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JENNIFER'S GEMS
by Jennifer Brown Banks

Must Have Music
(For Creating the Right Mood)

No one can dispute the romantic role that music plays in setting the right mood. Whether it’s the ballads of Barry Manilow, the love songs of Luther, or the cuts that make you wanna’ cuddle up and get real close!

Music can conjure up fond memories of lost love, or create a certain “magic” with someone new; which is why just about every couple can remember the first song they ever danced to!

Music can speak to the soul and seduce the senses. Reported as having therapeutic properties as well, it can heal what ails you. Aristotle and Plato were among the first to describe music’s therapeutic properties in mythology. Apollo is said to have used music with medicine to treat various health conditions.

 

Contemporary studies have also shown that music therapy has the ability to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. Hospitals have been using its endorphin releasing properties to relieve anxiety, fight depression, and induce sleep.

So tune in! Whether you want to shake your blues, or simply shake your “groove thang”, here’s what I recommend.

JEN’S PICKS

For Romance:

» THE THEME FROM LOVE JONES. I don’t care whether you’re black or white, old or young, a prude or a party animal, you’ll find songs to suit your palate! The first few selections are kind of light and poetic, but from the 4th song on, it’s a crowd pleaser! You’ll be transformed and transcended by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane’s “In a Sentimental Mood,” and Jelly Roll’s “Jelly Jelly.” The instrumentals are great, and it has a nice eclectic mixture.

» THE BEST OF LUTHER VANDROSS. The music world lost a huge legend with his passing. His sounds have always been synonymous with seduction. And there’s even a few songs for those of you with two left feet to make you wanna’ get outta’ your seat!

» THE BEST OF BARRY MANILOW—Discover the magic that is Manilow!. I’ve been a fan for many years; his music is truly timeless. My favorites? “Weekend in New England,” “Ready to Take a Chance Again,” and “Tryin’ to Get that Feelin’ Again.”

» THE BEST OF THE ISLEY BROTHERS. Be forewarned - Their lyrics alone can lead to some heavy stuff. Fellas, if you can’t find the right words to convey how you feel, let the Isley Brothers get the job done! This CD should be in every single’s seduction arsenal.

» THE BEST OF THE WHISPERS

» BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH SYMPHONY. What more can I say but…it’s so beautiful it brings me to tears.

» JOHN DENVER. You Fill Up My Senses

» RICHARD MARX--- I Am Your Man

For Mellow Moods:

» THE BEST OF BREAD

» JOHN LEGEND. Ordinary People

» THE BEST OF KENNY G. The G man’s music is pure passion, uncut. He’s among my favorite instrumentalists.

» NORAH JONES. Feels Like Home - Be sure to check out “Sunrise, “ “What am I to You”, and “The Prettiest Thing.”

» THE BEST OF PHYLLIS HYMAN

» DAVE KOZ. Saxophonic

A Mixture of All Things Magnificient:

» THE EMANCIPATION OF MIMI - BY MARIAH CAREY. This diva really delivered with this one! No matter what type of music you’re in to, you won’t be disappointed by these assembled selections.

» JAMIE FOXX. Unpredictable.

» WHO IS JILL SCOTT? By Jill Scott

For the Broken Hearted:

» THE BEST OF ARETHA FRANKLIN. The Queen of Soul hits home when she sings about the pain of love lost. Nobody does it better.

To Pump Up The Party:

» THE BEST OF MICHAEL JACKSON. An oldie but goody, songs like “Thriller”, “Bad,” and “Billy Jean” can still get the crowd jumpin’ and jammin’!

» THE BEST OF PRINCE

» .50 CENT--- IN ‘DA CLUB

According to Dr. William July, PhD author of Understanding the Tin Man (WilliamJuly.com) “Numerous studies have shown music, candlelight, certain smells, and tastes affect emotions. Appealing to the senses of the human body are half of seduction. The body experiences sensations which release hormones that signal sexual response. This in conjunction with the psychological seduction of good conversation is the best way to set the scene for love.”

To purchase these selections, order online through Amazon.com, pick them up at your local Coconuts Music Store, Borders Books and Music, or visit your local thrift shop.

Drop me a line at Gemsjen@yahoo.com to share your recommendations! What are you groovin’ to these days?



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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.


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