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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A Valentine’s Day playlist for lovers who love love

Posted By on Wed, Feb 12, 2020 at 1:00 AM

click to enlarge SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Love, as The Captain & Tennille once sang, will keep us together. Were truer words ever spoken?

Granted, people may stay together for other reasons, like, for instance, the children, or financial considerations, or codependency.

But since you love Valentine’s Day every bit as much as we do, let’s just set all that aside for the moment and enjoy this lovingly curated holiday playlist:

“Cuz I Love You” by Lizzo
It’s only fitting that the most soulful contender for this year’s Best New Artist Grammy would record this single for Atlantic Records, a label that will forever be associated with Aretha Franklin. Lizzo’s churchified vocal performance, which contemporizes the Queen of Soul’s sound without compromising it, combined with X Ambassadors’ brass-heavy arrangement, add up to an R&B love song that’ll surely stand the test of time.

“Je t’aime” by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin
Once described as the pop equivalent of the softcore film Emmanuelle. “Je T’aime” was banned in America and other countries where virtually no one speaks French. But the two singers’ whispers, sighs and moans make it obvious that lines like “Je vais et je viens, entre tes reins” are anything but platonic.

“Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green
In which the consummate soulman makes an unimpeachable case for love and longevity. According to legend, Al Green wrote the lyrics in 15 minutes, then recorded the song in a room full of neighborhood drunks. But it still sounds like he’s singing it just for you.

”Computer Love” by Zapp and Roger
Before Autotune, there was the Vocoder, which Zapp leader Roger Troutman took to appropriate extremes in this musically and lyrically prescient electro-funk tune. Key lyric: “Oh won’t you keep me warm tonight / You are such a sweet delight / I will cherish the memory of this night / Yes I found my computer love.”

“God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys
“That’s not a love song, it’s a suicide note,” said Brian Wilson’s father when his son first played it for him. He was wrong. Regardless of whether it’s sung by Brian sitting alone at his piano — or by his brother Carl in the baroque-pop rendition that appears on The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds — this is still one of the most beautiful love songs of all time.

“Ben” by Michael Jackson
Forget the Captain & Tennille’s “Muskrat Love,” this is the only rodent song that truly matters. A sweetly romantic ballad, it was recorded for the soundtrack of the comparatively creepy film Willard, but taken out of context, you’d never guess that Michael Jackson was singing to a rat.

“I Feel Love” by Donna Summer
Although this wasn’t Donna Summer’s first hit about love — that came earlier with “Love to Love You Baby” — it’s arguably the best, with Giorgio Moroder’s arpeggiated sequencers and Summer’s breathless vocals soaring into the disco stratosphere. In the decades to come, the dance floor diva would release more than two dozen songs with “love” in the title, including “Cool Love,” “Unconditional Love” and “Supernatural Love,” but none of them can surpass this one.

“Miracles” by Insane Clown Posse
Because Juggalos need love, too.

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