Heartbreak/ Mending

Twice the heartbreak!: The best of the breakup songs, part II

Pull yourself together!: Time to mend your wounds

Twice the heartbreak!

The best of the breakup songs, part II

“Everything Reminds Me of Her”

by Elliott Smith

While Elliott Smith may have a few sad bastard songs in his musical canon, this one fits the breakup theme nicely. Touching upon the notion of being physically there, but not really being there emotionally amongst your usual crowd of friends, this song showcases Elliott’s ability to provide a driving lyrical melody while poetically making the point so well. It can be difficult to shake some memories. This song is best listened to in the background of a nice night out on the town, with friends whom you plan to

ignore anyway.

“Little Dreamer (Jones remix)”

by Future Islands

Future Islands weaves the tale of a broken heart, which was just fine by itself, hoping and dreaming, before a love gone wrong stepped in and crushed years of work. The cavernous drums fill the listener’s ears for the first bit before dulcet synthesized organ tones sweep in and inform the listener that they’re in for quite a tearjerker. How can one not bare their soul to lyrics like “and as we say goodnight, I hold you close and tight/no more raging suns, only waning ones/like the waxing scar where my lonely heart/once bloomed before I met you?” With Future Islands’ haunting vocals and soft sinusoidal blips scattered throughout, your recovery time just doubled. Sorry about that.

“Guess I’m Doing Fine”

by Beck

In all honesty, Beck’s entire “Sea Change” album should be counted here, which is full of sad and lonely expressions of heartbreak and more. “Guess I’m Doing Fine” illustrates what many go through—how people will ask you how you are doing after a breakup, and all we can muster is a generic “fine.” What do they expect—the truth? That you live in the broken memories of your lost love, too tortured to pick up the shattered remnants of your heart and that in a few minutes you are going to run into the bathroom to cry it out in private. Beck hits the spot with this song, downplaying painful emotions through rough times.

“I Can’t Make You Love Me”

by Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt is a goddess of country and blues…and my heart. I might have a little bit of a crush on her. Just try not to fall into a deep pit of sorrow while listening to this song. This tune is best listened to on the second day of not leaving your bed, lying amongst a number of empty bottles.

“Kissing Disease”

by Melodium

Sometimes, it just takes a French guy to tell us how we really feel. The song starts out with a slowed vocal sample that gives way to some delicate piano work. In fact, the rest of the song is composed with strings, flute and celesta. What really sells the song is the way the vocal sample fades into the music, as if being drowned out. We can often feel like that—like our voices are eventually swallowed up by our surroundings. As humans, we cry out for love, for needs, for affection that only a certain special someone can provide. Eventually, life turns its back on these cries for help, and we dissolve into a muffled sound byte, just fragments of our former selves drifting aimlessly in the ether. Of course, it doesn’t help that the piano, strings and celesta are arranged in “sad song chord progression” as the metaphor bludgeons us to death while life’s orchestra plays on. C’est la vie, good sir.


Pull yourself together!

Time to mend your wounds

Okay, the breakup happened and it’s over. You’ve done the hard part and gone through your share of misery and pathetically crying yourself to sleep. Now is time to pull yourself together and look toward better and brighter days that everyone has been telling you are out there.

To compliment last week’s list of breakup songs, this week let’s focus on songs best fit for being on the mend.

“A Year From Now”

by Blanche

A country song is swell for breaking up, but a good country song can also bring you back to the world of the living. Detroit’s Blanche makes the point that with time, things can get better. Sure, you’re going have your scars, but they’ll come after your wounds have healed.

“Tainted Love”

by Soft Cell

It’s time to dance the blues away. At some point, you just might have a clear enough head to realize that your former flame was kind of a dick. You know, they really didn’t treat you as well as they should have. Their love was “tainted,” and they are going to have a nice karmic punch in the face down the road.

“I Love the Weekend”

by No Kids

The happiness can’t help but be absorbed from this song. If there ever was a song that belonged in a happy Disney movie, this is it. No Kids are an “indie” (worst genre name ever) band from Vancouver, B.C., but they sound like a page straight out of late-60s Disney songbooks. Their catalog consists of various passages played with pan flutes and percussion comprised of shallow drums with a very jaunty “pop.” This particular song contains those uplifting chord progressions usually found in kids’ programming when a bunch of children are working together as a team to accomplish a task. Try it, you’ll like it.

“When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going”

by Billy Ocean

Now okay, this is not strictly a song about relationships; in fact, it’s more of a pro-love song. But it’s a good philosophy to have when getting back on the horse. And also, it’s full of good-feeling lyrics about doing the kinds of stuff that lovers do—giving you something to look forward to. Billy puts it in rather innocent terms, but we all know what he really

means—getting it on!

“Our Time”

by Ocelot

Besides being rather upbeat, this electro tune contains the following lyrics, and nothing else: “we’re gonna get drunk/and we’re gonna get down/we’re gonna take drugs/and we’re gonna get fucked/and we’re gonna do it all tonight/and we’re gonna make it out alive.” If that isn’t a song for getting back out there and having a good time, I don’t know what is. Don’t do drugs.

“You Fucked Up”

by Ween

Self explanatory.

“Under My Thumb”

by The Rolling Stones

Actually, this is kind of a messed-up song, but great nonetheless. She’s talking down to him, he’s looking around, dogs and cats—but when listened to as a means of putting it all under one’s thumb, it can be rather relaxing. Of course the song has other connotations, but let’s stay focused here.

“I’m Downright Amazed (At What I Can Destroy with Just a Hammer)”

by Atom and His Package

We don’t have enough newsprint to list every last one of Atom’s songs on this page, so you’ll have to settle for this one. Atom is a one-man band, who, along with “the package” (AKA a combination drum machine and sequencer) crafts incredibly happy songs that can’t help but dig your happy side out of your heart’s rubble. We chose this song because the lyrics deal with buying a house and moving in with your friends, and Atom’s haphazard attempts at home improvement, in which he breaks various things in his new house, all the while asking forgiveness from his new roommates. One can’t help but get behind Atom, because at this point we’re pretty jealous that he gets to wreck a bunch stuff with a hammer. ?