Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond

From the very first seconds, this avatar of musical art promises to send its passengers to the far reaches of imagination. The finesse at play here is all too evident. While the mighty sound creature begins to unfold its wings, through solemn, constant touches of the synthesizer, a myriad smaller musical happenings occur in the background. And this is barely scratching the surface of what can be said about the first minute and a half of this masterpiece in composition and meaning.

Soon, the soft, calm synth landscape is punctuated by a lonely guitar, bringing a whole new dimension of sharpness and… sincerity. Then, the melody bursts to life, echoing, warping time and space. And it’s still only the beginning.

Words are blinded by the light of genius. The only way to reward this creation is to close my eyes and let it live inside me. And a long life it will be, for songs such as this one are touched with the magnetism of divinity.

AWOLNATION - Megalithic Symphony

AWOLNATION – Sail

This melody came on my radar thanks to an amazing fan-made YouTube video. It’s so good that whenever I read the song’s title, the first thing I think about is not the music, but the playful, over-the-top video full of youthful exuberance and vibrant energy. This one is simply off the charts in the “cute” category!

Of course, this is not to say that this isn’t a great song, because it is! It’s a fabulous combination of rock, synth-driven textures, distorted vocals and dreamy choirs. Definitely a song I’d put in a collection meant to expand one’s musical horizons. But really, make sure you see the video :).

Tristania - Ashes

Tristania – Endogenesis

This melody is an enthralling journey into the value of contrast. It bites, but it’s as if it does so only to bring further value to the soft touches that will always follow. It’s a composition of staggering diversity. Few melodies have this much happening in the space of less than 8 minutes. There’s nary a second of boredom and hardly any repetition. The song goes through several movements with excellent pace and in total harmony. It’s a work of art of undoubted rarity.

Anugama - Shamanic Journey

Anugama – Shamanic Journey

Embark on a peaceful exploration guided by calm percussion and air instruments. One such air instrument is the human voice. Mystic choirs flow along with the music, weaving a dreamy tapestry. The invocation for inner peace is the song’s only spoken word, so that the entire composition becomes a mantra of surprising clarity and purpose.

Insane Clown Posse - The Great Milenko

Insane Clown Posse – Halls Of Illusions

This rabid, mad, wicked rock/hip-hop song is half horror-comedy movie and half awesome musical performance. Since this style is all about the lyrics, I’ll start by saying that this is one little sadistic gem. Contrasting ideal dream worlds with terrible realities, the merciless writing goes through a violent story, infesting it with dark humor coming from the blackest pits of hell.

It’s all delivered by a solid melody, diverse and very well-orchestrated (I’d say it rises far above the average hip-hop instrumentals). Guitars, percussion, vocal distortions, weird sounds of all sorts, samples – everything is brought together with excellent production values.

Suie Paparude - Atac La Persoane

Şuie Paparude – Marajkee

A guitar passed through several filters joins forces with sweeping electronic textures, setting the mood before the monolithic beat arrives. Echoing and contrasting the tribal-industrial feel of the rhythm is an airy female voice sample, cleverly intertwined with the electronic arrangement. A beautiful mood-setter by one of the best electronica bands hailing from Romania.

Delerium - Karma

Delerium – Heaven’s Earth (feat. Kristy Thirsk)

From the very first minute of this song we are greeted by an impressive array of instruments and motifs. The mélange of electronica, choirs and acoustic instruments continues to mature well into the second minute. Only then is the melody truly taking off as Kristy’s voice blossoms.

The acoustic and vocal part of the song is transported into the future by means of shiny, spotless electronic beats. Evocative choirs join Kristy as she sings her way towards the ecstatic end.

This is a journey of surprising diversity and intensity. Eyes-closed listening is highly recommended.

Temple Step Project - Embrace The One

Desert Dwellers – New Generation (feat. Darpan – Temple Step Project Remix)

Time for a hopeful look towards tomorrow. Desert Dwellers’ psybient song “New Generation” was begging for some more message. As luck would have it, Temple Step Project stepped in the project. Now, the already awesome vibes of “New Generation” are joined by a beautiful speech which integrates seamlessly with the music.

Temple Step Project went all in for the “new generation” message and gave the song a powerful, intentful message – if at time a bit too bombastic for its own good. It’s one of the better remixes out there. Even better, courtesy of a wonderfully composed fan-video we are transported to what is and what could be. I’ll link the original song too because it’s too good not to.

Argaman - Living in a Bubble

Argaman – Life In The Pocket (Day)

You can’t play this song. It plays you. If you let it, it’ll stretch your mind far towards funkyland and load it up with a sphere of crazyjoy. Then, the intellectual bow will be fired and the ball of crazyjoy will be shot back into our reality with a noisy twang. It will reach Earth at full power, trumpeting and tip-toeing its chaotic-yet-charming dance, changing tempo, keeping the ear guessing at what’s going to play its drum next.

Kenny Rogers - The Gambler

Kenny Rogers – The Gambler

Telling a tale through music is one of the most beautiful joinings of the arts. The atmosphere-building in this song is done with supreme mastery. Every instrument is introduced at just the right time and is being kept on the stage for exactly as much as it should. For example there’s some delicate percussion starting at 0:28. It stays around for less than 20 seconds.

Kenny’s voice is just perfect for the story he’s telling. The reverb is used in ample amount, but again, ideal for the mood being conjured. As the song builds up, a choir joins voices with the singer, telling us important things about life from a gambler’s perspective. And this brings me to the lyrics. The song does very well at imparting life wisdom through the use of analogy.