Let's talk about love songs: A Valentine's playlist
Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 22:02
I am prolonging my break from reviewing albums. Valentine's Day is this Friday. My cold, critical heart is starting to soften. People, turn your hormones on. Let's talk about love songs.
Love songs are hard for me to get my head around. They're easy to understand and they're enjoyable, but I can't really sit here and judge what makes one love song better than another. It's like they're all the same, only not. Like I said, they're hard for me to get my head around. Just talking about it makes me feel unoriginal and unintelligent.
If you want to impress your significant other by showing some unique taste in music while showing your corny emotions at the same time, I made a playlist for you; a Valentine's Day playlist from yours truly. I may not know everything about music, but I know a thing or two about love, baby.
— "Be My Baby," The Ronettes, 1963
Beach Boys genius Brian Wilson once said of this song, "Once you've heard that record, you're a fan forever." Sure, this song was an important leap forward for music production and studio recording tactics, but chances are your significant other doesn't care about this. Perhaps a rock ‘n’ roll history lesson isn't required in order to enjoy simply sweet, straight forward lyrics. The backing vocals in the chorus sound so big, yet the words are so basic. It takes a few words and glorifies, romanticizes them. "Be my, be my baby." This is pop music at its most sentimental.
— "Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space," Spiritualized, 1997
I felt like this playlist needed a starry-eyed British love song with crazy production sounds. Like this song, love is amazing and weird all at the same time. Almost all the lyrics are direct quotes from Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love." While Jason Pierce is basically whispering Presley's words into an intercom system, a choir sings them in the background. The atmosphere of this song gives a unique perspective on romance. Falling in love is the equivalent to floating in space while stars explode in the distance.
— "Let's Stay Together," Al Green, 1971
This song is so darn sexy. Al Green's music is 50 percent love, 50 percent lust and 100 percent honesty. All he's suggesting in this song is that he and his loved one "stay together." He might be implying more than that, though. "Loving you forever is all that I need. Let me be the one you come running to." Ladies, don't you wish your boyfriends would say stuff like this to you? Also, you have to love the percussion on this track.
— "Downtown Train," Tom Waits, 1985