Graphic by Tuana Özcan
It's Valentine's Day! February is for lovers, and for music about lovers. On this special of special days, the soundtrack is one of the most important aspects of a chance (or not so chance) rendezvous with a strange (or not so strange) someone. The mood is key, you see, and that "hot n' heavy" playlist that you made in middle school is probably not the way to go. But that's where I come in- as the Master of All Things Smooth, here are a few albums that'll at least get you started this Valentine's. Listen responsibly, and always wear protection... I was talking about headphones! Geez! Dirty, little perverts.
For the hopelessly smitten,
Freudian, Daniel Caesar
The thing about albums like this is they'll never get old. Every new listen brings with it the smoldering, lingering, and fizzling of a love born, grown, and until death's done its part. Can't get that special someone out of your head? Can't go on living without them? Can't go on living with them? Hammer it back in with "Neu Roses" and "We Find Love".
For the forever-together's,
How Do You Feel About Getting Married?, Dijon
Y'all are getting married. Or breaking up. Hard to say. Either way, this is the record for those with magic in their fingertips, with the spark in their eyes that could burn down the Eiffel Tower, with a heart so full it could love the entire state of Maryland. For those that every time they see that someone, they get those same butterflies. For those that still ask that question, "do you light up?"
For the old, the young, and the everyone,
Let's Get It On, Marvin Gaye
How can you have any Top 10 list without the man himself? This album alone is responsible for the overproduction of Scorpios in the world today. How can it not? It's a masterpiece, a true classic, deserving of a far higher spot on the Rolling Stone 500. Lets' get it on, baby, keep getting it on!
For the crazed and obsessed,
Before you say anything, this is more than just "Take Me To Church," and so help me whatever deity may be listening, if I see anyone posting their SO's to "Cherry Wine," I'm calling in a domestic disturbance. This album is so full of such true, true love, that it was enough to make people believe they could survive out in the woods with the fairies and the dryads. Want to show your partner you love them? Get a U-Haul and learn every word to "Jackie and Wilson."
For the girls and the gays,
blue water road, Kehlani
One of the most beautifully written pieces of modern music, sung by one of the most elegant and resounding voices of our generation. It's vulnerable like an exposed nerve, sturdier than an iron maiden, and damn if it doesn't just throw you down the stairs.
For the horniest of horny,
Shelley FKA DRAM, DRAM
You probably remember DRAM from his 2016 single with Lil Yachty, or maybe even from his unforgettable Christmas duets with him mom. But this album right here? This album?? Sorcery. Summer Walker, H.E.R., Erykah Badu, S-tier singers featured on this album, all outshined and out-sung and out-sex symboled by none other than the Big Baby himself, DRAM. "All Pride Aside" also has one of the most gorgeous switches since Frank Ocean's "Nights."
For the habitually distraught,
Blonde, Frank Ocean
Speak of the devil! Cry about it. *"Godspeed" plays* *maniacal laughter ensues followed closely by real, actual, grown ass person tears*
For the old-fashioned romantic,
Always & Forever, Randy Travis
It'll be a cold day in hell (Florida) before I don't list this in any top 10 list. Talk about the most genuine, most kindly and gentlemanly, most unequivocally country albums of the '80's on. Randy Travis was truly the last of his kind, and the best of 'em too. You'll be dancing around the kitchen all night with this on, forever and ever, amen.
For the smooth-talkin',
Winelight, Grover Washington, Jr.
Picture this: you and you and the most amazing, the most wonderful, the kindest, the smartest, the most drop-dead gorgeous individual is sitting at the bar in your spacious, counter-topped, candlelit kitchen. You're both on your second, maybe third glass of wine, and the delectable aroma of your grandma's secret tomato sauce recipe is wafting through the air, the two of you can't stop making eye contact, all while "Just the Two of Us" bounces around the room.
And finally, for the literally insane,
Show Your Bones, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
If you've been paying any attention whatsoever to the rest of this list, you're probably a bit confused. And rightfully so! But this album is chock full of love songs, and that is all I will say about it. Just trust me. Take my word for it! You know you're curious. Show me your bones!
Surely, could we have missed a few essentials? How much more romantic could we possibly get?? Have a look at a few of our Honorable Mentions! You be the judge!
Justice, Justin Bieber
Let's Stay Together, Al Green
Boy in Jeans, Ryan Beatty
American Boyfriend, Kevin Abstract
Didn't like our list? Think we're missing something? Hate love? Hate music? Check out Tonitruale's Valentine's Day Mix and see if we can't change your mind (or at least make you dance).