If all goes as planned, I’ll be posting two Valentines-themed mixes today. The first is for all those folks who find themselves single on this day of love. I did my best to pick an album’s worth of songs that take a negative stance on the subject of love, but I’m sure that you all can do better. List your Anti-Love songs in the comments.
The Anti-Love Mix
MP3: Green Day – Don’t Wanna Fall In Love
While not the most musically complex song on the mix, Green Day’s angry anthem “Don’t Wanna Fall In Love” cuts out the frivolous words and gets right to the point. In traditional punk fasion, the chorus is repeated several times at the end. I thought this was a fitting way to introduce a mix which could have, by all rights, swiped its name from the title of this song.
MP3: XTC – I’m the Man Who Murdered Love
Love has been put in human form numerous times throughout history. In literature, it’s not uncommon for love to shoot arrows at people, inspire poets and even wreck lives. However, I’m fairly sure this is the first instance in which love has ever been murdered. And after listening to the song, you’ll know that XTC make it clear that they’re putting and end to love. “I put a bullet in his sugar head / he thanked me kindly then he laid down dead.” That’s the spirit, Andy.
MP3: Talking Heads – I’m Not In Love
In acting, “pregnant pauses” are when you give a little silence for emphasis. So it should be no surprise that there’s a nice one right after the most important question in this song: ‘do people really fall in love?’ With all the crazy stuff that happens in our society (Britney’s first day-long marriage), sometimes it seems like the answer is no.
MP3: Death From Above 1979 – You’ve Lovely (But You’ve Got Problems)
Every Anti-Love mix needs a little DFA1979. I’m sure everyone here has at least one heartbreaking story about a love that could have worked–if only the other person hadn’t been a complete psycho.
MP3: The Features – Me and the Skirts
Sometimes it seems pointless to even try, doesn’t it? I’m sure that we all know (or are!) someone who has the worst luck with the opposite sex. This is a song for them. Our protagonist just knows that everything will end in tears. Oh what a pity. Oh what a shame.
MP3: White Stripes – I Don’t Know What To Do With Myself
This is an amazing post-breakup song. It touches on just about everything that you’re likely to feel. Not only do your regular haunts seem to have lost their luster, but you just seem lost in general. I tried to stay away from ‘I can’t believe I lost her’ songs on this mix, but one or two are unaviodable.
MP3: Violent Femmes – Add It Up
A lot of Violent Femmes songs seem to be written from the perspective of a teenager, and this song is no different. “Add it Up” is a an anxious, impatient stance on waiting for love. Sure, it’ll come one day–but why wait? It also begs a lot of questions that I’m sure a lot of the single YANP readers (please don’t turn the comments into Match.com) are asking themselves. For example, why can’t I get just one kiss?
MP3: Bright Eyes – Perfect Sonnet
For the longest time I would have classified this as a love song. Whoa nelly was I wrong. This is Connor’s greatest F-you to the entire establishment of love. Now I can’t comment as to the genuine quality of his stance (give the fact that every girl from 13-35 are throwing themselves at him), but he puts it better than anyone else can. Haven’t there been days in which you wanted to hurl a cute couple into the ocean?
MP3: The Shins – Gone for Good
This is a unique song for this list. It’s not from view of someone who was left out of love and finds themselves looking in. Rather, “Gone for Good” finds James Mercer telling us about both his commitment issues and distrust for the entire idea of love. Also, saying “just leave the ring on the rail for the wheels to nullify” is quite possibly the best way to break off your engagement.
MP3: Jose Gonzalez – Love Will Tear Us Apart
This is, hands-down, the most amazing song ever written about a love that’s faded from a relationship. I picked Jose’s cover for two reasons: first, I think it focuses more on the lyrics than the original; and secondly because there’s always that chance that someone hasn’t heard it.
MP3: Magnetic Fields – I Don’t Believe in the Sun
The other ‘I can’t believe I lost her’ song on this mix. Stephen Merritt probably has more songs on the topic of love than any other musician. After all, this is the guy who released not one, but three albums written specifically about love. Even so, this song stands out above the rest. It’s a wonderful perspective that had to be represented on this mix. Ever tried to think of how great love is when you’re in the middle of heartbreak? It’s impossible. Stephen takes that a step further with his sun metaphor and it isn’t exactly a stretch. Taking love out of your life is like taking the sun out of the day.
MP3: Of Montreal – Eros’ Entropic Tundra
Don’t let the weird name fool you, this song is one of the most fitting for our Anti-Love mix. From the very start, Kevin Barnes paints a great picture of a young man in search of love. Sometimes it seems like the only thing that awaits you is more of the same: unrequited love. Also of interest is that he points out how bitter you can feel towards people who are in love. It’s a sad love indeed.
MP3: Weezer – I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams
Nothing like a little second guessing, huh? Rachel Haden provides the vocals in this song about how hard it is to get over a lost love–especially when you’re the one who did the leaving.
MP3: The 6ths – All Dressed Up In Dreams
When I told Kristine (longtime YANP readers will remember her as one of only two other people to be regular posters) that I would be making an Anti-Love mix, she insisted that I include this song. “All Dressed Up In Dreams” absolutely broke my heart today. This song, written by Stephin Merritt, tells the sad story of a girl who had her happiness shattered one evening when her prospective beau left her waiting. What makes it worse is that she was ‘all dressed up in dreams,’ meaning that it wasn’t just her evening that was ruined–it was everything she’d ever held dear.
MP3: The Smiths – Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want
As a man who’s often been described as a “hopeless romantic,” I’d feel bad if I let this end on a song of dispair. Don’t get me wrong, “Please Please Please” is quite possibly the saddest song on here. With lyrics like “[I] haven’t had a dream in a long time” and “for once in my life, let me get what I want,” this is clearly the song of a broken man. But like most Smiths songs, Morrissey gets more than one point across. In this case, it’s that he might be broken, but he hasn’t given up.