Since day one, rock and roll has always been about having fun in some capacity. Even when you had the harder stripes of the genre like metal come into the picture, the whole point was to have something to bang your head to and forget about all of the troubles happening in your life. It's about joy and release...and every so often it can hit you right in the center of your chest.
Rock may have gotten a reputation for having disposable lyrics back in the day, but these are the kind of songs that have some pretty complex stories to tell. Compared to the usual topics of sex and drugs, these are the tracks where artists left a piece of their soul on the page and have made their audience weep uncontrollably after hearing it for the first time. Then again, not every song has to necessarily make you cry just because of the lyrics. You have to keep in mind the whole picture, and the instrumentation and singing goes a long way with these songs as well.
The real kicker here is the context that we're hearing these songs. Any band can just throw a nice melody together and getting people singing. When you actually see the person behind the instruments though, that's when it starts to hit a little bit closer to the bone.
10. One More Light - Linkin Park
Linkin Park always had a bit of a tortured streak in their lyrics from day one. Aside from some of the adolescent stuff that came through on Hybrid Theory that we can cringe at today, you can tell that Chester Bennington really poured his heart and soul into every single word he sang on those records. It's a different matter entirely though when that kind of pain turns real.
Though One More Light was released a few months prior to Chester's tragic suicide, the entire song feels recontextualized knowing what was to come in the next few months. While the song was originally meant as a sort of tribute to one of the band's close friends at their label who had passed away, hearing Chester sing lines about being supportive when someone is at their lowest is absolutely haunting to think about these days.
Granted, there have always been these kind of words sprinkled throughout the other records, like the solemn goodbye on Leave Out All the Rest or surrendering to the void on something like Waiting For the End. This was intended to be a message of hope though, and after Chester's passing, this basically feels like him talking to us from beyond the grave. Chester was always a bit of a sensitive soul in the world of hard rock, but if he had only listened to the advice that he sang in this song, we may be talking about the new music he would be releasing today.