35 Love Songs That Don’t Suck

Good morning, modern lovers! It’s a very quarantine Valentine’s Day and we’ve got love on the brain like Rihanna. As you might have heard, the March ‘Modern Lovers’ issue of GQ is on newsstands now. So when the GQ social squad asked me to put together a new Spotify playlist to mark the swooniest season of the year, I reached into the box of 45s marked “Love Songs.”

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To be honest, the assignment had me shook. Because—how should I put this?—I don’t typically love love songs. I don’t want to sound like a heartless bastard, but I like my music emotionally raw, twisted, broken, or forsaken. I prefer murder ballads to plain ol’ regular ballads. What can I say, heart-shaped chocolates don’t really move me. To quote from the the Magnetic Fields’ “The Book of Love” (the last song on this mix):

The book of love has music in it
In fact that’s where music comes from
Some of it’s just transcendental
Some of it’s just really dumb

So herewith, I present 35 totally transcendental love songs—and none of the dumb stuff. Luckily, love knows no genre, so you’ll find jazz, reggae, classic country, and a whole lot of neo-soul. In total, the playlist is over two and a half hours of music, so it should last long enough for even the most ardent lovers out there.

Turn down the lights and turn up the volume.

Will Welch is the editor-in-chief of GQ.

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