Like the rest of the world, Penn students have many different ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Some go on nice dates or reflect on lost love, while others argue about whether the whole holiday is an example of consumerism run amuck.
Whether you're celebrating Valentine’s Day by watching The Notebook on repeat, or you believe Hallmark invented love to sell more cards, you are going to need some music to get you through the day. Here are my favorite love songs of 2017.
Kicking off our list is "4:44," by Jay Z. In his 13th album’s title track, Jay Z offers an unequivocal apology to Beyoncé for his highly publicized affair. Ever since Beyoncé’s Lemonade dropped in 2016, in which she accused Jay Z of cheating with “Becky with the good hair,” fans began to speculate how the rap giant would respond.
Jay Z opens the song by recognizing his failures as a husband, admitting that he's been “letting you down every day.” He repeatedly apologizes for not expressing his emotions and admits to his womanizing tendencies. At the core of the song, Jay Z recognizes that his words aren’t enough and he probably doesn’t deserve the forgiveness of his wife or children. While I hope your Valentine’s Day is a little bit lighter, maybe his mellow rhythm will inspire you to get emotional.
Keeping it in the Carter–Knowles family, next up is "Perfect Duet" by Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé. The classiest of pairings brings together Beyonce’s impeccable vocal range with Sheeran’s masterful storytelling ability. The song dives into the complexities and emotional curves of love—from romance to heartbreak. Whether you are celebrating love or emotional independence, "Perfect Duet" is worth a listen.
Next, we have "Love" by Kendrick Lamar, featuring Zacari. A radio favorite, "Love" is all about finding and losing love. Go figure! It has all of the pieces of a great love song — sweet lyrics, mellow background, and soft melody, all without sounding too much like a stereotypical love song. This will come in handy for those looking to get in the spirit while pretending to hate Valentine's Day.
Finally, we have "Love Galore" by SZA featuring Travis Scott. When writing this track, SZA told Entertainment Weekly it was going to be all about the struggles of love—the good and the bad. “I’m talking a lot of grimy shit, but it’s the truth,” she said. In case Jay Z didn’t have you convinced, "Love Galore" is a good reminder that love sometimes sucks.
I hope you give these songs a try. Whether you're going on a nice date or contemplating the destruction of the capitalist world order, these songs should get you in the spirit.