I was flicking through the tv channels last night, when really I out to have been going to bed and I found myself watching the tail end of a programme about Nick Lachey. Nick Lachey is most famous for being in the band 98 Degrees and for being married and soon to be divorced from Jessica Simpson.
He seems like a nice guy but I have never really been a fan of his schmaltzy style of pop music but I found that I actually quite liked a couple of the tracks that they played off of his new album. So what is the difference? Well he wrote this album during his marriage breakup and it is very much an album from the heart. It's a great thing how some artists are able to turn personal tradgedy into great art/music/poetry. In fact I know that I have written some of my best poetry when I have been feeling insecure or completely miserable (or both!).
So I got to thinking are there any more great break up albums out there? and two that immediately sprang to mind were "Blur" by Blur - Damon Albarn wrote some brilliant tracks after his much publicised split with Justine from Elastica, and Face Value by Phil Collins made after the split with his wife. I am sure there are probably many more.
It's not that creation is better when we are miserable it appears that it might be to do with experiencing extremes of emotion, as may people write fantastic stuff at the beginning of a relationship as well - Lou Rhodes new album Beloved One is a good example of this.
I am sure that the author Julia Cameron would disagree with me. she has always maintained that great artists etc don't have to be depressed, flaky, alcoholic or drug addicts. She advocates keeping up a steady practice of creating every day and that if we do this great things will come. Well I am sure she is right but I can't help noticing that those extremes of emotion give my practice a little - or large boost!