Favorite love song

Monday, July 04, 2011

This may be the most difficult music-related question I've ever been asked, next to "what's your favorite song?" Because practically every song ever written is in some way a love song, isn't it?

Finding an answer to this question has only been made easier for me because I've seen some of the other "questions" in American Songwriter's 30-day song extravaganza and am planning to use some of my other favorite love songs in different categories.

So I guess I'm going to go with with "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt. This is one, sadly, that I find myself coming back to time and time again because in every romantic situation, there's a kernel of -- I don't know ... doubt, vulnerability, reality -- that this song captures so well. I read that Bonnie Raitt laid down the vocal track on the first try because she just couldn't recapture the sadness that she felt and recorded the first time. Her voice is so beautifully forlorn and the lyrics are so full of clarity ... if it weren't so sad, I'd say I'd wish to be as wise as she is in this song always.

If that song's too sad to be considered a love song, then my vote goes to "Tender Love" by Force MDs (but really the Jordan Knight version, who am I kidding? The Force MDs version kind of creeps me out because they sound kind of young for a song so sexy.) I like my love songs simple, and this song is very simple. I tend to think that songs are most potent and work best when they capture a moment and not an entire relationship or a lengthy amount of time. Because that's what makes a song true, or pure in its meaning. And that's exactly what "Tender Love" seems to be. And Jordan Knight turns up the sexy a million watts here ... not just because he's Jordan Knight but because of the way he manipulates his voice to trail off with just the right words, and because of his phrasing and all of that good stuff. It's a kind of breathy song, and the lyrics, phrasing, vocals combined give me a very delicate, light pink chiffon kind of romantic feeling. That's the only way I can describe it.

There are really a lot of other love songs I could have mentioned here (A Fine Frenzy alone has a bunch of good ones, Mariah from the early days ...), but I'm saving them for categories to come!

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