10 Greatest Love Songs (That Aren't Actually Love Songs)

Categories: Lists

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Mark Kozelek, "Metropol 47" [2000]

The thing about Mark Kozelek, be it in his solo material or work with Red House Painters or Sun Kil Moon, is that he makes almost perfect make out music. The slow rhythms and atmospheric way he hits notes with his guitar and vocal chords really set the mood. Just don't pay attention too closely: his lyrics are absolutely morose. Sure, if you and your partner are on some mutually damaged Blue Valentine vibes, the lyrics to songs like "24" and "Katy Song" might be fitting for your nihilistic amorous adventures, but if your levels of serotonin (or any one of the other neurotransmitters hypothesized to be linked with depression) are normal, lines like "glass on the pavement under my shoe, that's all my life amounts to without you" will probably feel off-putting.

The song "Metropol 47" really straddles that line between perfect make out song and a statement on the bleakness of life.The song structure is simple and folky; it's basically two chords played with a very percussive strumming pattern. The lyrics are all about desire and affection, but there is a creepy undercurrent. Every line is a command. It's not like Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me," in which the narrator is merely outlining his desires without being too imposing. Here, the narrator is imperatively telling a person to do stuff like "flash a smile and face at me," or "speak your native tongue to me." He's doing this out of a sense of desperation, eventually commanding his lover to "buy me one more day".

The lyrics are about vainly fighting the inevitability of a relationship ending. There might be some zen in acknowledging this impermanence, but there is a chance the person you are making out with will think too much into these lyrics and your selection of this song and decide it's not worth it. Or they will take its carpe diem message to heart and make out with increased fervor. They might just think it's a pretty song. Consider all these outcomes when you make your next make out playlist. -- Mike Bogumill

See also:

-Review: Mark Kozelek, Rock 'N' Roll Singer

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Seal, "Kiss from a Rose" [1995]

Never mind all of it. Never mind the fact that "kisses" and "roses" are Valentine's Day staples. Forget those lyrics, about obsession, about the intersecting sensations of pleasure and pain. "Kiss from a Rose" isn't a song about dark-hued love; it's about Batman, specifically the rubber-suited one from 1995's Batman Forever (the first appearance of "Bat nipples").

Sure, you can logically argue that "Kiss from a Rose" came out in 1994, appearing on Seal, the second self-titled LP by the English singer. You can remind us all that it hit the charts, promptly fell off, and was rescued by Batman Forever director Joel Schumacher when he felt it deserved a spot in his theatrical, colorful take on the Batman mythos. You could also argue that the lyrics are resolutely Batman-free, with no mention of capes, cowls, fearing the night, or Robin. You could also argue that it is a love song, albeit a sort of vague, not particularly well-defined love song, and that its lyrics have nothing to do with Jim Carrey, Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, and Nicole Kidman.

But -- and here's the operative but -- if you don't immediately think of Seal stomping around on a Gotham rooftop, emoting wildly in front of a flashing Bat-Signal, you're totally missing the point. -- Jason P. Woodbury

See also:

-Chicano Batman Descends Onto Phoenix
-10 Greatest TV Themes of All Time
-Holy Playlist, Batman! Seven Songs in Honor of The Dark Knight Rises


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1 comments
Gary Waterman
Gary Waterman

Toy Soldiers by Martika. Sounds like a love song but the message is basically, no matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, you will fail!

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