For instance, Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell albums are so fantastically overwrought that if you can listen while writing and siphon off just a fraction of that emotion, you can construct a pretty damn good scene of despair, angst and, eventually, hope.
I LOVE THIS VIDEO. Shut up. I love it and I don't care who knows it.
Now, I don't like sappy, drooly love scenes. So if my love scene looks like it's getting slobbery, I remind myself to write it straight with The Pretenders.
Need an angry character? Linkin Park. Oh, yes. Linkin Park.
Writing horror? Try Apocalyptica's terrifying version of Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King. It kind of makes you think you're probably not leaving this mountain alive.
But if you're writing epic fantasy, you might to have a listen to...Epica. I actually saw them in concert a few days ago. I hadn't been to a concert since my son was born, and I'd forgotten how metal concerts make the walls tremble and the floor vibrate.
I think my hearing is almost back to normal.
And if you want someone to die in a terribly tragic manner, you can't go wrong with Queen.
And I'm throwing this in just because it's awesome and I think it's hilarious. With as many members as The Black-Eyed Peas has (there's like six people in that band) you'd think at least one of them would have talent. But it's like a perfect storm of suck. This video not only makes them better, but reminds us of how to tell the difference between a human and an android, which will be important to know during the coming machine wars.