Contrary to popular notion, the best love songs are not made by crooners. They may have the melody, the voice, and the words to make your heart swoon and make you bawl buckets, but somehow, it feels contrived. The words are easily relatable, but still, there's something missing. And if you put in the fact that they make love songs for a living, it somehow diminishes their song's authenticity. Overall, it creates an impact of cheesiness, rather than the intended romantic effect.
"Cause I don't know where you are
and I don't know what to do
are you somewhere feeling lonely
or is there someone loving you..."
It just doesn't bode well on me. Even with the augmented impact of the melody, it still would not convince me of the longing and helplessness the singer wishes to evoke. Though some people would swear unflailing heart-felt audulation over pieces like these, all I can say is "Hello?!"
"Hey girl, I don't want you to cry no more inside
All the money in the world could ever add up to
all the love I have inside
I love you..."
It is a common flaw in love songs to affect the gut area: that, and nothing else. It appeals to emotion, and oftentimes with nary a thought or regard to other vital functions. What puts me off with this is it tends to demote the emotion concerned into nothing but primal instinct: nothing more or less than fear or hunger. If poets and artists regard love as the greatest and most dangerous emotion known to man, how dare the crooners allude to it with dumb disregard?
More than the words themselves, and their pull on the heartstrings, is it asking too much to expect intelligent lyrics on my love songs? Love is known to make fools of men, but it doesn't mean that songs about love should cater to mere troll-like intelligence. Any song that purports to be a love song with indescriminate spatterings of the word "love" is immediately suspect in my books. It suggests a lack of originality and hints at low vacubulary. The English language boasts of a hundred and one ways to describe food, surely, there are as much words that evoke something as wondrous and multi-faceted as one's affection towards another.
"To see you when I wake up
Is a gift I didn't think could be real
To know that you feel the same as I do
Is a three-fold utopian dream..."
The best love songs, for me, are not done by crooners nor boy bands. Surprisingly, the best songs that evoke love come from sources that make you want to headbang while listening. They may not have the vocal range to describe the physical manifestations of love: its high notes of ecstacy; its lingereing low notes of longing; the rolling hums of contentment; and its siren-wails and whistles of despair; but what they lack at vocal acrobatics, they more than make up for with sincerity. Love, as relayed to by these precious few, is unapologetic, complex, and most importantly, intelligent.
"...Who would have thought it would end up like this?
Where everything we talked about is gone
And the only chance we have of moving on
Is try to take it back before it all went wrong"
For Love, and by relation, love songs, to affect the heart is common: it is expected. The majesty of it all is when love affects not only the heart, but also the mind; when one is able to feel love in spite of one's self. Therein lies the magic; it is there where one will experience the true power of love.
For EyviCat and Gentle, who celebrates their fourth anniversary this month, for making me believe that intelligent love songs can exist.