First and foremost, thanks for clicking through because it’s obvious that you get where I’m coming from, and I find real comfort in that.
Welcome to the driest time for fist-clenching power ballads, where we are dragging ourselves around the Top 40 charts in pure agony, in search of a song that will infiltrate the soul and do what songs were intended to do.
It starts with a melody that plucks on the heart-strings, playing a tune that sings of true love or heartache (the good stuff) and you feel it. You feel the warmth spread from your chest and up your neck, forcing your hair to stand up on end and your face to feel hot. It spreads through your whole body to the tips of your fingers until you can’t take it anymore; your hands clench into a fist. You’re born again.
There’s something to be said for the 80s, 90s and 00s producing some of the best power ballads, maybe ever. I’m talking Whitney, Journey, *NSYNC – the list of niche fist-clenching power ballad creators is where I thrive, and where music thrived.
On the record, music today have allowed pop music to flourish from a guilty pleasure to genuinely very great feel-good bops.
I have conducted extensive research to conclude the definitive beginning and end of the fist-clench worthy songs.
1972, Led Zepplin invented the power ballad with Stairway To Heaven. No further comments will be made or heard, this is bible.
And in 2007, the final power ballad sounded, straight out of the gate with these big-ass, emo AF lyrics:
Admit it, your fist is already clenched. The Jonas Brothers gave us the final fist-clenching power ballad with When You Look Me In The Eyes and that’s the cold-hard truth.
So, where do we go from here? Why did the power ballad die out? Was When You Look Me In The Eyes just far too powerful to ever top?
The only thing to do, aside from hope and pray the power ballad makes a comeback, is listen to the classics. Start yourself off with these and feel where it takes you.
Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boys
I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing – Aerosmith
We Belong Together – Mariah Carey
I Have Nothing – Whitney Houston
And just for my own ego, this is the closest I’ve been to a power ballad since The Jonas Brothers. A little band called LANY from Los Angeles have managed to reignite my faith in the future of power ballads with Hericane. Give it a listen for yourself and may your fists clench in solidarity.