By Benjamin Leatherman
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Troy Farah
By Roger Calamaio
By Mark Deming
By Glenn BurnSilver
By Brian Palmer
1. "Every Breath You Take," The Police This one seems like a gimme, but in case you're one of the blissfully ignorant, "Every Breath You Take" — no matter how longingly Gordon Sumner sings for the chick cautiously breathing as he's watching her from a court-ordered 150 yards — is still about one scary-ass stalker. If you ignore this detail, your girlfriend won't.
2. "Someday You Will Be Loved," Death Cab for Cutie Like most of Death Cab's ballads, "Someday You Will Be Loved" sounds a helluva lot more romantic than it actually is. Ben Gibbard likes to play with your emotions, you see. "I once knew a girl/In the years of my youth/With eyes like the summer/all beauty and truth," he sings. Wow, that is not only profound, but beautiful. Then, "In the morning I fled/Left a note and it read/Someday you will be loved." We hope her brother hunted you down, Ben. It sounds like you deserved an ass-thumpin'. Include "Someday You Will Be Loved" on your Valentine's Day mix CD, and your girlfriend might make sure you get a thumpin' of your own.
3. "Lovefool," The Cardigans "Lovefool" is one of those songs that get stuck in your head. It's not quite "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega, but it lives in the same suburb, which means it's not suitable for any mix CD. No one song should overpower all other songs on a mix, unless, of course, it's a romantic mix and that one song is your song. In that case, it should be the climactic track, but — and this is a big but — if "Lovefool" is your song, then you're probably in trouble already. Despite the bubbly sound, it's all relationship unhappiness and emotional dishonesty for temporary satisfaction.
4. "Millie and Billie," Alice Cooper and Marcy Levy Like "Someday You Will Be Loved," "Millie and Billie" isn't what it seems at first. The duet is just about as boisterous and fun as anything Johnny Cash and June Carter ever recorded (Cooper sounds a bit Elton John, in fact), except, while you're not paying attention, the singers suddenly confess they've killed her husband to be together. Even creepier, Billie's musings on their future offspring: "They're frightening and gruesome and sad/And I don't want them inside me." "Millie and Billie" might be one of the greatest love songs nobody pays a lick of attention to, but that doesn't mean you want it anywhere near your Valentine's Day mix CD — unless your girlfriend knows who either Dario Argento or Tom Savini is. If so, you're good.
5. "Unchained Melody," The Righteous Brothers Yes, "Unchained Melody" just may be one of the most iconic love songs of all time. That alone should keep it off any romantic mix because you don't want her to think you're an uncreative, uncultured tool who can't even dig up a decent Al Green song to help make you appear somewhat original. Hell, it's almost as bad as putting "Everything I Do (I Do It for You)" on a mix. However, we understand that you also somehow think that playing this Righteous Brothers classic for your sweetheart will make her somehow unconsciously equate you to Patrick Swayze in Ghost. Don't do it, man; it always backfires. You will never be as hot to her as Swayze was in Ghost, and drawing attention to that will only make you look bad.
6. "I Wanna Sex You Up," Color Me Badd Irony is the death of all romantic mix CDs, but especially Valentine's Day mix CDs. This is why "I Wanna Sex You Up," by the laughably bad Color Me Badd, should never appear on any mix you give her with roses and chocolates — no matter how much you think it will make her giggle, or maybe even remember the silly big hair she used to have. You're a dude and, by definition, already want to sex her up. She already knows, so don't try to be cute about it.
7. "I Wanna Fuck You," Akon featuring Snoop Dogg Whatever we just said about irony and "I Wanna Sex You Up" goes quadruple for "I Wanna Fuck You." No matter how funny you think it is, your girlfriend will punch you in the neck for putting any song that starts with, "I see you windin' and grindin' up on that pole," on a mix for her unless the mix's title is, "Baby, You're a Freaky-deaky Ho-bag Whore With a Fat Ass I'd Like to Tap, So Why Don't You Bring It on Over Here So I Can Smack It With My Dick." In fact, that seems to be what Snoop has in mind when he raps he's, "D-O Double G, and I'm here to put this dick on you." On you, Snoop? Hmm, doesn't it go in? Here's a free tip for you: No rap on any romantic mix CD.