Tonight, i searched my iTunes for “love song,” just to see what was there.

The results, excluding the Santana album called “love songs.” No offense dude, but i only got so much time on my hands and that’s a long album:

Copeland: Love is a Fast Song
The Cure: Lovesong
Etta James: At Last (from “Etta James: Love Songs”)
John Mayer: Love Song for No One
Justin Timberlake: (Another Song) All Over Again (from “FutureSex/LoveSound”)
The Little Ones: Lovers Who Uncover (from Sing Song EP)
Peggy Lee: Fever (from: “Peggy Lee: Love Songs”)
Sara Bareilles: Love Song
The Stills: Still in Love Song
Tori Amos: Love Song (The Cure cover)

So, while that’s a taste of the 5000+ song collection we’re dealing with here, it’s got a pretty big wingspan in terms of eras, styles, genres. It’s 20th century music confetti, since most of it can be in that awesomely vague pop music umbrella.

The best in this bunch? The Cure, Tori, Sara Bareilles, Etta James, and Peggy Lee.
The Tori Amos cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong” just may be one of those rare cover gems that works better than original. It’s so much scarier–solo piano vs.80s rock lineup adds this romantic veil to it. i used to hear the Tori version all the time in ballet class in high school, so it’s got some memories (mostly ones that make my muscle memory sore). Very “red-roses-on-top-of-a-shiny-black-grand-piano.” Plus, Tori drips emotion in every note, it’s pretty much what she does. Sounds like love to me.

Although, in Robert Smith’s corner, there is something kind of weird and vintage about The Cure at this point in time. It was their best selling single, i think, and Disintegration IS an awesome record. Plus–he wrote these damn words first. (Note: Yes, there is a 311 cover that’s pretty sweet as well, but i don’t have it, and don’t care for it as much as these two). i love Robert Smith doin his thing, because i trust how much me meant writing those words down.
Whenever i’m alone with you
you make me feel like i’m whole again
He didn’t beat around with metaphors and imagery or whatever–he just said it.

“Fever..” ahh this is a good one. One of my favorite songs to sing, actually, and a sexy fucking one at that. Peggy Lee was a jazz goddess, all blonde and sultry, something so classic about that. Women back then looked gorgeous, too–curves from head to toe. None of this Size -2 bullshit, none of this pinstraight hair on rib-thin bodies. The storytelling in this song is charming–Romeo & Juliet reference? check. Element reference? check. Just a great tune, so recyclable too. Heard a electronic cover of this on Nip/Tuck during some kinky sex scene and it was downright hot.
Best line in this tune: “What a lovely way to burn.” Bonus points for the snapping.

Sara Bareilles…ah yes. Gotta give this song props for becoming so popular–Bareilles knows what’s catchy, and her other stuff isn’t dreadfully pop either if you like female/singer-songwriters. Every fucking girl at Syracuse University had this on their iPod, it seemed. It’s a great mix of vulnerable yet confident, which is what a lot of young girls seem to be. All my friends loved it, everyone sings along if it comes on in Steve Madden or Express or whatever, and i’m sure it’ll be the trailer theme for this fall’s romantic comedy if it’s not already. Despite the triumphant “i’m not gonna write you a love song” line, i wonder why that’s what she titled this tune.
Bonus points because: if you Google “love song,” her lyrics come up first.

At last. What a velvety smooth sound this song has, symphonic and pretty. Released in 1961, but this song just sounds timeless to me. You can know jackshit about what makes a quality musician and be touched by this song, and that’s why it’s so damn powerful, in my eyes. She’s got such power and control, but so natural that it sounds like she’s falling in love with singing it. i wish i could say how many weddings this has been played at over the years. i wonder how many people have heard this, and smiled to themselves, because they know exactly what she means. My lonely days are over. Now if that’s not the feeling everyone is all match.com-ing or even just waiting for, i don’t know what it is.

i feel like i’m judging these. Well–just for kicks then–the best song in this particular bunch? It’s either The Cure’s Love Song or Etta James’ “At Last.” Depending how you feel, i guess–madly in love, or eternally in love?

Decide for yourself:

Etta
(excuse the video, i have no idea what they are showing, i just checked to make sure it’s the original recording)

The Cure
(original video, note the tragic romance creepiness exuded by Smith..i love how he looks ashamed of what he’s saying, it’s kind of endearing)