All right huddle up—time to maybe do a few sit-ups, freshen up your best tiger crawl and attack this Valentine’s day like the sexy cats I know you are. This year, the Houston Press has your back in terms of setting the mood. Assembled below is a list of grooves outside the bounds of Unchained Melody: please no, not again. While we’re betting you’ll need longer than one song, it’s advised you build a playlist off each. Albums are good, but since I’m a late millennial— I don’t make it through many. Like zero.
One misconception about sweet, sweet lovemaking is that the music that comes along with it has to be “meaningful” or “romantic”, or even worse, planned. In truth, lyrics are distracting—it’s the rhythm that transports a Wednesday morning into a rollercoaster ride. And while there are definite advantages to putting a little prep into the playlist, it’s wisest to make selections feel as nonchalant, yet fluid, as possible.
Here is an example of a playlist fail in which the subject (it’s me), who was overly prepared, totally botched the mood:
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“It was seventh grade, and as planned, six of us were left alone to play spin the bottle. I had made sure to rig the game as well as prepare the make out room with lit candles, a massive bean bag and within reach, a tape player with the perfectly crafted mixed tape set to the exact moment in the exact song I wanted to begin with. All was going according to plan and as we settled into the dare I quickly hit play and Des’ree’s Kissing You started at the moment in Romeo and Juliet when Leo and Claire start making out in the elevator. It was perfect. And then it was not perfect as Sam couldn’t hold back the laughter as the stench of imitation vanilla Yankee candle overpowered the senses and homegirl hit that really long note. Looking around I realized the setting more resembled a Wiccan séance or stalker scenario gone really bad. He had to get up and leave the room, and there I was, thirteen years old— Kissless in El Paso.”
Go out and get some Houston—break!
"Needed Me" by Rihanna: Just watch the video: that fierce kimono says it all.
"Someone To Love" by Stephen Marley: This song’s as juicy as a thin-skinned tangerine picked right off the tree. Whether it’s initial seduction or the beginning of round two, Marley’s sultry wail wafts back and forth like a hammock in the wind. Item most likely on the bedside table: a pack of smokes.
"Lady" by D’angelo: Hey there throw back, here’s an album you can jam. I’d say it’s about two and half minutes in when, ladies—that’s your time to shine. That beat, that electric guitar; like fingers on skin.
"Islands In The Stream" by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton: Yeah this song is as hot as your mom’s curling iron slowly melting the side of a bottle of Fire Engine Red nail polish. It definitely calls for some sort of synchronized line dance before falling on the bear skin rug.
"Carpet" by FRENSHIP: Saturday night after a big spring gala: You worked the crowd, paid your dues and finally made it home crashing through the screen door with just enough time to connect the Bluetooth.
"Hold On" by Alabama Shakes: Highly recommended this song begin as a two-step. Fear not, the dancing shouldn’t last long.
"The Feeling" by Tiësto: Here is another solid album choice. This set is pool party all the way and reminds me of a certain Oklahoman (hey).
"Broken Man" by Vandelux: Take your time, go slower than the beat and as the chorus rains down appreciate everything that’s happening in that very moment.
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"Marinade" by Dope Lemon: Is for the afternoon. Maybe there were Lone Star’s involved, maybe you’re full on crawfish, maybe it’s not even at home.
"Lovesick" by Lindstrøm: All right, this song involves a chair.