I will be taking a break from the blog for a few weeks as my boyfriend and I hit the road to our new home. We will be taking a week long journey through the heartland before we settle into our new place in Omaha. Because of our impending trip, I've been thinking about good music for the road. It seems like the best road trip soundtrack is a mix of feel good music, love songs, and nostalgic ballads.
"Taxi Ride" by Tori Amos
This wistful slice of Americana is a smart and sensitive reflection on gender and homosexuality in America, as well as a song about the road. It's one of many great tracks from Amos' US travelogue epic, Scartlet's Walk. In fact, the entirety of Scarlet's Walk could easily narrate any cross-country trip, and is a great mix of the kind of road music I described above.
"Cleveland" by Jewel
Among some music critics, Jewel is not much more than a joke. However, she did write one excellent pop-rock record, the rootsy This Way. The album--her third--marked her move away from preciousness into smartly crafted southern rock. "Cleveland" is a prime example of that--a smooth, spirited anthem about traveling around with her man. Her voice has never sounded any better than it does on this excellent, under-appreciated gem; listen for the grit and warmth in her vocals in particular.
"Kiss Me" by Ed Sheeran
This is perhaps the moodiest offering. Ed Sheeran's + is the best acoustic record to come along in a while, and this track shows what Sheeran does best. He can ring sweetness and melancholy out of any lyric, and still maintain his charm. "Kiss Me" is my favorite track from his LP, and this is the kind of song you listen to when you lean your head on your lover's shoulder, watching the traffic signs click by.
"Walking in Memphis" by Cher
Before Cher had her big comeback with "Believe," she made a likeable (if uneven) covers album, It's a Man's World. The best track from the record is this version of Marc Cohn's classic. Of course, Cher's rendition raises the camp factor, but she also ups the fun in track. It's a great tune for a driving sing-along.
Happy listening, dear reader. I will see you back here in a few weeks.