Generally speaking, I really don’t like slow songs. I turn to music to lift my mood and slow songs unfortunately tend to have the opposite effect. I personally enjoy when music sounds very upbeat and happy but has deep and dark lyrical undertones. As a result, when I find a ballad I like, it is very special. Here are five ballads that I think don’t suck.
1. Monsoon by Hippocampus
If I’m honest, this song is really sad but that’s not surprising because Nathan from the band wrote it about his sister’s death. The song talks about how the grief is actually not like a monsoon and isn’t overwhelming like one might expect. One of the prevailing lyrics, “It should’ve been me” reveals the reality of what one feels from the death of a loved one. Musically, the song also conveys a lot of emotion which I think any good ballad should do. The song begins without percussion and throughout the first minutes, builds to the first beat drop where the song picks up a bit. The vocals are a bit stronger at this point as well and continue as such until the song slows down again and fades away to nothing. The reason that I think this ballad doesn’t suck is because it doesn’t shy away from sadness and strong emotions. It embraces the sadness and finds the beauty in emotions.
2. Heaven’s Gate by Fall Out Boy
This fantastic song opens with some soulful belting from Patrick Stump which felt humorous as it reminded me of the "Drunk History of Fall Out Boy” told by Brendon Urie. This song feels a bit nostalgic to me as it is very reminiscent of the ballads that I used to play in jazz band. The chords are very bluesy which again conveys that emotion that ballads are so great at. The religious tones in this song also do a lot for me as someone who grew up with religion. The church bells leading into the chorus help create that tone along with the lyrics which focus on making it into heaven to find love. Having the lighter piano in the beginning and end and the strong builds in the middle with guitars and percussion allow for Patrick’s voice to shine. This song is unbelievably beautiful and sad which again is what I look for in ballads.
3. Ego Loss on Grand River Avenue by Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers
The best adjective that I have to describe this song is authentic. Joe Hertler writes music about life in such a way that it truly connects to the listeners and evokes a lot of emotions. Hertler is also a Michigan native so of course we ought to support him for that. As for this song, the structure is quite unique by stringing together many verses with a bridge towards the end and lacking any chorus. The song describes