There is more to being a rock musician than screaming, jumping and headbanging. In my opinion, all those antics come from a softer more vulnerable source. I believe that being a good rocker requires a versatilty that can be seen in your songs, from the loud over-the-top anthems to the softer more soulful tracks which can make any hardened heart melt in an instant. Today’s post is a celebration to the softer side of rock and I will reveal my favourite.
Nothing Else Matters Metallica
“Never opened myself this way;life is ours we live it our way”
No lie, this song sends chills down my spine every single time. Most people associate Metallica with their heavy metal sound but trust me, after hearing this track you will look at these guys so differently. This song is so good that it has actually been covered 40 times (!) but none of these covers have done justice to this song. There is haunting quality that it has that just gets to you. James Hetfield aparently wrote it for his girlfriend and you can hear it in lines like “so close no matter how far..” basically talking about their bond that is deep even when he’s on tour. James actually wanted to keep the song private but when Lars Ulrich heard it he recommended it for their album. The song is also a dedication to their fans and many Metallica fans would list this as their favourite Metallica track.
“there’s a pain that sleeps inside, it sleeps with just one eye and awakwns the moment that you leave”
I heard this song only once when I was 13 and for 7 years it stuck in my head as I had no way of downloading it. It is off Hoobastank’s popular album The Reason and although people would say the title track of the album is a much better soft song I will always stand by this song because of the way it just makes me feel calm. The arrangement of it is very simple but it is just such a powerful track. This list would be incomplete without it.
Stranger things have happened-Foo Fighters
“you are not alone dear loneliness, you forgot but I remember this”
I have only known this song for about 5 days but it belongs on this list. I don’t know what it is about this song, maybe its the acoustic guitar melody or the way Dave Grohl sings it but it just calms me and touches my heart. I’m not going to get into the meaning because to be honest I am still figuring it out but it is just a great track that I can repeat up to 4 times, which makes it pretty strong in my book.
The Only Exception-Paramore
“darling you are the only exception”
Paramore sometimes seems a bit to commercial and bubblegum for me, but when they make songs like this one they are right up there with my favourites (Incubus, Audioslave etc). I think this one of the most beautiful love songs ever sang. The lyrics are so touching, the vocals very appropriate and the beat so perfect for slow dancing. I especially love the bridge when the song elevates. This is Paramore at their very best.
“don’t try to fix me, I’m not broken”
With Amy Lee’s hauntingly beautiful voice any song will have an strong emotional quality. The piano solo also contributes to the song’s strengths. Apparently Amy Lee sang this for her sister who died and you can almost touch the sadness of the song because its that powerful. This track blows me away every single time.
Blurry Puddle of Mudd
“can you take it all away, this pain you gave to me”
This is the song that made me take Puddle of Mudd very seriously and I became a fan. It is such a sad song but at the same time very powerful. Wes Scantlin’s voice has the burnt quality that every rock musician should have. The song is about his son and it’s also about a break up. It’s so personal on the part of Scantlin and his son even appears on the video. It is one of P.O.M most successful songs and you can totally understand why so many peope resonated with it.
Saint is a Sinner Too- Slash?Rocco Delucca
“hold my hands down, so they don’t reach for you in case you don’t know a saint is a sinner too”
Slash’s self titled album of 2009 is one of my favourite albums and this is the album’s track. De Leca’s unique voice is part of the reason why this song is so powerful. It has a very simple arrangement but it still manages to pull you in. I just love the lyrics and even the way it is performed. This is a song I actually wish I had written because it is just that good.
So Far Away Avenged Sevenfold
“i have so much to say, but u’re so far away”
Like Metallica, this is a band I associate with a heavy metal sound but this song is so different from that vibe. It’s so mellow and the melody is very chilled. A.S really practiced massive restraint in this track with very positive results. The instrumentals take a back seat to the lyrics which are quite sad and vulnerable, but it make this song so perfect.
I am The Highway-Audioslave
“I am not your rolling wheel I am the Highway”
With Chris Cornell’s amazing vocals and the instrumental quality of Rage Against the Machine you really can’t go wrong add the lyrics and you have magic. This song is one of the many reasons I love Audioslave. I don’t think rock can get anymore soulful. This song belongs on this list.
So Far Away Staind
“these are my dreams that I’ve never lived before; somebody shake me coz I must be sleeping”
When I listen to Staind songs. I can almost touch lead singer Aaron Lewis’ pain. You don’t get a voice and music like this if you haven’t been through a lot. This song is a more positive song in Staind’s discography and I think it’s about change and opening yourself up.