I usually don’t do a lot of writing about music. My ears aren’t the best, I don’t fully comprehend different musical terms and in general I just feel trying to describe my musical experiences is like trying to hold water in my hands—it all ends up slipping through. But, I thought I would still give it a try, since it was indeed the thing that made me cry this week.
I came out of the bus that had been warming me back up in the 15 minutes I was in it. While I don’t usually enjoy the cold, I pretty much despise it most of the time, as I walked out of the bus I realized today was one of those few days where I embrace the cold, where I’m happy for it to be here. One of those days where cold feels more like a blanket, than a killing machine.
As I stepped out of the bus Naive by RKCB played.
Right after it played Begin (ft. Wales), by Shallou. I was still walking towards Spoelhoef. Out in the embracing cold. And I could just feel my eyes getting filled up with the different lyrics and verses.
I think these two songs represent a lot of what I’ve been going through this semester.
Naive represents my heartache of things that didn’t work out. Often, I hoped that things maybe will come back, that they’ll be what they were again. The title and the verse “I’m not naïve,” pointed to how naïve I can be in an almost ironic way. It made me sad, but also made me want to laugh at myself. How often have I hoped for the past to come back, but I know it won’t? I’m naïve through and through, but I saw my lips moving together with those verses, understanding myself in them.
The music itself caught my attention because of how mellow it is. It’s simple, with a base sound in the background that doesn’t pull you away from the singer. Slow beats and simple texturized sounds flow in the back. But what sold the song for me were the simple yet moving lyrics.
In what’s the “climax” of the song for me, RKCB sings:
“Just promise me
You let me be inside my dreams
Where it’s not over”
I think Begin, coming right after this song gave a whole twist on the moment’s meaning. Like Naive the melody is somewhat simple and mellow, but this one has a hint of hope. It’s starts with a couple of uplifting beats and then he starts singing. There’s some nice variations in the “highlights” of the songs, but the base of the song stays steady. The voice is breathy, almost spiritual and distant.
But the lyrics again are what finally drove this song in deep—even if I’ve already heard this one in the past.
“Change your mind
‘Cause I wasn’t thinking right
We can begin at the top.”
Pretty often we hear to not be ashamed or embarrassed of our mistakes, to embrace them. And while I think there’s some degree of that that we should carry with ourselves, we should also feel comfortable to change our minds, to admit—“I wasn’t thinking right.” It’s hard to admit that we were wrong, but I think this song helps us relax and admit that we did mess up. We mess up all the time, let’s begin again.
In trying to deal with this past year, and this past semester, I had to remind myself both that I can’t go back to the beginning, to how things were. But also that I can change my mind, I can start over. I can restart myself and “Begin at the top.” It’s a paradox that I want to carry with myself.
So, as the end of the year approaches I want to remind myself of that. We can always try again, we can always recognize our mistakes, and we can always let go and move on.