You can find 40-31 of the list HERE
and 30-21 HERE
Track 11 on All Hope Is Gone (2008)
Who would have thought the mask-wearing metal group would have made it onto this list? I have listened to Slipknot since their first album came out and have enjoyed a lot of what they have put out although I have drifted away since the release of Volume 3 and All Hope Is Gone. That being said, this song sticks out as probably the strongest on the record, putting forth pure rage and sadness of someone who has suffered silently in a one-sided relationship which has now ended. The singer loves the other party but she has used him and then left and he is broken, or even more broken than he was before. There are some amazing lines in this song and I think it fits perfectly with the rest of the tunes on this list.
*Key Line* - “Love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage.”
Track 14 on Resolution (2012)
Lamb of God has been thrashing through the metal scene since 1994 and, while their music has undergone significant changes, they have always been one thing: heavy. I love Lamb of God and few bands get me as angry and/or hyped as they do. While the songs usually have a political lean, in recent years the lyrics have taken a much more personal approach. Resolution delivered my favorite Lamb of God song, “King Me,” which details Randy Blythe’s personal struggle with addiction. The song works on the level of relationships as well because it details how one person’s personal struggle can corrupt them into taking advantage of their partner. The repeated line “king me is killing me” is a perfect representation of how we only really hurt ourselves because we feel we are above it. This song has an introspective edge and with the driving guitars, guttural screams, and weirdly haunting strings, it is perfect for this list.
*Key Line* - “I saw the world through the lens of a pinhole camera. I saw nothing, I was blind.”
Track 9 on The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most (2001)
After mentioning Bright Eyes, it seems only natural to bring up Dashboard Confessional. I was a huge fan of them before Chris Carrabba added a full band and went electric. His minimalist guitar work laced over with incredible lyrics and a voice that bleeds emotion s always good, especially when you are a melodramatic fifteen-year-old like I was when I discovered them. This song details the struggles a person is going though, hiding inside themselves refusing to emerge because they can’t face the world. This is a pretty common feeling in both depression and with broken relationships so it feels appropriate for the list.
*Key Line* - “You can’t fake it hard enough to please everyone or anyone at all. And the grave that you refuse to leave, the refuge that you’ve built to flee the places that you’ve come to fear the most.”
Track 5 on Lifted or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground (2002)
Bright Eyes, especially in the early years, was an incredible blend of Indie, Folk, and Emo and I have always really enjoyed Conor Oberst’s lyrics. They are reminiscent of old country songs, telling stories simply, revealing poignant truths, and reveling in clever wordplay. This song talks about a kid who doesn’t want to feel love anymore and instead wants to just focus on the physical aspects of the relationship (one-night stand). While the song isn’t necessarily about a breakup, it has the feeling of indifference that one goes through after getting out of a long, destructive relationship. You just want that lover that you don’t have to love and instead you want to focus on all of those self-destructive tendencies.
*Key Line* - “I want a lover I don't have to love, I want a girl who's too sad to give a fuck. Where's the kid with the chemicals? I thought he said to meet him here but I'm not sure. I've got the money If you've got the time, you said, ‘It feels good,’ I said, ‘I'll give it a try.’”
Track 5 on Vulgar Display of Power (1992)
Pantera was destroying the metal genre long before I became aware of their power. As a young adult I was introduced to them and fell in love with the fury and the anger and the sheer intensity of their music. Vulgar Display of Power is one of those landmark albums which features numerous classics and is widely regarded as one of the strongest metal records in existence. In the midst of all this metal fry, we are gifted a piece that, while still is heavy, hands us a slightly lighter fare. “This Love” chronicles a toxic relationship in which neither party was truly happy. They constantly hurt each other and eventually broke up but afterward, the guy realizes that he still wants her and can’t quite understand why. Yet another perfect song for Valentine’s Day.
*Key Line* - “And sometimes I feel so sorry. I regret this, the hurting of you. But you make me so unhappy. I'd take my life and leave love with you.”
Track 8 on The Afterman: Descension (2013)
So we have returned to Coheed for yet another universal truth. Anyone who has ever been in a serious relationship knows those pangs of guilt when you have been preoccupied with life and have neglected your significant other. Those feelings are then magnified tenfold when the relationship ends or begins to deteriorate because of your own actions. Claudio Sanchez delivers again in the relatable category by drawing to our attention the hurt we feel when we realize that we have lost something special and the only person to blame is ourselves.
*Key Line* - “I gave my everything for all the wrong things. In this cold reality I’ve made this selfish war machine. Oh, this has become hell, how can I share this life with someone else? I promise you there is no weight that can bury us beneath the ghosts of all my guilt here in the dark side of me.”
Track 6 on Daughter in the Choir (2012)
Meg Myers is one of the most exciting and talented artists in recent years. Her music is raw and unfiltered, passion thrown wide for all to hear. She is both talented and beautiful and has become my favorite new artist of the past three years. Her music is a nice shift to a female perspective but never relinquishes the grit and genuine emotion inherent within. This song talks about a woman with an obsessive kind of love—someone who is in a relationship in which the partner has been unfaithful. She feels so strongly that she has to be the only one and even though she realizes she has become something terrible, she can’t stop herself. This song is wrought with jealousy and personal disgust and shows how a terrible relationship can drain a person. She had too much love and her partner couldn’t return those feelings.
*Key Line* - Oh, what it takes out of me to lay by your side. Oh, it aches and it aches, you make me wanna die.”
Unrelased Track (2002)
Mad at Gravity was an amazing one-album band from the early 2000s whose biggest claim to fame was having two songs on the Reign of Fire soundtrack. Why this band was never more popular, I can’t figure, because music, lyrics, and performance are all off the charts. Either way, before they released their first album, they released a few acoustic demos and this song was one of them. It talks about a guy who is simply trying to maintain his relationship while his significant other is pulling away. All he wants is for her to stay. For my money, this song destroys Rhianna (although that song is also pretty solid).
*Key Line* - “I can feel you pull away and it's just as I lean in, and the timing leaves me wide open.”
Track 3 on Colour the Small One (2004)
I came across this song by accident about four years ago but it has stuck with me ever since. Sia has a beautiful voice and this music in this piece, piano and simple drums and guitar really bring the emotion of the piece home. It references self-harm and depression, all of which go hand in hand with the death of an important relationship so it seems to fit very well on this list. I also really enjoy the ending of the song where it is just driving music and strings with no lyrics necessary.
*Key Line* - “Yeah, I think that I might break. Lost myself again and I feel unsafe.”
Track 3 on Fashion Nugget (1996)
Yes. Just…just yes. If you have never listened to Cake before, shame on you. If you have only heard their later albums and singles like “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” then you are missing out. This weirdly wonderful amalgam of funk, blues, rock, country, and pop is a strange, yet amazing flavor. Cake’s Fashion Nugget may actually be one of the most perfectly pieced together works of art in modern music. This song in particular showcases John McCrea’s signature sing-talk style and clever lyrics. The word friend becomes a curse word (four letter word) because it means the end of a relationship that he still wants to maintain. No list of breakup songs would be complete without this gem. Also, bonus points for a badass trumpet solo.
*Key Line* - “To Me, coming from you, friend is a four letter word. End is the only part of the word that I heard.”
Come back tomorrow for the TOP 10 because ... well, just because.
Images - Amazon