In Search of Sound

I've written before about how I rarely listen to music.  In fact, one of the only ways to get me to listen to something new is to take advantage of a captive-audience situation.  I might swap headphones, as I did one Thanksgiving weekend when I discovered the Fleet Foxes on my brother's iPod.  I might, gasp, turn on the radio and discover a renewed love for the blues.

But most often I have my husband to thank for expanding my musical horizons. A couple of months ago, one of Rob's students burned him a CD of Broken Bells, and he left it in the car.  At first it was mildly pleasant and rather underwhelming, but over time I've become addicted to the seamless transitions, the fanciful orchestration and the lyrics that are tantalizingly indecipherable, just out of reach.  If pressed, I might say they are a creative cross-pollination of the Beatles and Air, although I think musical analogies are rarely useful to anyone besides their creators.

It could be that the reason I listen to music so infrequently is the effect it has on me.  It changes my thoughts, muddles my mood.  I suddenly find myself thinking of a college friend or a beloved scene from childhood, and the memories are so fresh, as if newly minted; the strength of the sound's swell surprises me to tears or a rush of adrenaline, and, let's be honest -- these are not good emotions to experience behind the wheel of a car.  Still, it is invigorating, and it sure keeps me alert as I navigate to my next destination.

Now that Broken Bells is all but memorized, I think it's time for something new.  So?  What would you make me listen to, if given the chance?