The bright side of love

Playlist of the week 2/11/22

TJ Disabato, Staff Writer

​The middle of February is rapidly approaching, and with it come the swirling emotions of desire, romance and rejection. This is all because of the onset of Valentine’s Day, the perfect day to admit your feelings to a special someone and hope it doesn’t tarnish your existing friendship. I know I won’t be doing that this holiday season, but I give my respect to anyone who can muster up the courage to take their relationship to the next level. This is the second week in a row with a Valentine’s Day playlist, but after the more melancholic approach taken last week, I am trying to lift Case Western Reserve University’s collective spirits. I urge you to all get out there and make yourselves available. 

College is the perfect time for romance, one-night stands and anything in between. But, before you try to make your move with that special person who you’ve been Zoom crushing on for the past two years, listen to these songs and imagine a happy future with them. I tried to limit myself to twenty songs, and then I went crazy—think of this playlist as an extended dance remix.


“Babies” – Pulp

​Telling the story of falling for a friend’s sister, Jarvis Cocker—the founder and previous frontman of Pulp—spies on an older girl along with the boy she brings back with her from college. There is no more direct romantic lyric than “I want to give you children.” Okay, maybe a little too direct.


“Books About UFOs” – Hüsker Dü

​If you want to impress your astrology-loving significant other, play them this one. If they love staring at the night sky, naming a new planet after them will be sure to win some brownie points for you.


“Rhinestone Eyes” – Gorillaz

​The lyrics of this song are of a materialistic love, so I won’t go into it too much. Gorillaz features a great catalogue of music, and the band’s animated characters look like NFTs, the epitome of modern wastefulness, so there’s that.


“Babooshka” – Kate Bush

​Between this and “Hounds of Love,” I had to pick this one because the lyrics tell such a great story. The song features an aging woman writing letters to her husband under the false pretense of being a younger woman named “Babooshka.” I am just hoping Bush gets to perform at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame here in Cleveland one day.


“Rip It Up” – Orange Juice

​This one might have fit better on last week’s more somber playlist, but it is too good to pass up. We have all stared longingly at someone we wanted while we were unable to make a move, and this song perfectly matches that situation.


“You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” – Leo Sayer

​Disco king Leo Sayer breaks out his falsetto in the best possible way, creating a classic hit that is sure to make any awkward couple bust out some unforgettable dance moves.


“Top Of The World” – The Carpenters 

​My celebrity Valentine will always be Karen Carpenter. Although many of the duo’s songs come from a sorrowful, more poignant side of romance, this one is just a bubbly, feel-good piece of perfection.


“You Got It” – Roy Orbison  

​A resurgence late in life saw the iconic lonely lover of the ’60’s return to form the supergroup, the Traveling Wilburys. Again relevant and leaving at a new height of popularity, this solo song perfectly capped off an unforgettable career, spanning from “Oh, Pretty Woman,” to “In Dreams.”


“Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart” – Julee Cruise

​Although better known for singing “Falling”—the theme to “Twin Peaks”—Cruise’s debut studio album Floating into the Night also features this dream pop magnum opus. The only thing better than the sense of floating that the lullaby-like lyrics provide is the nastiest saxophone solo you will ever hear found within.


“I Love a Man in Uniform” – Gang of Four

​This song provides a satirical view on joining the army to gain credentials with women on the return home. What better way to impress a woman than by joining the British Army during the two-month-long Falklands War?


“Pearl Of The Quarter” – Steely Dan

A band not known to sing about romance, this song focuses on a man’s lusty relationship with a prostitute in New Orleans. Although I could have given this spot on the playlist to their “Josie,” this felt better. The entire “Countdown to Ecstasy” album is a journey, so definitely be sure to check it out in its entirety, as well as every other Steely Dan album.


“Love Rollercoaster” – Ohio Players

Dripping in funk, this song will be sure to kickstart any dance competition this Valentine’s Day. Also, any band representing the greatest state in America deserves a spot on this playlist.


“Get Down Tonight” – KC & the Sunshine Band

​A continuation of the dance theme from the last song, this song continues the grooviness provided by Ohio Players. A terribly awkward memory is listening to my Dad sing this song around the house when I was a child.


“Love Shack” – The B-52’s

Despite being far from my favorite song in their catalog, it is definitely the most recognizable. More love-inspired B-52’s songs to check out are “Give Me Back My Man,” and “Song for a Future Generation.”


“Love Will Keep Us Together” – Captain & Tennille

A janky instrumental, we have this classic by the original power couple themselves. My vinyl copy of “Love Will Keep Us Together” may or may not be my favorite record in my small collection.


“Groove Is in the Heart” – Deee-Lite

​When the romance of the evening is done and you head to the clubs, be sure to request this and watch everyone line up to thank you.


“Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” – Sophie B. Hawkins

​One of the first and best love songs about LGBTQIA+ relationships, this one might be my favorite in the entire playlist. Perhaps CWRU could take a piece of advice from the show “Community” and book Hawkins for our next dance a la Greendale.


“There’s Too Much Love” – Belle and Sebastian

Although you might recognize this song from an earlier playlist article I wrote, I feel that it deserves to be praised more than once—you might even see it again. 


“This Guy’s In Love With You” – Herb Alpert

​Isn’t a torchy song proclaiming love sung by a guy named “Herb,” along with his brass band all we want for Valentine’s Day? I know that I sure do.


“Somewhere Only We Know” – Keane

​Possibly the most iconic moment in the nearly fifty-year history of “Saturday Night Live” is the appearance of Keane as the musical guest in a 2005 episode hosted by Paris Hilton. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Hilton as the ninth worst host ever, even beating out New York City hero-turned-American laughingstock Rudy Giuliani. Fortunately, the musical guest was the highlight of the night.


“Raspberry Beret” – Prince

Even if this playlist was solely Prince songs, it would still be just as romantic. This is one of my favorite songs in his discography, and it has gotten me through several infatuations in my life.


“Be My Baby” – The Ronettes

​Sadly, the Ronettes lead singer Ronnie Spector passed away last month, but her torchy love ballad will always stand the test of time. What she saw in Phil Spector, though, I have no idea.


“God Only Knows” – The Beach Boys

​Lastly, we have the greatest love song ever, written by the most celebrated American songwriter of all time, Brian Wilson. You know it’s worth a listen if Paul McCartney himself declared it as “the greatest song ever written.” 

Happy Valentine’s Day, CWRU!