If you told me I could only ever listen to one band for the rest of my life, well first of all I'd say you were a bit of a dick for forcing such an unnecessary restriction on me. But if you insisted, because that's just the way you are, I'd answer with Fleetwood Mac. When it comes to taking you on a journey, there's just no one quite like the Mac.
Being a hero isn't easy. Most of the time, our feats of superhuman prowess go unrewarded, even unnoticed. Usually this isn't an issue: after all, we do what we do because of the people we are, not because we want a pat on the back for biting our tongue during a difficult exchange or a high five for getting to work on time every day...
Like Music to Dali & Jay-Z Lovers post last week, this week's Save the World! entry was inspired by the recent release of Marvel's Black Panther. It's rare that to have a film score deviate from traditional cinematic motifs and pull it off so well, but I really feel my enjoyment of the film was in no small part due to Kendrick's impeccable song curation. As curators ourselves, we know the impact that the right song can have on a particular moment, and it was humbling to see it done on a Hollywood scale...
I'll be honest, I've had myself a pretty weird couple of weeks. Not to take this playlist to a place of doom and gloom, but I've not been feeling so Victorious! lately. In fact, I've been in a bit of a rut.
But that's okay! Heroes aren't always winning. That'd make for some shit-boring cinema, and if box office success is anything to go by, we know that's certainly not the case. I won't reference any particular heroes here for fear of flaming up a DC/Marvel turf-war, except of course for Mr Incredible, who quite famously finds himself in the mother of all ruts. And everything turns out pretty great for him, so, y'know. Chin up...
Sometimes we're not super-human without that special someone who brings out our full potential. And sometimes, we lose that someone. In fact, one of the most grueling challenges a superhero can face is the loss of their sidekick. It can be for different reasons, but it's almost always an incredibly difficult thing to overcome.
If you need an anthem to supercharge you to Victory!, I've got you covered. Or, should I say, Rou and the boys have you covered with the powerhouse that is Solidarity.
From the opening cascade of saw-toothy goodness (you guys know how much I love my saw-tooths. Saw-teeth? Hmm...), Enter Shikari do not disappoint in delivering an incredible journey and a powerful message of unification.
Every Hero needs to take time out to rest and recuperate: how can you make that miraculous comeback if you never went away in the first place?
When I picture the kind of place I'd escape to, it's very much your typical exotic retreat; an island, rich and lush, full of nature and all that nice stuff (zero tolerance policy on snakes though), somewhere fresh and relaxing to bring those all-important wellbeing levels back up.
Cast your mind back to my earliest posts, when we built the foundations for what this playlist is about: people, achieving super-humans feats of existence on a daily basis.
Lyrically, Haunted hits this nail on the head: 9-5 / to stay alive. Ambition takes a back seat to the more pressing reality of surviving. And that takes serious strength to push through every single day, especially if it feels like the embers of a dream are dying in the process...
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes.
For every clear-cut Superman, there's a darker, more complicated Al Simmons (y'know, the guy that became Spawn? Todd McFarlene's breakthrough character! No? I promise you he's very well known!). Whether you're a noble Ned or a redeemed Jaime, you have the potential to overcome great adversity on your path to Victory! (although Ned did lose his head, so maybe don't follow his lead too rigorously...)
This week we're getting back to our roots with Madison Mars' interstellar journey 'Atom'!
This track oozes cinematic brilliance, from the trancey string lead to the gritty vocal bass, everything about Atom screams soundtrack. Picture this: you're about to go up against your nemesis (your boss, your annoying neighbour, your in-laws ...) and you need to get the adrenaline pumping:...
There are two forces in this world that no hero, regardless of how powerful they are, can defeat - Time, and Death.
It's easy to forget this when we're all wrapped up in the business of Saving the World!, especially when our current endeavours behave as though they're matters of life or death. But eventually, Time will age us, and Death will take us, and it won't matter how many cars are on the drive or numbers are in the account.
Remixing deadmau5 takes some serious courage. Not only does Joel have incredibly high standards when it comes to people messing with his music, but he's also not afraid to tell them - often in the bluntest way possible.
What's the point in Saving the World! if the world isn't worth saving? I think we all have days where we think everything is so completely fucked up that to try and change anything is pointless.
Sometimes the most superhuman thing we can do is acknowledge our mortality.
All heroes know that there's a very good chance they can be defeated, and what comes next? Where do we go in the Afterlife? It's important that we make peace with this fact if we're to stay brave in the face of Danger; if we don't, we might find ourselves succumbing to the Great Unknown...
We've talked a lot about the importance of perseverance in this business of saving the world. A wise chimp once said, 'we only fail when we give in trying.' As long as we never give up and never surrender, we can only succeed, even if we're walking on two left feet all the time!
A hero should be the voice of unity. If the true evils of the world are intolerance and prejudice, then it's our job as superheroes to battle against them in whatever way we can.
Even heroes need a day off.
I mean come on, it gets tiring saving the world every. single. day. Sometimes we'd rather not whack on our supersuit (as usual, points for the reference), and just kick our feet up and watch some bad telly instead. And that's perfectly within our right! No one's paying us to be heroes - the world owes us some down time!
The best heroes are aware of two very important facts in life.
The first is that, in order to truly defeat evil, you have to be unpredictable. Life doesn't move in straight lines, and neither should you. We make our best decisions when they come from an unexpected place, because despite all of the wonders of our evolution, we're complete idiots when it comes to deciding what's best to do for ourselves. That's the curse of being rational.
Sometimes we heroes forget that at the end of the day, we’re only human. We make mistakes. Flume and kai know this, and they want you to know it to. Maybe you fucked up today—you didn’t Save the World! Maybe you even destroyed a one. That’s okay. You’re only human, and yes, you make mistakes.
Being the full-time superheroes that we are, we often need reminding that we don’t have to do all this on our own. As this track perfectly surmises, ‘we all need someone to lean on.’ This track is a loving tribute to all the sidekicks in our lives, the ones who make our endeavours possible, the ones who stick by us through thick and thin. Without them we are mere mortals; together, we can Save the World!