This year, it’s all about contradictions. Songs that sneak up on you when you’re not listening. Songs that confuse you, annoy you even. Some that mislead you with their upbeat vibe when the lyrics are anything but happy, others that are sad and sappy but give you hope, even when you think you’re done with the whole love thing. This is a funny little playlist for all those who enjoy a good love song, and the best part is that these songs can have so many different meanings. Especially after a few rounds of beer. No prejudices, no preferences, just some hot new tunes waiting to be heard.
1. The Cab, “Bad”
Yup, puppy love still exists in this generation, albeit more skewed to digital displays of affection rather than face-to-face flirting. This cute little fling song by American alt-pop band The Cab, who’s coming to Manila this March, might just be the hook-up soundtrack of the year.
2. David Guetta feat. Usher, “Without You” and 3. Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna, “We Found Love”
The award for “Most deceptively sneaky song” draws a tie between these two world-class DJs and their respective celebrity collaborators. If you listen to the lyrics, you’d probably end up trampling on the pieces of your broken heart as you let loose to the euphoric beats.
4. Snow Patrol, “Called Out In The Dark”
So you and I don’t really know what on earth he’s singing about, nor can we quite put a finger on what genre it belongs to. But we’ve long fallen for Gary Lightbody’s oddball charm, and his adorable failed attempts at dancing in this video just make it hard for us not to put it on loop mode. Whatever it is, it’s addictive as heck, and we love it.
5. Jason Mraz, “I Won’t Give Up”
Our guilty V-day pleasure for 2012. If there’s a truly mushy song that can melt our cynical, brick-walled hearts and make us believe in love for a good four minutes or so, this would be it. If Mr. A-Z decides to make good on his word and comes back to Manila, we’re willing to bet people would shell out money to watch him again, if only just for this song.
6. Adele, “Make You Feel My Love”
Okay, so we’ve all pledged our undying gratitude to the sorry bloke who broke Adele’s heart, because without his inspiration, we wouldn’t be enjoying her soulful tirades right now. But short of putting all her songs in this list, we’re just narrowing it down to the plaintive piano version of this Bob Dylan classic as our female “harana” song. Come on, girls, it’s leap year. You know what to do on the 29th.
7. Ross Copperman, “Holding On and Letting Go”
When “The Vampire Diaries” finally gave us a long-awaited Damon-Elena moment this season, it also gave us something else to obsess over: the soundtrack. This obscure indie ballad makes you feel happy and sad at the same time; look for it on iTunes or YouTube to see what we mean.
8. Katy Perry, “The One That Got Away”
See? Sappy, broken hearts don’t have to sound like sappy, broken records all the time. Miss Perry yet again manages to turn a sad song into something that can make you smile, or even dance, while listening to it.
9. The Black Keys, “Lonely Boy”
Just because you’re lonely, it doesn’t mean you have to look the part. Quit moping and start dancing like no one’s watching… even if you’re being taped for a music vid. The indie counterpart to the pop winners of the “Most deceptively sneaky song” award, “Lonely Boy”’s head-bopping riffs and thoroughly entertaining video completely distract you from the fact that the song’s for those who keep waiting in vain for the apple of their eye to fall from their lofty trees.
10. Lana del Rey, “Video Games”
Love her or hate her, the blond Internet bombshell’s short rollercoaster ride into stardom (or notoriety) has admittedly been fun to watch. Her vocals are actually pretty decent if you like the whole smoky, lilting ’50s-jazz-lounge thing she’s got going, but don’t make the mistake of listening to her SNL live performance. Unless you feel like cringing.
11. Somedaydream, “Hey Daydreamer”
Puppy love meets Auto-tune. Thanks to that Cornetto commercial, this happy little ditty (proudly Pinoy, we might add) has pretty much gotten stuck in everyone’s minds. But behind the neon-tinged saccharine cuteness lies a surprisingly mature reality check.
12. Gavin DeGraw, “Not Over You”
“Sawi” is what this song’s lyrics are described as, but the odd thing is, it doesn’t sound completely sad. Maybe it’s because the American singer-songwriter is gifted for piano-based pop songs that are a little more uptempo than the typical broken-hearted ballad.
13. The Fray, “Heartbeat”
A little hard rock to mask the sweetly entreating message: “If you love someone, love them all the same.” But it’s not just about romance; frontman Isaac Slade reportedly wrote the song after traveling to South Africa and Rwanda, and hearing people share harrowing stories of heartache and pain.
14. One Direction, “One Thing”
Just when you thought boy bands are a thing of the distant past, a British-Irish quintet storms into the pop scene. Hey, we all need something to fill in the “kilig” factor, and the song’s catchy and cute as heck. (Fine, so are the boys, but that’s beside the point.)