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Something Old, Something New, Always Romantic

Jess Shaffer | Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine’s Day in all its pink and red glory is supposed to embody romance. But cheesy love ballads can be treacherous icebergs for your love boat. So this Valentine’s Day, opt for something a little more chic, cultured and unique. This playlist takes a little bit of old and a little bit of new, taking romance to a new level of sophistication.

Someone To Watch Over Me- Amy WinehouseDespite her questionable style choices, Winehouse has an undeniable music talent, with a modern edge and jazzy, evocative style. Her cover of this classic longing-for-love song is sensitive and moving. Try A Little Tenderness- Otis ReddingFor 80s lovers, this song should summon images of Ducky dancing his heart out for Molly Ringwald. For those less Brat-Pack informed, this Otis Redding’s instructional manual, which could be also called “Love for Dummies.” Good for pre-date guidance and for reminding your significant other that you know how to treat them right. Cheek to Cheek- Eva CassidyEva Cassidy embodies all the class and nostalgia of jazz. With elegance, she covers this sweet vintage classic. Write You A Song- Plain White T’sEveryone knows “Hey There Delilah.” But “Write You A Song” will melt the hearts of every girl who doesn’t have the good fortune of being named Delilah (which is most of us). With lines like, “I don’t know how to fight, but I’ll draw blood tonight if somebody tries hurting you,” the romantic appeal of this ditty is obvious. Your Song- Elton JohnTouching without being corny, this song expresses passionate emotion with perceptive simplicity. Though many will remember it from the glitz and glamour of “Moulin Rouge,” this love song, in its original form, is unique because of its effortless ease. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)- Marvin GayeWith a voice like velvet, this melody is sweetly seductive, without being as explicit as other Gaye hits (i.e. “Let’s Get It On”). J’Ai Deux Amours- Madeleine Peyroux This Canadian artist will make you feel like you’re in the city of love. You don’t have to understand French to appreciate the sheer romance of this tune. And who doesn’t love Canada? This love song proves that it is a small world after all, giving Valentine’s Day an international flair. As Time Goes By- Rosemary ClooneyHer music is just as attractive as her son. George. Enough said,Such Great Heights- Iron & WineThis cover of the Postal Service’s techno-pop serenade slows things down with an acoustic instrumental. Lyrics like “I’m thinking it’s a sign that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images and when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned” could make the saddest single drop his/her seventh chocolate bar with a breathless sigh. If I Fell In Love With You- Evan Rachel WoodSome readers might be aghast that Wood’s cover was chosen over the original Beatle’s hit. Musical elitism put aside, both versions bring a lot to the table, Wood’s version simply has deliberate, slow paced vocals that are undeniably romantic, drawing attention to the vulnerable lyrics. Bella Luna- Jason MrazSubstitute this smooth, seductive song for the cheesy hits about “when the moon hits your eye.”That’s How Strong My Love Is- Otis ReddingRedding made this list twice for a reason. This song embodies everything a girl wants to hear. So listen and learn from lyrics like, “I’ll be the weeping willow drowning in my tears, you can go swimming when you’re here. I’ll be the rainbow when the sun is gone, wrap you in my colors and keep you warm.” This song is so effective on the female heart that you will begin to doubt the misnomer that women are complicated.