We asked our writers to contribute songs they consider “epic.” That’s it. So, experience many definitions in audio form.
“Changes” by 2pac, Talent
After a debate with my roommate about which 2pac song was more epic (“Changes” or “Keep Ya Head Up”) I went with “Changes,” my original choice. She said it was too overplayed, I say when its great, so who cares? I can honestly say that this is the song that got me into rap about seven years ago and made me fall in love with the genre. 2pac was a true innovator, and this song shows the power that music can have.
“Sad Eyes” by Crystal Castles
Like an electric storm hurdling through the Thunderdome, this track from the duo Crystal Castles seems to come complete with lasers, fog and a hint of fear from being lost in a deafening amphitheater.
“Survival” by Muse.
This song features Matthew Bellamy’s voice, opera and a killer guitar solo. Oh, it was also the theme for the London Olympics. How do you get more epic than that?
“The Leper Affinity” by Opeth
This track, from the Swedish progressive death metal artist’s album Blackwater Park, defines the word epic. At nearly 11 minutes, “The Leper Affinity” moves from gut-busting heavy death metal, beautiful acoustics, painfully somber blues and back again all leading up to a restrained piano ending. This song goes through many moods and is filled with so much emotion that any list of “epic” tracks would be incomplete without it. It is one of the standout tracks on what is arguably Opeth’s best work, which says a lot with ten nearly equally magnificent albums under their belt. There’s something for everyone here, even those who cannot stand metal; it’s just a matter of patiently appreciating all that the track has to offer.
“Fantasy” by Mariah Carey
It was September 1995. I was 9-years-old, a newly minted 5th grader and clearly budding homosexual for I was mesmerized by Mariah Carey. She had just released the first single on her album Daydream. “Fantasy” debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Its music video, set in New York’s Playland amusement park, was filled with sunset-glowing roller-coasters, a sparkling black Hummer and a moderately obese little girl shaking her hot body. What was not to love?
“Black Sands” by Bonobo
This song is the epic conclusion to Bonobo’s 2010 album Black Sands. Bonobo is a British producer that records electronic/downtempo/trip hop music.
Black Sands is a journey from start to finish that concludes with the title track “Black Sands.” This song has a very melancholy feel to it as the album ends and you reflect on the voyage you have just undertaken as the final notes peter out.
“Runaway” by Kanye West, Pusha T
Kanye West is a confusing artist. On the one hand, his lyrics are often weird and over-the-top. But his overlaying music is always fascinating, and “Runaway” is the embodiment West’s talented ear. Light piano keeps an unpredictable beat before transforming with harsh yelling. “Runaway’s” lyrics are still rough, but understandable and somewhat universal. The track doesn’t stop building until it suddenly drops into strings over mesmerizing auto-tuned hums. The sheer climatic flow pushes listener with smooth power, knowing no one will forget “Runaway’s” lasting experience.
“All the Above” by Maino feat. T-Pain
Whether I’m blasting this in the shower or whilst riding dirty in the northwestern suburbs of Minneapolis, this song is guaranteed to get me pumped up. Maino’s in-your-face rhymes will make anyone feel invincible, and T.Pain’s signature auto tune voice featured in the chorus will make the listener feel they’re meant for something greater, something EPIC.