When I really really like a song, I become obsessed with it. Once, I listened to Laura Branigan’s “Self Control” on repeat for 3 days straight—a feat requiring an utter lack of self control (that was in college, so I also took a few breaks to eat pizza and attend the occasional class). When a song gives me a good feeling, I want to bathe in its glow 24/7.
However, the euphoria doesn’t last forever: I can never predict when the spell will be broken, but eventually the obsession always comes to an end. Sometimes, it’s just a few days. Sometimes, months. One interesting thing: while repeated listening will eventually dull my response to a song, I never end up hating it. There was clearly something innately appealing about the music, so when I stumble upon it again, it stokes a slower-burning version of that original fire that drove me to obsess over it. Hearing it again also evokes the memory of when I first listened to the song. It’s like a time capsule…
I have to be careful about my musicophilia: this is something best enjoyed in private. Having to listen to the same song, over and over, that you don’t like is torture.
So, I thought it would be an interesting project to write about these songs that have so captivated me over the years. I’ve benefited from other people’s “favorite song” lists, so I’ll share mine in the same spirit. Don’t worry, you’re in control here and only have to listen once.