You’ve got songs about love, and you’ve got songs about love.
As someone who appreciates beautiful music even more if I can identify with the lyrics and meaning behind the songs, I want to share five of my favorite break-up albums with you. These songs have helped me through tears, heartbreak and hopelessness. But they’re also great if you’re just in the mood for something that will make you reach for a tissue while staring out of a window wistfully, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago (2007)
Singer-songwriter Justin Vernon released the debut album ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ independently in July of 2007. The album, known for its raw emotion and honest words, was created from the pain of two splits: Vernon’s breakup with his then-girlfriend and the end of DeYarmond Edison, a band Vernon had been playing in for several years. Vernon spent three months in a cabin in Wisconsin to write this album, and the melodic whistles and guitar riffs almost take you back to that very place.
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (1977)
‘Rumours’ has been Fleetwood Mac’s most successful albums, but the break-up that inspired it was messy to say the least. Christine and John McVie went their own way after only six years of messy marriage, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham remained on and off and then Mick Fleetwood hopped into bed with Nicks for good measure. But hey, it made for some great music that will easily make you shed a few tears.
Taylor Swift – RED (2012)
It wouldn’t feel good to not include some Taylor Swift on this list. Swift is known for her songs about heartbreak and love, but ‘RED’ is absolutely one of her best works. With songs like ‘All Too Well’ and ‘Treacherous’ Swift will take you down the path of break-ups, only to lift you back up with pop-tracks like ’22’ and ‘Starlight’. The album is an emotional rollercoaster, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.
Paramore – All We Know Is Falling (2005)
It’s easy to forget that ‘All We Know Is Falling’ is Paramore’s debut album, because it’s so incredibly good. The band had only just started to explore their now iconic pop-punk sound. The aggressive guitar riffs in combination with Hayley Williams’ powerful vocals bring these lyrics to life. On this album, ‘My heart’ is one of my favorite tracks. It perfectly captures the feeling of disbelief and acceptance that is the main theme of this album.
Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks (1975)
During the ’60s, Bob Dylan mostly avoided writing songs from a deeply personal or emotional perspective, but in the ’70s, after separating from his wife, that all changed. ‘Blood On The Tracks’ is generally considered to be some of Dylan’s finest work, and you’ll find many songs on it that expose his deepest and darkest emotions. Bob Dylan’s own take on the subject is interesting, having long denied that the songs are personal, and that he doesn’t write “that type of song”. And yet, Dylan has said he doesn’t understand why so many people enjoy the album: “It’s hard for me to relate to that. I mean, it, you know, people enjoying that type of pain, you know?”