Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Real Thing

When I was in college a professor once told us that its a rare thing to find a true love song. Most quote unquote love songs are really fatuous musings or erotic objectifications based on how we feel towards the beginning of a relationship. I believe he showed us through Robert Sternberg's triangular theory of love that many love songs are written at the point where passion and commitment collide, a fatuous love or at the point where intimacy and passion collide, a strictly romantic love. Neither are true love, instead only two of the three angles required to experience true love.

Kerra and I have been married for five years this July and I find myself agreeing more and more with my professor's observation. Its very rare that I hear anything that resembles the kind of love that Kerra and I experience. We are far past the early months of infatuation and like every married couple work through times when romance is prevalent and times when its not as prevalent. But goodness, I love my wife more now than I ever thought I could five years ago. Its just different, and I'm looking for music that expresses the depth and reality of that kind of love. I'm looking for the real thing.

Just a week I ago I believe I found that in the most unlikely of places. Kerra and I have been listening to Dave Barnes for a while now. And to say that his music is "pop" is an understatement. Some of his more catchy songs are reminiscent of Michael Jackson's P.Y.T. or Rock With You, and his past records have been great, but nonetheless primarily about fatuous love. Which is to be expected, he was a single guy writing love songs. On his latest release though, "What We Want, What We Get" Barnes takes what he's learning in marriage and applies it to his writing. In short, if you're married and you like catchy hooks and songs with a lot of groove, this is a great album to pick up. Though the music is outside of my usual wheelhouse, Kerra and I greatly enjoyed sharing the songs on our drive home from Arkansas to Austin. Here's a sampling...