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A Playlist Of Game-Changing Moments In Song

I’ve been obsessed with the idea of identifying critical moments in popular songs for a long time, but have been struggling with defending what that exactly means. One friend dismissed my ever-growing playlist of songs with identifiable pinnacles of brilliance as just “good songwriting.” I tried to tell her that, no, wait, good songwriting is one thing, but being able to completely change the composition of a song, the whole understanding of the joy that a song can bring, in one critical moment, is not just good songwriting, it’s genius. Nor was I talking about anything as simple as climax and release. As was found with Adele’s “Someone Like You,” science can now identify the exact elements of a song that make it so heart-wrenching—that is, where the song becomes so successful at conveying emotion that it sends "reward signals to our brains that rival any other pleasure." But I’m no scientist; my degree is in Children’s Writing. What I go on are hunches and careful, careful listening for the little moments that change everything. READ MORE