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My Playlist for Taylor / Side 1 – Track 2 / Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are

Nicholas Greenwood Nicholas Greenwood
8/13/2013 6:13pm EDT

Dat hair...

Dat hair…

Roughly a month into our relationship this song came out. Taylor was about to embark on vacation with her parents, going to Niagara Falls, and it would be the first time we would go without seeing each other for more than a few days. The shock, the horror! Looking back now it wasn’t all that bad but we were just starting out, everyone is super clingy and weird in the beginning of relationships and we were (are?) no different.

In the throws of a new relationship there are a few things that happen but one of the biggest and possibly the most important. is picking “our song.” And not that “screen door slamming, talking slow because his mother might hear” junk that T Swift sang out. Picking an actual song, one that the both of you, without speaking about it, latch onto and it becomes your anthem. This was it for us.

No matter what mood I might be in or where I am, when I hear this song I think back to that first summer that we started dating. Music journalist Rob Sheffield said something along the lines, a song becomes really important in specific times but that song doesn’t always move on with you. If anything were ever to happen to our relationship this is one of those songs that I know wouldn’t be able to move on with me. There have been other songs that I’ve associated with other people and while it took me a while to reassign the song, I’ve generally been able to do so. But I think Sheffield’s statement is largely true. I listened to “Unwind” by Oleander a lot when my mom passed and as I’m writing this, putting it on and listening to it and it floods me with all kinds of emotion. I can’t listen to the album without remembering my mother. Which makes me wonder what she would say about Taylor? My assumption is that she would love her. That’s hard to say actually, my mom didn’t really like anyone I was ever interested in. I don’t know if it was a “they’re not good enough for you” thing and she never really elaborated on it, but Taylor and my mom have a lot of similarities, I think mom would’ve been more than okay.

Bruno Mars is one of those musicians that you either really love or hate. In my case, I love the guy. He’s the heir apparent to classic R&B pop music. Sounding and duplicating, to a shockingly accurate degree, Michael Jackson. He’s not MJ, no one ever could be, but because MJ had just died the year before we started dating and both Taylor and I being MJ fans, it probably helped us latch onto this song. Over the last three years as Taylor and I have had ups and downs, Bruno has as well. He was busted for cocaine possession but bounced back, toured successfully (which we got to see in Boston), and released a second album that’s doing well to name a few. Tyler, The Creator caused a little stir when he rapped that he wanted to stab Bruno Mars and B.o.B. in the throat or something like that on one of his albums. While Tyler is probably one of the more interesting and probably creative/innovative/boundary pushing artists out right now, I assume that he never meant it. About 99% of the things that Tyler raps about he does just to catch you off guard and draw your attention in. He’s that kid that yells “MOM!” a hundred times just to have her look over and he’s making a fart noise with his hand in his armpit.

It’s always a highlight when Bruno is on the Grammy’s, he usually does something to stand out, either going for a whole Doo-Wop look or 70s balladeer look. He’s retro without it being super annoying, he’s trying but he’s cool about trying, he’s not singing about how cool it was to sing along to Radiohead and get tattoos (Katy Perry…), he’s just a throwback to good, honest music.

I was asked recently by a friend of my sister’s if I do anything cheesy/romantic for Taylor still. Beyond this (which wasn’t even a thought in my mind last month) I do, actually. As cheesy as it might sound this song gave me the idea to do something. There’s a line in the song “I tell her that she’s beautiful, every day.” So here’s the thing, every night before we/I go to sleep I text, “Good night my beautiful princess. I love you!” It happens generally every night, even when we are actually staying together. Why? I just always want her to know.

Little Bruno Mars err Peter Hernandez in a Nic Cage movie!

I can probably add Bruno Mars “Treasure” to this as well, but it would throw off the track listing and I’m trying to not reuse the same artist on this whole endeavor. But because this version is online, here’s the very cool video, very Michael Jackson-esque, video for Treasure.

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