Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Beauty of the Power Ballad

As I was browsing around the iTunes store tonight, my husband had me buy the rest of Appetite for Destruction - a part of the soundtrack of his youth.  I played for him my recent purchase ("Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode) to illustrate the difference between the things he tends to like and the things I tend to like.

Then, we revisited our common ground - the power ballad.  Sure, when he was listening to power ballads he was putting the moves on some girl in the back of his car and when I was listening to power ballads I was having my heart broken at some 8th grade sock-hop (you know, back when the 4 year age difference would have seemed like a lot).  Regardless, the huge swelling sound of the power ballad strikes a chord in both of us.  Put on Cinderella's "Don't Know What You Got" or Skid Row's "I Remember You" and we'll both close our eyes, put our non-existent lighters in the air and jam.

What happened to them?  Why did musicians stop writing power ballads?  No one has even really attempted it since hair metal went away.  People make fun of them, they try to pretend like these are bad, cheesy songs that no one wants to listen to, but we all know that nothing has ever made drunk young people profess their undying love for each other like a good power ballad screamed by a guy with stringy blond hair and enough eyeliner to make Tammy Faye Baker green with envy.  At their core, they are great songs wrapped up in a cheesy '80's package.  But that doesn't change the fact that they're great.  Any song that can hold you in its grip for 3 minutes and make you love it has merit in my book.
So my recommendation to you is to give in to the guilty pleasure of the power ballad.  Let the overpowering drums, the guitar riffs, the questionable but wonderful vocals wash over you.  Take it in, let it break your heart and mend your soul.  Don't judge it, just love it.

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