After Adele’s performance at the Grammy Awards, the Wall Street Journal ran an article scientifically explaining why her winning song “Someone Like You” brings so many listeners to tears. Apparently, all it takes to make people cry is something called “appoggiatura.” Throw a few of these ornamental notes on top of emotionally charged lyrics, and turn on the waterworks. The article goes on to say that even when a song makes people sad, they love it: "…emotionally intense music releases dopamine in the pleasure and reward centers of the brain, similar to the effects of food, sex and drugs. This makes us feel good and motivates us to repeat the behavior." [Ed. note: THIS EXPLAINS MY WHOLE LIFE.]
With that in mind, here are a few imaginary appoggiatura-laced dopamine inducers:
The only way to keep from sinking in Star Anna’s “Restless Water” is to pull somebody out on the dance floor and hold on real tight.
Thom Yorke’s voice is almost drowned out by the building noise as Radiohead’s “How to Disappear Completely” starts to fall apart. Then suddenly he soars out of the wreckage, it all comes back together, and I fall apart:
“Fake Plastic Trees” gets me too. Like Holly Golightly’s expense book, it tells a story that will break the heart:
Lisa Gerrard’s “Sanvean (I am your shadow)” cannot be relying on appoggiatura, because I choke up as soon as it starts. It might be the most beautiful piece of music ever sung:
Oh, and the list could go on and on. What songs make you cry?