Tyler, The Creator, “She”
Look no further than “She” by Tyler, The Creator to set an amorous mood for you and your lover this Valentine’s Day.
Tyler empathizes with the arbitrary frilliness of Valentine’s day with his lyric, “We can chill and I can act like I don’t wanna fuck/You can tell me all your problems like I really give one.”
Tyler is clearly in love with this girl, so much so that he wants to “drag [her] lifeless body to the forest and fornicate with it,” but solely because he’s madly in love.
Ah, young love. He captures the anxiety that comes with asking your Valentine on a date so eloquently.
Anyone who’s ever been scared to ask their crush out can relate to his lyric “I just want to talk, and conversate/Cause I usually just stalk you and masturbate/And I finally got the courage to ask you on a date/So just say yes, let the future fall into place,” wait for it, “cunt.”
Neither Wordsworth nor Shakespeare could have stenciled the trials and tribulations of young love as movingly as Tyler.
Sublime, “Caress Me Down”
This is not a song about a massage. Off their 1996 self-titled album, “Caress” is mainly an ode to frontman Bradley Nowell’s raging libido. After a second-line invocation of Ron Jeremy, pornography’s greasiest mascot, the band tours a landscape of machismo and ooze. Nowell growls directions and desires over a raunchy drum beat, often in bad Spanish. While enjoyably trashy, and with too many slide whistles and slacker aesthetics to be anything other than fun, “Caress” is less suited to romance than it is to a hazy dorm room, preferably with chips, which is probably what Bradley would’ve wanted.
Coldplay, “Fix You”
The power anthem for overdramatized eighth-grade sobbing was Coldplay’s “Fix You.” Reminiscent of Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul with purposeful intentions, the execution is cringe-worthy, especially when experienced past the age of 14. Simply, Chris Martin is the ultimate “nice guy.” He may be sweet, but that’s the extent of the conversation. The ballad for fixing life with love is mediocre corniness at best. It proposes valid morals regarding fixing life’s toils, but provides nothing of notable substance. Never forget that Coldplay performed “Fix You” at the Super Bowl in 2015. Especially never forget that someone deliberately chose to have one of the most effeminate, peace-and-love-and-flowers boy bands perform at the most hyper-masculine event of the year. This prototype for nice-guy-balladry is a soundtrack to a dark place. This Valentine’s Day, please do better.
Blink-182, “I Miss You”
Stuck in your head just like that first middle school heartbreak that never quite healed, a Valentine’s Day listen to blink-182’s “I Miss You” will leave you more lost than you were at the song’s beginning, wandering the unforgiving streets of I.V. in search of love all while half ironically parodying Tom DeLonge’s nasal cry of despair: “Where are you?”
Bonnie Tyler, “Total Eclipse of the Heart”
Maybe it’s because the song triggers an unusually vivid image of my mom, teased hair and all, dancing arms-around-neck with a boy at her eighth-grade dance, or maybe it’s the permanent ringing in my ears left from listening to dozens of pitchy 12-year-olds audition the song for their school play in the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” movie or maybe it’s the fact that “forever” is mentioned six times and life-long commitment terrifies my college-aged self. Whatever the reason, there is something about Bonnie Tyler’s Grammy-nominated hit single “Total Eclipse of the Heart” that takes me out of the mood and into a hazy ’80s nightmare.
21 Savage, “FaceTime”
The drunken lovesick lyrics of one of the top ten most exceptional poets of the 21st century, 21 Savage, sends you into a similar sulky stupor as Drake’s “Marvin’s Room.” The song’s lyrical substance is as overly sweet as a strawberry frappuccino, with 21 crooning about wanting to FaceTime a girl so badly, despite the Hennessy blurring his actions.
One line that will really have your partner swooning if you add this to their Spotify playlist is “Let me swim inside your pool, yeah the deep end.”
21 Savage truly puts all of Ed Sheeran’s discography to shame, but if you want to send your significant other a lovesick ballad from a trap rapper, I would recommend opting out of the 21 Savage discography and heading over to Young Thug’s classic “Worth It.”
Elton John, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
This song is the love song of my childhood. Love the song, love Elton John. What I don’t love is that once I hear this song, it stays in my head for a week. Right now, for example, I’ve started humming it in my head, and I already know it will be there all day. It’s what I would call “too much of a good thing.” The lovely essence of this song quickly wears off into what can be considered a perpetual sonic nightmare.
Justin Bieber, “Baby”
Seven — that’s how many different words there are in the chorus of Justin Bieber’s all-time classic hit, “Baby.” The success of “Baby” is a bizarre phenomenon in pop culture; how did such a caterwauling, shallow song achieve such wild popularity? Maybe the key is in its simplicity, with an easy-to-belch tune and lack of complicated vocabulary. Or maybe its success can be credited to its singer, with his iconic circa-2010 haircut that inspired middle-school aged boys across the nation. In any event, “Baby” continues to persist in karaoke and road trip tunes; unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.
Drake, “Best I Ever Had”
“Best I Ever Had” is the kind of song that launches you into pop stardom. Not you, of course, but Drake. It’s the kind of song about somebody that is also somehow about everybody and nobody at the same time. It doesn’t risk upsetting any demographic, except the demographic that hates compliments and having sex. Those people definitely hate Drake.
But people who hear Drake say “You the fuckin’ best, you the fuckin’ best, you the fuckin’ best, you the fuckin’ best” over and over again and want to hear it at least one more time are broken people.
The kind of broken people that hear “All up in your slot till a n*gga hit the jackpot” and get butterflies.
See if your significant other is one of those people this Valentine’s Day. When they’re about to reach their peak, take a breath, collect your thoughts, and say what you know they want to hear in that exact moment: “Jackpot.”
The Police, “Every Breath You Take”
First of all, it’s creepy. While one can appreciate the clear romantic sentiment this song is going for, can you imagine someone wanting to watch every move you make? Every step you take? I’ll pass. However, you can’t hate on The Police too much for this radio hit, as the song was originally intended to be a stalker anthem about Sting’s first divorce and was wrongfully interpreted as a love song by literally everyone in 1983. Either way, I’d rather just be lonely on Valentine’s Day if it means avoiding another bad love song (intentional or not) like this one.
Melody Pezeshkian first reported for News where she covered protests, rallies, and campus productions. She now writes for Artsweek and loves covering niche venues, local concerts, and interviewing independent music companies.