one big introduction, but the song never “starts”, leaves the listener with an unfinished feeling. Lest anyone think that she’s a studio-diva with a rack of auto-tuners to fix her vocal sloppiness, here’s a video clip of her performing live – and her voice is solid.