I fell in love last week.
This happens to me with alarming regularity - I come across something new, get enthusiastic, lose control of my critical thinking, and then get completely absorbed. After a week or two of intense devotion, the loving feeling turns into little more than affection, and I'm back to normal.
I'm talking about music, of course. Most recently, Pink Mountaintops' Outside Love, a 2009 (I believe) release that I described to a co-worker as "A pop-heavy album filled with love songs, as imagined by Black Sabbath", which is as good a starting place as any. It's a great album, and one I thoroughly recommend checking out, but it's not what I'm here to talk about.
Instead, I've been thinking about this capacity to love something like an album, and yes, "Love" is the word here. Because the physical manifestations of how that album made me feel are almost exactly the same as the first few weeks of a relationship are - without any of the dirty stuff, you pervs. I mean is, that sense of happiness deep in your gut, the urge to smile when something just clicks, all of that fun stuff. It's there.
I remember, years and years ago, walking home in a late summer night. The stars were overhead, and I could distantly hear the sound of crickets in the hills. I had on my headphones, and was listening to Tool's Aenima on a walk home. And I clearly remember just this intense rush of pleasure when the solo on "Third Eye" came on, as if my body was just pumped up with Dopamine.
It's happened many times since then. The guitar solo on Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" (or the outro of "Eclipse", or the harmonized guitars of "Dogs"). The last ten minutes of Abbey Road. Robert Plant's wail in "Since I've Been Loving You".
I find myself looking back, to past relationships, and not having any clear memories of those dopamine rushes. They were there, no doubt, but they haven't stuck in my head in the same way that one experiences a "first kiss" with a new album.
This is what it's like to be a music obsessive, I think. This is what it's like to get your wires crossed, and to perceive music in the same way that you perceive love and companionship. Some people might say this is sad, and I guess maybe it is, in a melancholic way. But you know what? When you can view an album with love, you are never lonely.
My two cents.