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Surprise your valentine with a personalized mix tape

Add a hand-written note to your mix tape for that personal touch. Tell your Valentine why you picked each song and what it means to you. (credit: Celia Ludwinski) Add a hand-written note to your mix tape for that personal touch. Tell your Valentine why you picked each song and what it means to you. (credit: Celia Ludwinski)

Sometimes you just can’t find the right way to say what you feel. When looking for the magical words to say to someone special, remember this alteration of the classic Apple promotional phrase — “There’s a song for that.”

Many artists have written some undeniably romantic tunes in the past. With various genres and an endless selection to choose from, you can create an eclectic Valentine’s Day mix tape for your significant other that verbalizes the amorous message you want to send.

Oldies

With old movies and retro fashions becoming more and more popular each day, our generation is reminded of the value of vintage. Sometimes the best way to say something important involves going back several decades. Back in the day, lyrics were simple and effective. Women went weak in the knees when Elvis shook his pelvis, and his songs can still make the ladies cry with his honest and powerful words. However, not all members of our generation are entirely familiar with these classic songs, and your efforts might not be truly appreciated — be wary of who you share them with. Other good picks include the classic Righteous Brothers songs and, of course, the Beatles.

  • Elvis Presley — “Can’t Help Falling in Love”
  • Righteous Brothers — “Unchained Melody”
  • The Beatles — “All My Loving”

Soundtracks

If you’re looking to recapture the climactic romance mood from movies — the moment where both partners cling to each other in the throes of passion — maybe you can play your sweetheart some tunes tailor-made for romantic films. Love it or hate it, Céline Dion gave us the classic love song of the century in Titanic, Whitney made us believe that our romance was like a powerful high note, and Bryan Adams and Steven Tyler sang about the greatest emotion ever felt: true love.

  • Céline Dion — “My Heart Will Go On”
  • Whitney Houston — “I Will Always Love You”
  • Bryan Adams — “Everything I Do (I Do for You)”
  • Aerosmith — “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”

Country

Maybe you’re a Southern gentleman trying to woo that girl wearing daisy dukes and cowboy boots. Some people give country music a bad rap because a lot of songs deal with men in cowboy hats drinking beer and crying about their women leaving them. Sure, that happens often, but modern, mainstream country tends to focus on how great the world is when two people are together. Sara Evans’s song celebrates love that’s not high-maintenance, while Taylor Swift croons about…well, I’m sure you’ve heard all of her songs before. Lady Antebellum writes about needing that someone special, while Billy Currington talks about hearing and saying those three magical words.

  • Sara Evans — “Perfect”
  • Taylor Swift — “You Belong With Me”
  • Lady Antebellum — “Need You Now”
  • Billy Currington — “I Got a Feelin”

’90s hits

Want to bring back that feeling of innocent, young love that you felt when you were just a pre-teen? We all remember those days and how we just couldn’t get enough of those guilty pleasures on the radio. Prepare for some throwbacks, and let the memories of “back then” come forward. The two top boy bands, N*SYNC and the Backstreet Boys, both gave us hit after hit, while the lesser-known male quartet 98 Degrees offered up their share of cheesy tunes.

  • Backstreet Boys — “I Want It That Way”
  • N*SYNC — “This I Promise You”
  • 98 Degrees — “Because of You”

Acoustic

Maybe you want to strip away all the fancy technologies of modern music and bring it back to the basics — where it’s just a voice and a guitar. With fewer instruments to focus on, your special someone will hear your message loud and clear. Jack Johnson and John Mayer always know how to put a smile on their listeners’ faces.

  • Jack Johnson — “Better Together”
  • Dave Barnes — “Until You”
  • John Mayer — “Your Body is a Wonderland”

Alternative

When you just can’t put your finger on a specific genre of music to send your message… go quirky! These unconventional love songs might just be a breath of fresh air for the two of you when radio pop and classics just won’t cut it. All four artists here can’t really be pigeonholed into a single genre; instead, they rely on a new sound they’ve created to match their unique take on feeling lovestruck.

  • Ben Lee — “Catch My Disease”
  • Aqualung — “Brighter Than Sunshine”
  • Ingrid Michaelson — “You and I”
  • Regina Spektor — “Fidelity”

Pop

With catchy choruses and hypnotizing music, they are fail-proof melodic summations and they’re on every radio station and every music chart. They’re upbeat, feel-good, and downright infectious. Kelly Clarkson’s hit makes saying how you feel extremely easy, and Lifehouse recounts that magical moment of the first time you get that special feeling, while Relient K simply recounts how great it is to have your other half.

  • Kelly Clarkson — “My Life Would Suck Without You”
  • Lifehouse — “First Time”
  • Relient K — “The Best Thing”

This Valentine’s Day, put some thought into your mix tape — it might be just what your significant other wants to hear.