Songs rife with emotion
By the time you read this, there should be an ample increase in the colors pink, red and white around the workplace, and Russel Stover stock will rise by 80 percent. Some will rejoice, others will cry and still others will redefine the meaning of V-Day when they wake up with a painful rash. But whatever path you choose this Valentine’s season, if you’ve got something to say, say it with a song. Here in no particular order are some tunes to help you get your point across. Love1. “With or Without You,” by U2. This song sums up most relationships; for evidence, take a look around your home or office. Still, Bono’s imploring vocals and The Edge’s seagull guitars turn this slowburner into an impassioned plea for love from your squeeze on Valentine’s Day. 2. “Let’s Stay Together,” by Al Green.The Reverend Al’s smooth-as-silk croon is a favorite at wedding receptions everywhere. Play this for your intended and he/she will say “yes” for good or for bad or for happy or sad. 3. “I Miss You,” by Bjork.Take Ms. Godmunsdottir’s post-human Icelandic wail, add one part polyrhythmic dance beats, one part Latin horn section and mix well. The result is a surefire way to shake your honey’s heart and tail. 4. “Every Breath You Take,” by the Police.Unfortunately, this song about stalking might remind your object of obsession that you only finally got together after she lifted the restraining order. Hopefully by now she knows you like to watch. A must for misunderstood stalkers everywhere, now made more poignant by the Police’s rise from the grave. 5. “In Your Eyes,” by Peter Gabriel.Everybody remembers the scene from “Say Anything” where John Cusack busts out the boom box outside of Ione Skye’s house and plays this song in a last-ditch effort to…sob…oh no, I’m getting teary just thinking about it. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this. Hate/revenge1. “The Payback,” James Brown.Everyone knows that the dearly departed Godfather of Soul didn’t take no mess. If you’ve been done wrong by a lady or a fella, put on this funk gem and get your swagger back. HEEY! 2. “Tainted Love,” by Soft Cell.This isn’t a terribly angry song, but if I don’t include it, some ’80s enthusiast out there will have me hanged. Nevertheless, it might remind you of the time a paramour took your tears and your credit cards. Tainted love might not be as bad as tainted credit. 3. “Billie Jean,” by Michael Jackson.Illegitimate fathers unite! This ode to disputed parentage features one of the most classic bass lines in history, and could be Michael’s best song. Listen to this pop masterpiece, calm down and maybe you’ll avoid going to court to find out if the kid is not your son. 4. “Killing in the Name,” by Rage Against the Machine.Sure, this rockin’ rant pertains to sticking it to the man instead of your ex, but “F*** you I won’t do what you tell me” pretty much serves as an all-purpose declaration of anger. Hatred and revenge? Definitely. 5. “Stink Fist,” by Tool.”This may hurt a little but it’s something you’ll get used to.” I wouldn’t wish this song’s punishment on anyone. Still, if you really feel like giving someone the shaft, cheers! Sadness1. “Sour Times,” PortisheadThis group exemplifies the beauty that can be found at the depths of depression. The ’60s spy music swells up in great tides of sorrow; it sounds like a Bond movie wherein James loses both the girl and his Zoloft prescription. Singer Beth Gibbons can cloud a sunny day when she mournfully coos, “Nobody loves me/Not like you do.” 2. “Last Goodbye,” by Jeff Buckley.If you’ve must break it off, say it with Buckley’s soaring falsetto. Lines like “I know that in time/I’ll only make you cry” earn big sensitivity points and can score a goodby kiss. 3. “Everybody Hurts,” by R.E.M.This classic downer might be just what you need to pull you up from your chasm of lovelorn despair. It’s most effective when played from a car stereo in a traffic jam. 4. “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” by Radiohead.No one does disillusionment better than those paranoid androids in Radiohead. The tingly guitar notes ring in your ears long after you’ve heard the song, ensuring an entire day’s worth of post-modern malaise. 5. “Ms. Jackson,” by Outkast.Dre 3000 and Big Boi seem like playas, but deep down they just want to mend fences with their baby momma’s momma. “Stankonia” is still their best album, and if you enjoy a little Southern bounce in your apology gumbo, this is your picnic. Sex1. “Let’s Get it On,” by Marvin Gaye.The quintessential booty song. If even Jack Black can get play from this song (in “High Fidelity”), you can too.2. “Angel,” by Massive Attack. This trip-hop dirge starts out gently, teasing with beats that quietly skitter and pop. Slowly, the bass builds and builds into a thunderous climax. As the speakers shudder, watch what happens.3. “Flamenco Sketches,” by Miles Davis. Classy lovin’ music from the King of Cool. Light some candles, press the repeat button and settle in with a nice bottle of red. But be sure to take down your Limp Bizkit poster, or the ruse is over.4. “Agua de Beber,” Astrud Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Brazilians know about sex – they invented Carnaval and numerous “forbidden dances,” after all. Portuguese is a tre-sexy language, and the soothing sounds of a bossa nova classic can’t be beat, either.5. “Love Song,” The Cure.Maybe your sweetie’s a little into dark mascara. Maybe you’re into dark mascara. Either way, goth-masters The Cure have a bit of insight into the darker side of love and sex without getting too dirty. Don’t forget to play some ultra-mopey Morrissey over breakfast.