Ripe strawberries dunked in sweet, finely melted chocolate. Crimson blossoms wrapped in decorated plastic. Tiny heart-shaped sugar candies printed with lovely messages. If you’re like me, we don’t get any of these things until they go on clearance. Whether you’re single or achieved the ultimate relationship goals, planning the day of candy hearts and red roses induces major anxiety. Cards, teddy bears and other frivolous goods already got checked off the list. What more do we need? Music of course.
CM presents 10 Valentine’s Day songs that won’t add another cringe-factor to this day of love.
1. The Sentimental Wedding Song
“A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri
If your middle school years consisted of hardcore arguments over Team Edward or Team Jacob, you definitely know this song by heart. Christina Perri’s contribution to the Twilight Soundtrack became a smash hit. Scatter the flower petals and light about a thousand candles because this melody can definitely provide a sentimental vibe. “I just remember hearing this song play in the Twilight movies and I instantly fell in love. This song is just so powerful, beautiful and eternal. I think it really describes when a girl finds the right guy and how intuitive that moment is when she knows she’s always loved him,” said UC Berkeley junior Elaine Collins.
2. The Tear-Jerker
“Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur
Ever love someone so much you can’t process the thought of leaving their side? We’ve all been there. Exposing the vulnerable reality of loving another, “Say You Won’t Let Go” shows us how love affects the soul, especially when you don’t want to let it go. “I love this song because it touches on everything love should be: beautiful, unconditional and patient. It gives me a lot of hope that true, good love still exists. It always has me catching the feels,” said UC Merced senior Domenica Figueroa.
3. The Moody Walk In the Rain
“Make You Feel My Love” by Adele
Ah, you can never go wrong with the vocal powerhouse Adele. The trembling mood, the depth of emotion and her ability to belt out a harmony unlike any other truly makes us feel the passion of her song. Adele Adkins—the Barabara Streisand of the millennial generation—touches the heart with this cover of a Bob Dylan classic. Personally, I would take Adele over chocolates any day.
4. The Strokes of Memory on Guitar Strings
“Sea of Love” by Cat Power
For the alternative/indie fans, “Sea of Love” will bring contentedness. A ballad released in the late 90s, the song comes off as the epitome of simplistic beauty in the audio form. “It’s my favorite song because it reflects the affection you feel toward your significant other. You just can’t help but feel they are your world and remember the moment they wandered into your life. It is just so beautiful to be in love and I picture myself slow dancing on my wedding day to this song,” said UC Berkeley junior Jagreet Sekhon.
5. The Sexy Slow Jam
“Earned It” by The Weeknd
He may not provide love songs for children to hear, but The Weeknd certainly delivers for the more mature audience. Soulful melodies combine with heart-pounding (and at times explicit) lyrics create the perfect tune for any romantic scene. Need a five-minute break to listen? Worry not girl, you’ve earned it.
6. The Boy-Bop We Never Knew We Needed
“I Knew I Loved You” by Savage Garden
Need a boyish pop tune to settle the nerves? I’ve got you covered with a Savage Garden ballad describing true love as something we’ve dreamed into reality. We’ve all pictured the day our favorite romantic ballad accurately presents us with the man we deserve. Yeah, I haven’t figured out how to make it happen either. “This song hits because it’s those feelings of how you love someone so much it felt like you loved them when you had no idea they even existed, as if you were waiting for them the whole time. The lyrics are perfectly molded to make a girl blush if you sang it to her, trust me I’ve tried,” said Yuba College fourth-year Andrew Xiong.
7. The Blissful Breakfast Ballad
“Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson
Need of a light rock tune to ease your single heart? Then Jack Johnson’s simple, acoustic and quirky ballad will be your answer. “Jack Johnson’s music is the perfect medium for love songs without the cringe. ‘Banana Pancakes’ embodies the warm and wholesome side of being in love. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, rather than having a cheesy candlelit dinner under the moonlight, listening to this song makes me grateful for the small and simple moments we share with the people we love,” said Yuba College third-year Jenny Tran. Give me a rainy day and breakfast in bed any day.
8. The Perfect Slow-Dance
“Perfect” by Ed Sheeran
No one can deny the folkish-pop of Ed Sheeran’s romantic ballads. Our favorite red-headed Brit manages to pull at our heart-strings with a number of melodies but none so great as his recent number “Perfect.” With a tempo to match the content rhythm of any heart, Ed Sheeran delivers this love-song of the year.
9. The Soulful Rhapsody
“Never Let Me Go” by Florence+The Machine
Cue the alternative-pop fan’s sigh of relief and joy—Florence Welch will certainly be their vocal valentine. With love as changing as the tumbling waves of the ocean, there exists nothing more suitable than a ballad that expresses the freedom and power that can be had from letting yourself love. With vocals that set the bar for an awe-inspiring moment, “Never Let Me Go” equals romantic, suggestive and unforgettable.
10. The One to Hold On to
“New Year’s Day” by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift strikes again, this time with the tear-inducing song of her 2017 album reputation. T-Swift constantly creates buzz for tackling love in her music but no song has reached such a level of self-security, contentedness and bliss as this one. “Taylor Swift is definitely no stranger to love which is why I think she’s mastered lyric writing with her own experiences. Love and heartbreak are such universal feelings, which is why this song resonates with me on such an emotional and powerful level. It makes me feel at peace and it can apply to more than just a boyfriend,” said Sacramento State senior Melissa Rosney. Rosney felt that such expression made the peace more touching. Indeed, there’s nothing better than a song that can be so much more than just one thing.