Love Songs Don’t Have to Suck
Look, I get it. It’s summer and everything is burnished and everyone is making out everywhere, and that’s wonderful. Please continue to do this indefinitely.
But, can we just clear something up real quick? Most love songs are just the worst. I say this as a sentimental weenie myself, one who has spent too much time falling in love and about one glass of wine away from writing to Paul Simon to say thanks for the soundtrack to my entirely unique heart, you get me.
But I have to say it: love songs suck. Love does not. When I hear a song about love that doesn’t have some sort of element of the fucked up, or doesn’t sound like it was written by two extraterrestrial teenagers falling in love in space on top of an octagonal drum pad spaceship…I get mad. I can’t quite explain it.
Maybe it’s because every part of love; the falling into it, the careening out of it, the settling down, every part of it is terrifying and wonderful and informative, and I don’t believe that most songs capture it. Mostly because so many love songs seem to written with the emotional charge of filing your tax returns. I’m looking at you, John Mayer. Last time John Mayer came on in a grocery store, I could see the grease on the speakers.
If you’re going to write a song about the most confusing, wonderful, awful part of life, it should sound like you care. It should sound like your brain has been warped by the outlandish magic of it and now you’re an insane person and you were tripping out on the love endorphins at two in the morning and wrote this intense thing that came from a part of you that had just been shocked awake or shattered completely.
If I hear another song about love that sounds like you could switch out the name of your beloved with “chicken sandwich” I am going to start playing guitar again. No one wants that. Write a song about someone you hate! See! There! That level of feeling. I don’t know, maybe try cocaine? Get weird. Love is weird. Out of all the song subjects, love is the one where everything is just inherently crazy, so get there.
Luckily I’ve dismounted from my high horse long enough to put together a playlist of songs that hit it just right. Think of your own! Just a Fun Summertime Activity for when your sunburn is a little too crackly to step outside.
Enjoy summer everyone! Resume your sweaty kisses, once more with feeling.
PS: I put two Ra Ra Riot songs on there because they specifically inspired this playlist. Especially on “Dance With Me” when Wes Miles sings:
Come and dance with me, pretty sweet fool
I wanna be your toy, I wanna be your toy
And yes, that’s why I imagined two alien teenagers in some incandescent geodesic dome on the blurry outer edges of the Milky Way, falling in neon love with each other as asteroids whiz by their outstretched dancing arms. Of which they each have six.