February, the official month of all things lovey-dovey, may be over but that does not mean we should stop celebrating the joy that love can bring. While I have never been a particularly mushy-gushy kind of gal (“The Notebook” does n-o-t-h-i-n-g for me), there is no denying that the perfect love song will always put me in the right mood.
Nowadays, there is an infinite number of ways to categorize love and express it to a partner. Sex and relationship expert and YouTube guru, Shannon Boodram breaks true love down into four primary categories.
Agape love, which is described as a love and respect for all things including the self. Phileo love, which is adoration of your chosen family and the people you surround yourself with. Storge love, which refers to a deeply unconditional love usually practiced within families or extremely close partners. And finally, Eros love which is the luxuriously romantic kind of love traditionally displayed in Hollywood movies and those cheesy $5.99 greeting cards from CVS.
Regardless of what type of love you want to feel or who you want to give it to, I would highly recommend using music as a means to get there. Music is a great tool for love and sharing a great song can be the perfect way to express your care for another person.
It’s also a great way to share some love with yourself. More than once I have been caught lip-synching the lyrics to a moody Rihanna song to myself in the mirror and trust me, I am OK with that!
Whether you’re single, in a relationship or bouncing around that grey area in between, here’s a couple of the very best songs about falling in love:
A love like Beyoncé and Jay Z’s comes once in a lifetime. Each is a massive musical powerhouse on his or her own, but when combined their forces are truly unstoppable. The two broke the Internet earlier last year after releasing a surprise joint album, “Everything Is Love,” a joyous celebration of black art, power, and culture.
“Summer” in particular served as a celebration of black success and black love (Jay Z mulls on the turbulent violence of his childhood compared to the quiet bliss of his children’s own, while Bey croons about drowning in the depths of their love). If you haven’t heard this Grammy-nominated record as yet, sit back, relax and prepare to cruise into the sweet melodies of Summer.
One of the most epic things about this song and music video, other than Grande’s sleek powerful ponytail, is the unabashed celebration of womankind. Not only is it evident in the title and corresponding lyrics, but the corresponding music video also features Grande and an army of women set against famous works of art.
The song goes on to describe the undeniable seductive prowess women have and the strengths that lie within our desire. For all my ladies out there, this song is all about building our confidence which, in turn, can help all of us fall in deeper love with ourselves.
Every wedding from this year onward is going to have this song cued up on the love jams playlist. Or at least, every wedding absolutely should. This song is about pure devotion; the intimate joys of falling hopelessly in love with another human being.
That, mixed with the perfect melding of these two young artists’ angelic voices, brings “Best Part” up to a whole new tier of love song. I know when I listen to it, my reaction is absolutely visceral. It makes me want to laugh, cry, praise love, and then do it all over again.
“At Last” goes down as one of the most popular, and most karaoke-ed, songs about falling in love in history. Not only does the late Etta James’ haunting voice translate the song’s message, but the poetry of the song’s lyrics pack a heavy punch. Sometimes a great new relationship can feel like the first drop of rain after a long dry summer.
While a partner can never solve all of your problems, getting to share your life with someone else can be so exciting that it is almost a relief! Especially when your partner is someone you can vibe with as easily as Etta sings over this melody. In case you have not heard it in a while, revisit Etta James’ classic and I promise you won’t regret it.
While Queen Rih is often praised for her songs about female empowerment or sexual liberation, she also has quite a few love tunes under her belt. “Love on the Brain” stands out among the crowd not only for its incredible musicality (I’ll refer you back to my note about lip-synching moody Rihanna songs in the mirror,) but because of the raw emotion that can be heard on the track.
Rihanna sings about the confusion that can sometimes come at the beginning of a relationship; when you start feeling or behaving differently as a reaction to a new love in your life. When the love feels so addicting it almost takes over you, clouding your thoughts and your judgment.
While this sort of blind love should be tempered, being infatuated with your partner is an inevitable part of the process. As long as the relationship you have with yourself remains steady, then there is nothing wrong with doting out a little extra lovin’ for your partner.
While love can change, stretch and grow, it is one of the few constants that life has to offer. We all crave it, cherish it, and most importantly deserve it. Contrary to popular belief, love cannot only come from a partner or parent.
It can come from a pet, a neighbor, a book, a character, a stranger and even a song. Songs about falling in love are timeless because they speak to some of the most universal desires that all of us share. Best of all, you don’t need anyone else but yourself to enjoy them.