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The Best Love Songs of the 21st Century (so far)

5 Sep

Click on a song name to watch a video (chosen for the sound quality and not visuals); click the artist name to go to their website.  You’re welcome to add your own favorites in the comments, but here are the very best love songs from the year 2000 to the present, according to me:

25.  I See You: The Duhks – Canada; World/Country/Folk; “I see you, for everything you are; in this sea of people, you’re the shining star; they fade away…”
24.  Sleeps With Butterflies: Tori Amos – LA by way of Maryland, born in North Carolina; Alt-Rock/Baroque/Piano Rock; “You say the word, you know I will find you, or if you need some time I don’t mind; I don’t hold on to the tail of your kite; I’m not like the girls that you’ve known, but I believe I’m worth coming home to; kiss away night, this girl only sleeps with butterflies…”
23.  Northern Lights: Bowerbirds – North Carolina; Indie-Folk; “I don’t need you to catch my wandering mind; And I don’t expect a southern girl to know the northern lights; And all I want is your eyes, in the morning as we wake for a short while…”
22.  The Only Exception: Paramore – Franklin, Tennessee (lead singer from Meridian, MS); Alt-Rock/Emo/Pop-Punk; “Up until now I had sworn to myself that I’m content with loneliness; Because none of it was ever worth the risk; Well, You, are, the only exception… You, are, the only exception…”
21.  Naked As We Came: Iron and Wine – aka Samuel Bean; Austin, TX by way of Florida by way of South Carolina; Folk Rock; “She says “If I leave before you, darling / Don’t you waste me in the ground” / I lay smiling like our sleeping children / One of us will die inside these arms / Eyes wide open, naked as we came…”
20.  Stillness Is The Move: Dirty Projectors – Brooklyn; Experimental Indie Rock; “after all that we’ve been through / I know we’ll make it after the wait / the question is a truth / there is nothing we can’t do / I’ll see you along the way baby / the stillness is the move”
19.  You Picked Me: A Fine Frenzy – Los Angeles; Indie Rock/Alt-Rock; “And all I can say, is you blow me away, Like an apple on a tree, hiding out behind the leaves, I was difficult to reach, but you picked me, Like a shell upon a beach, Just another pretty piece, I was difficult to see, but you picked me…”
18.  Big Red Heart: Tracy Bonham – Eugene, Oregon; Alt-Rock/Post-Grunge; “Suddenly oooo-oooh, suddenly oooo-ooohh, this big red heart, beats for you, beats me black and blue, and then it’s such a lonely view…” (close second: You’re My Is-ness – no video available)
17.  Reasons to Love You: Meiko – Los Angeles by way of Roberta, Georgia; Adult Alt./Indie-Pop/Folk; “I wanna fall asleep with you tonight, I wanna know that I am safe when you hold me tight, I wanna feel like I wanna feel forever…”
16.  Anyone Else But You: Moldy Peaches – New York; Anti-Folk/Garage Rock/Indie-Rock/Lo-Fi/Comedy; “You’re a part time lover and a full time friend, the monkey on you’re back is the latest trend, I don’t see what anyone can see, in anyone else… but you…”
15.  You’ve Got the Love: Florence and the Machine – London; Alternative/Indie-Rock/Soul/Baroque Pop/Art Rock; “Time after time I think “Oh Lord what’s the use?”, time after time I think it’s just no good; Sooner or later in life, the things you love you lose, but you got the love I need to see me through…”
14.  Light You Up: Shawn Mullins – Atlanta; Alt-Rock/Country Rock; “Everybody wants a real deal, everybody wants to cop a good feel, everybody want more money, everybody wanna taste o’ yo honey… I just want to light you up, light you up, like a fire, I just want to turn you on, turn you on, and take you higher…”
13.  The Girl: City and Colour – aka Dallas Green; Ontario, Canada; Acoustic/Folk/Alt-Country; “When you cry a piece of my heart dies, knowing that I may have been the cause; if you were to leave, fulfill someone else’s dreams, I think I might totally be lost; You don’t ask for no diamond rings, no delicate string of pearls, that’s why I wrote this song to sing, my beautiful girl…”
12.  No One’s Gonna Love You: Band of Horses – Seattle; Indie Rock/Alt-Country/Southern Rock; “We are the ever-living ghost of what once was, but no one is ever gonna love you more than I do, no one’s gonna love you more than I do…” (close second: For Annabelle)
11.  Might Tell You Tonight: Scissor Sisters – New York; Glam Rock/Disco/Pop/Alternative/Electroclash; “Life seems so much slower with your toothbrush by the mirror, can I make it any clearer?  And I just might say it tonight, I just might say it tonight, I just might tell you tonight that I love you, and you should stay all my life…”
10.  Hot Summer Night: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – Fayston, Vermont; Indie-Alt/Blues/Rock; “It won’t stop raining, and there ain’t no explaining why I feel, feel, feel a warm summer breeze; Oh babe you make me feel like it’s a hot summer night, even though it’s the middle of the winter and it’s really bad weather, it’s a hot summer night, when I’m next to you, baby”
9.  Need You More and More: Donna the Buffalo – New York; Zydeco/Folk Rock/Country Rock/Bluegrass; “Romantics set aside, with my cheap suit and a comb, one smell of your armpit, is proof enough that I’m home; Need you, more and more; Need your love, more and more…”
8.  Die Alone: Ingrid Michaelson – New York; Indie Pop/Indie Folk; “I never thought I could love anyone but myself, now I know I can’t love anyone, but you; You make me think that maybe I won’t die alone… Maybe I won’t die alone…” (close second: The Way I Am)
7.  Birthday: the Bird and the Bee – Los Angeles; Indie Pop/Indie Rock/Synthpop; “Hold on, hold on, keep holding on to me, I will love you from the bottom, no one holds you better than me; Hold on, hold on, doin’ the best we can, I will love you on your birthday, I will love you better than them…” (close second: My Love)
6.  Us: Regina Spektor – New York by way of Moscow, USSR; Anti-Folk/Baroque Pop/ Indie Rock; “They’ll name a city after us, and later say it’s all our fault, then they’ll give us a talking to, then they’ll give us a talking to, because they’ve got years of experience…” (close second: Samson)
5.  January Wedding: The Avett Brothers – Concord, North Carolina; Indie Rock/Folk/Folk Punk/Roots Rock; “She’s talkin’ to me with her voice down so low I barely hear her, but I know what she’s sayin’, I understand because my heart and hers are the same; And in January we’re gettin’ married…”
4.  Drunk With The Thought of You: Sheryl Crow – Kennett, Missouri; Pop/Alt-Rock/Roots Rock/Folk Rock/Country Rock; “I could wait my whole life for this moment to come, with a long list of beautiful chances I’ve blown; Well if love is a cocktail of all that you do, I get drunk with the thought of you…”
3.  To Be Loved: Joan As Police Woman – Norwalk, Connecticut; Singer-songwriter; I will never know but forever I ask, how I got so lucky; All this time proceeding, silent in processional; The words, they escape me through my singing cage, of how I love you too…”
2.  Hey Darlin’ Do You Gamble: Lucero – Memphis; Alt. Country/Southern Rock/Cowpunk; “Now, I believe you should run with me until this Texas sun falls into the sea; If I shed this skin of iron and this breath of kerosene, darling, would you take a chance on me?” (close second: Smoke)
1.  All The Time: Mike and Ruthy – New York; Folk/Singer-Songwriter; “I wanna fall in love, I wanna call it love, I wanna haul up all this love with you all the time; I wanna be in love, I wanna see you in love; I wanna be knee deep in love with you all the time…” (close seconds: Slow Train; Something’s Got a Hold of Me)

The 20 Honorable Mentions that almost made the cut (no particular order):

I listened to hundreds of songs over and over when making my final list.  No, I’m serious – countless hours of listening, relistening, comparing, shuffling… I’ve been working on this for over five weeks!  I did not want to repeat artists, hence the “close seconds” contained in the Top 25.  Some artists just master the art of the love song more than others – I probably could have come up with a whole list of amazing Mike and Ruthy love songs.  I also wanted each song to be a love song, not just a song about love.  Does that make sense?  I’m very satisfied with the final product, and can honestly say that I sincerely love every single song on the list.  My hope is that each of you find a couple that you like as well.

And finally, I would like to share one of my favorite love songs ever, from one of my favorite bands ever.  The band isn’t together at the moment, but I truly hope they work something out soon.  I want a recording of this song!  But alas, I’ll have to give you a video I made myself.  Had I any idea that it would be the only way I would be able to listen to this song, I would have stopped swaying around so much when recording it, and I definitely would have stopped singing.  Please forgive my terrible voice and video skills and enjoy the clip of this sweet little tune by my dear friends in Two Way Radio:

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