22 Albums That Changed My Life (Part 1)

Here are 21 albums that shaped me as a music enthusiast and musician.  It’s listed more or less in the chronological order of my discovering  them.  It’s fun to trace my journey and see my tastes evolved with time. Bon Jovi New Jersey Europe’s Final Countdown was perhaps the very first English-language album …

Song Reflections: Carpark North/Michael W. Smith “Save Me from Myself”

The original song is by Carpark North, but it’s Michael W. Smith cover that brought this song to my world.  The original is great, too, MWS is a bit too slick and produced for my taste, but one twist that he added really moves me.  Listen to the last chorus — and see how the underlying chords, which stay static for the first two, all the sudden move up.  That moment always lifts me up, coupled with that title line.  It’s a sense of relief, finally accepting that I can be vulnerable.  That I can ask for help.

Save me from myself — that sounds rather self-absorbed and silly.  But that’s always been the struggle inside me.  There’s a scene in Lord of the Rings, where this character Gollum has a conversation with himself — and I remember being in awe how well that scene was put together, and how deeply it resonated.

When it comes down to it, I’ve come to realize that I am the only one I can control, and I am the only one wholly responsible for how my life turned out.  Not luck, not fate, I made my life and I chose who to become.  Sometimes I was choosing without realizing that I was doing so, but still.  If I am not who I meant to be, then I am the one to blame.

Which leads me to where this song is.

This is a song about relying on somebody else.  To admit and accept that I can’t do it alone.  To be vulnerable, to expose my weaknesses.  But to say it with full of hope, not of shame or remorse.  To believe that somebody can help, somebody can love me even though I have lost and failed again and again.

It’s at once both humbling and uplifting, to come to this realization.  I need help living my life, being who I can be.  But that’s the truth, and dropping the pretending to be otherwise gives me back more of my life.  I am grateful.