I was recently putting together a playlist of music for my niece’s 21st birthday event. I was looking for songs that are upbeat, positive, and songs where you don’t need to pay close attention to the lyrics. Just great background music to keep people in a good mood as they arrive and chat with friends, get some drinks or snacks, etc. My niece and I came up with a lot of good songs so I love the list! It was designed to include a lot of her favorite songs and bands, too, so that made it even better. I came across a song that was perfect. It’s “Joy” by Ben Rector.
See? It’s a great song! It was perfect for the occasion however it was dropped from the playlist for only one reason. While I appreciate very much what Ben did in the final 2 minutes— giving credits and shoutouts to people who helped him with the song and the full album (especially since I know what it’s like to work behind the scenes in the entertainment industry… hard work!) — those 2 minutes are very weird to hear in the background of a party. I tested the song out a few days earlier with a group of family members playing corn hole. A few comments were made about the “talking” part. The best solution I can think of — for this song and the next two I’ll mention — is to diving this track into 2 tracks. They can still play smoothly one to the next, but then for those of us who want just “Joy” on a playlist, we won’t have worry about the awkwardness of those final 2 minutes at a birthday party for a 21 yr old girl.
The next one is a phenomenal song by NF called “The Search.” I think NF is amazing, possibly an artist that is years, maybe decades, ahead of his time. This song is tied for my favorite (the other favorite is “Clouds”).
Was your mind blown? Such a talented rapper. This song is on a couple of playlists of mine, one being a workout/run soundtrack. So here’s my thing, especially when I’m running: I need the music for every step I take! When my mind is challenged, my body steps up to the plate. Alternately, when my mind is discouraged, my body loses a step. “The Search” is such a great song for running… except for the first 35 seconds. There’s the slow build up in that time, but while I’m running or working out, it’s basically a silence that feels like an eternity, bringing any momentum I had to a halt. I think if it were 5 seconds, maybe 10, I could get through it without feeling like I’m hitting a mental wall, but over half a minute is a long time when every second, every step, counts.
The last song has an effect similar to the NF track. It’s by TobyMac, one of my all-time favorite people going way back to the DCTalk days. DCTalk has music that I’ll love the rest of my life and as a solo artist TobyMac has added to songs I’ll love forever, too. I thought this song might be his best ever, until “Promised Land” came out. That’s gotta be his best, especially the version with Sheryl Crow singing with him. But before that was “Lights Shine Bright.” It’s not quite as fast as some other music of his, but I feel so encouraged by it.
But just like the Ben Rector song that started this post, this one has about 40 seconds of talking at the end. It’s humorous, sure, but nothing is less motivating during a run or workout for me. A simple solution is to separate it out as a short track that plays after “Lights Shine Bright.” Otherwise, I can’t keep it on my training playlist and hesitate to play it without being right next to the phone so I can skip past the end before it plays.
All of these are great songs, that’s the second most important take-away here. I just wish they’d add a separation between the meat of the song and the fluff. What do you think about this list? Do you have songs you’d add, songs that could use a tiny bit of tweaking? Chime in below and thanks for dropping in…
-Out of the Wilderness