By Keith Rich
When I was asked to write a piece revolving around Valentine’s Day, I presumed the email was sent to the wrong person…I mean, I’m just a dork who’s more of a corrugated cardboard connoisseur (what a mouthful) than the ultimate Casanova these days. Still: for a guy who has been married for 5 years (with just as many cats) and longs to see his wife the moment he leaves for work, I might not be the worst person in the world to ask. Am I the authority on being the most romantic dude of all time? Probably not…but I sure can pull my musical weight, so I’m going to do all you musically stumped dudes and dudettes a favor. I have compiled 10 of my personal top lovers’ jams to help you get your groove on for that special holiday night.
- Michael Jackson “Rock With You” – Aside from being a great all-around artist, this song is guaranteed to get the night in motion. From the unmistakable drum fill at the beginning of the tune to the end of the fading echoes with Michael point blank stating he wants to ‘rock the night away’, you can’t go wrong.
- The Maccabees “Toothpaste Kisses” – Nothing says cutesy like a song about not being able to keep your hands off each other in a very, well, cutesy way. At only 2 minutes and 30 seconds, you’ll want to smooch your lover by the end of the song, regardless if they’re foaming at the mouth (akin to a rabid, winged creature from an obscure fantasy novel).
- Disclosure featuring Jessie Ware “Confess To Me”– This is the point where you really let your gal or guy pal know what’s up: how you really feel. Between Jessie Ware’s commanding vocal lines and the brothers Disclosure getting their funky on, good luck not losing yourself in the sea of all that is groove.
- Coldplay “Sparks” – Sometimes it’s not about overtly cryptic lyrics to convey (or attempt to) your feelings for that special someone. Chris Martin sums it all up with a heartfelt ‘I’ll always look out for you, that’s what I’ll do’…I’d say that’s pretty endearing and to the point. “Sparks” is a slow burner, a perfect jam for late night cuddles.
- Tinashe “Stargazing” – Another slow-burning affair, Tinashe pines away at a love she knows would be great if only she’d have the chance to prove it. Let’s be honest: we’ve all been there, right? The sparse beats, the atmospheric swirling of the synth pads and of course, Tinashe’s stunning wide vocal range will cull you to follow wherever she leads. At the very least, you’re going to get a solid handholding out of the deal.
- My Bloody Valentine “Sometimes” – First off, appropriate name, don’t you think? This 1991 classic is a washed out wall of sound that plants you in a dream-like state, distorting the real world, allowing you to think of only that main squeeze you’re locking eyes with. This is a great late night tune as the evening comes to a close that tops any liquid nightcap.
- Mount Kimbie “Carbonated” – Are words really necessary? It’s dark; you’re walking home from a nice dinner out or a late night date. Let the minimalist vibe be your soundtrack to help remind you of what it is to be the only two in your universe for the moment and enjoy said moment, free from distractions…I mean, y’know…apart from the song, of course.
- Kate Bush “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” – Another great song of longing love. Decked out in 80’s drum machine regalia without seeming dated, this haunting tale of a lover’s lament is one to be a useful means to be thankful for that special partner that you share your days with.
- Sade “No Ordinary Love” – What can I really say about this one? I think we can all agree that if there was an artist who could soundtrack the Valentine’s holiday as a whole, it’d be the one, the only: Sade.
- The Cardigans “Lovefool” – This is what it’s all about, folks. “Love me, love me: say that you’ll love me!” The Cardigan-wrapped cheese factor is about to burst through the stratosphere of corny, but you can’t deny it…you love this song. I’ll admit it! It’s great!
Let’s be real: cracking up and getting groovy with your partner daily is the way to go…Valentine’s Day is just an excuse to magnify that to the Nth degree! Enjoy the songs…maybe you’ll find a new musical love in the bunch as well.
Happy Valentine’s Day, smoochers and smoochettes!