Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Think I Need A New Heart: Break-Up Albums


In honor of single people's least favorite holiday, I complied a list of my favorite break up albums.  The only thing I love more than songs about heartbreak is whole albums devoted to the topic.  Why spend minutes wallowing in self-pity, when you can spend hours!?  For a truly pathetic Valentine's Day celebration, I recommend watching Say Anything, in addition to checking out one of these albums.  You can spend the evening crying, because no one will ever love you as much as Lloyd Dobler loves Diane Court. (un)Happy listening!:

Sea Change by Beck. 

With moody, spare steel guitar work and song titles like “Lonesome Tears” and “Guess I’m Doing Fine,” it’s no wonder Sea Change has become a classic break up album.  However, those going through real romantic pain will probably find it a bit too mellow to weep to.  

Best Songs of Suffering: “Lost Cause,” “The Golden Age,” and “Side of the Road.” 


Attack and Release- The Black Keys

Pretty much any Keys album will work for a break up.  These dudes know pain and that’s why we love them!  However, this album probably has the most heartbreak per square inch.  This album rocks pretty hard, so you won’t need your hanky.  Recommend for those angry post-break up moments.  

Best Songs of Suffering: “Remember When (Side A),” “Psychotic Girl,” “Lies,” and “Things Ain’t Like They Used to Be.”


For Emma, Forever Ago- Bon Iver

If you are so heartbroken that you want to lock yourself away in a remote cabin, this is the album for you.  Inspired by a real life break up, this album has lots of moody and introspective songs. 

Best Songs of Suffering: “Skinny Love,” “Blindsided,” and “Forever Emma.”  


Dog Problems- The Format
Find it in the catalog!

Finally, some sadness we can dance to!  This quirky power-pop album is full of funny and relatable break up songs, including a fair amount of bitterness and pain as well as the awkwardness of trying to date again.  It’s also a fun album to sing along with.  
 
Best Songs of Suffering: “Time Bomb,” “Oceans,” “She Doesn’t Get It,” “Dead End” and “If Work Permits.”  
 

Graceland by Paul Simon.  
Find it in the catalog!

This album covers divorce, redemption, parenthood, facing middle age, and a lot more, so it’s not really fair to call it a break up album.  However, there is lots of lyrical darkness and bitterness for the newly single to latch on to.  

Best Songs of Suffering: “Graceland,” “Gumboots,” “That Was Your Mother,” and “Crazy Love, Volume II.”


Disintegration by the Cure.
Find it in the catalog!


Robert Smith’s lyrics often recall the overwrought emotions of a teenager, so it’s no wonder that this was my favorite break up album in high school.  Earnest, super emotional, and grandiose, Disintegration is the perfect break up album when you really, really want to feel everything intensely.   

Best Songs of Suffering: “Plainsong,” “Pictures of You,” Prayers for Rain,” “Disintegration,” pretty much all of them.

Midnight Organ Fight by Frightened Rabbit:  

This album is pretty keenly focused on the messy emotions that come with being dumped.  The band’s big, orchestral sound combined with singer Scott Hutchinson’s melancholy Scottish brogue really sell the heartbreak here.  

Best Songs of Suffering: “The Modern Leper,” “Good Arms Vs. Bad Arms, “ and “Keep Yourself Warm.”  

1 comment:

  1. Nice selection. Graceland is one durable album! I would add Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks; the song "Tangled Up in Blue" can provide some much needed perspective in the wake of a failed relationship, and "Idiot Wind" offers powerful imagery and novelistic insight in less than eight minutes. Early albums by Cat Power, particularly Moon Pix and Myra Lee, are also pretty ideal for post-relationship rumination. Also: Junior Kimbrough. His instrumental jam "Most Things Haven't Worked Out" says it all.

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