My Top 10 Favorite Love Songs of All Time

 

Fact: I’m a hopeless romantic. Soul mates, butterflies, finding the kind of love that exists in Nicholas Sparks novels–I believe in all of it.

The only thing I enjoy more than watching a good love story play out in one of those novels or a sappy Netflix movie? Listening to a love song.

I think there’s something so special and beautiful about someone expressing their feelings for another to music and then sharing it with the world. In honor of Valentine’s Day then, I’ve compiled a list of my Top 10 Favorite Love Songs of All Time:

10. “Love Song,” Sara Bareilles

I remember being obsessed with this song when it came out. (I still am). I thought it was a unique take on a “love song,” and Sara is both sassy and clever on this track. You want me to write a love song about you? That’s a little presumptuous considering we’re still kind of early on in this “relationship.” Oh wait, let me write about that. Bam, instant #1. (And rightfully so).

9. “Better Place,” Rachel Platten

The top two things I love about this song? First, the piano sounds gorgeous and maintains a steady presence throughout the track. Second, the feelings Rachel expresses are not only relatable, but also stated in a way that is both simple and elegant: love has changed my life for the better. We should all aspire to find something similar.

8. “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” Aerosmith

I wouldn’t normally consider a rock song “tender,” but this one is an exception. The emotional quality of the lyrics paired with the drums and Steven Tyler’s signature growl also make for an interesting combination that is unmistakable to the listener. This isn’t just one of the greatest love songs of all time, but one of the greatest songs in music history.

7. “I Hate Love Songs,” Kelsea Ballerini

When I first heard this track from my girl, KB, it reminded me of how I felt the first time I heard Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song.” And I know that’s because this one is also not a “typical” love song. I dig Kelsea’s ‘tude and the way she pokes holes in a variety of cliches (kissing in the rain, catching the bouquet, Cupid, the honeymoon phase, etc.). Plus, I also agree that violets are purple, not blue.

6. “Speechless,” Dan + Shay

There are an infinite number of reasons why I love this song, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll share these five: the melody, the guitar riff, Dan + Shay’s vocals on the chorus, the fact that this would be the perfect first dance song if I get married someday, and finally, that I tear up every time I listen to it. The only thing I find better than a good love song is a good country love song.

5. “The Difference,” Tyler Rich

I recently heard this song on my local country station, and it was love at first listen. The track is equally flirty and sweet. In addition, it’s catchy, fun, and it makes me want to dance.  And what’s better than that? Nothing.

4. “Call It What You Want,” Taylor Swift

This song isn’t just one of my favorites from reputation, it’s also one of my favorite songs that my girl, T has ever written. Here’s why: she wrote it about finding love when she’d lost everything that mattered (her name, the career that she worked so hard to build, people she thought were her friends). And when she met her guy, he didn’t care about any of that, he loved her for her (an idea iterated on fellow reputation track, “Delicate” as well). In addition, I love this song’s soft, cozy vibe and its honest, heartfelt lyrics like, “I want to wear his initial on a chain ’round my neck, chain ’round my neck/Not because he owns me/But ’cause he really knows me” and “[He] loves me like I’m brand new.” It’s a song that should be sad, but instead will make the listener smile for its entire three-minute, twenty-three-second duration. I know I do.

3. “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” Elvis Presley

I’m going to be a little bit ambitious with this one and say that it’s the quintessential love song. Elvis has been gone for a while now, but this song maintains great longevity and has been covered by countless artists since his passing. Great songs transcend all time because of factors like emotional reach and relatability and this song does exactly that. Another song that will go down as one of the greatest in music history.

2. “I’ll Be,” Edwin McCain

I’d be foolish not to include this signature track from Edwin McCain in my list. This may fall under the pop genre, but rock sensibilities are definitely palpable in Edwin’s vocals. The horns complement the guitar sounds well (particularly at the end of the song) and the chorus contains some of the most recognizable lyrics ever written (My personal favorite is: “I’ll be better when I’m older/I’ll be the greatest fan of your life”). Overall, a top-notch track.

1. “Iris,” The Goo Goo Dolls

My final spot on the list goes to this little gem. It’s a song that I constantly heard on the radio as a kid (and that has stuck with me through adulthood), a song I’ve always admired, and a song that I can’t help but sing every word to. I love that instantly recognizable guitar intro; the way Johnny Rzeznik’s vocals start out smooth, then gradually become grittier and more rocker; and of course, the sweeping, completely instrumental breakdown that follows the second chorus. Iconic.

And that’s the list! If you’d like to give any of these songs a listen, I’ve put together a Spotify playlist you can check out (linked below). The songs appear in chronological rank from one to 10.

Have any exciting plans for Valentine’s Day? Want to share your thoughts on my list or tell me your favorite love songs of all time? Comment below or tweet me at @cmsellers14

Review: Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour on Netflix

Taylor Swift released her reputation Stadium Tour movie on Netflix exactly a month ago.

Having seen the tour live when it stopped in my hometown this past summer, I was excited to watch the concert again and re-live all of my favorite moments in stunning HD from the privacy and comfort of my bedroom.

I was also eager to see what kinds of behind-the-scenes content Taylor had to share with her fans. Would there be cameos from surprise guests? Bloopers? Brand-new footage?

I recently watched the reputation Stadium Tour movie since its New Year’s Eve premiere, and let me just say that Taylor did not disappoint. Here’s my breakdown of all the fun:

 

Stunning Visual Quality

I think what I enjoyed most about the movie was the quality of the footage. (I’ll never shut up about how stunning HD footage is. Seriously). There was a good balance between close-up shots of Taylor and her band and dancers as well as pan-overs of fans in the crowd. Every detail is magnified–from the costuming to the choreography to the confetti raining down throughout the stadium.

And here’s why this matters: when I saw the tour live with my friend over the summer, we were seated in Section 216. Our seats weren’t terribly high up, but we also weren’t as close as the fans sitting in the 100 level. We had a great time dancing and singing along, but if we looked away from the video screens and down at the base of the stage, Taylor was a tiny speck that was barely visible to us. (I’m not kidding. I have a video on my phone where my pinky finger is bigger). 

Director Paul Dugdale puts the viewer directly on the stage in a way that almost feels 3D. (A great example of this is when Taylor sings “Blank Space” on the B-Stage and reaches directly into the camera). He also has his cinematographers use other shots that keep the viewer a little bit further back from the action, though still close enough to be aware of everything going on, which is both a cool and clever technique. Note: Pay extra close attention to this during the “Long Live”/”New Year’s Day” mash-up when the viewer’s placement within the stadium moves from hovering over Taylor’s shoulder as she sits at the piano to standing in the crowd multiple times–it’s awesome.

A Killer Setlist

What’s a concert without a setlist? Answer: nothingAnd the setlist for rep Tour Netflix is killerTaylor pulls out all the hits from her catalogue, both old and new–from “Love Story” to “Look What You Made Me Do” to “You Belong With Me” to “Delicate.”

There are even mash-ups of some of her most beloved tracks like “Bad Blood” and “Should’ve Said No” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.” (My personal favorite is the aforementioned “Long Live” and “New Year’s Day”).  Her tour mates, Charli XCX and Camila Cabello join her for “Shake It Off.” She slows things down mid-way through the concert with acoustic versions of “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” (which sounds amazing acoustically, by the way) and “All Too Well” (one of the most popular songs she’s written to date).

She also keeps the crowd entertained while she runs backstage to change costumes with a video intro to “Look What You Made Me Do,” a reading of her poem, “Why She Disappeared” before “Getaway Car” (the poem is featured in one of the reputation album magazines from Target) and an extended drum solo during “King of My Heart.” Most of all, she jokes around with her band and dancers while performing and works the stage with the confidence of a seasoned entertainer–which she is–the entire time.

 

Touching Speeches and Tributes

As someone who’s attended Taylor’s concerts for years now, one thing I always look forward to is her speeches and tributes between songs. While watching rep Tour Netflix, viewers will note quite a few of them.

She pauses to reflect about how damaging gossip and bad reputations affect things like finding real love and friendship before singing “Delicate” and thanks her fans for all the love they’ve shown her song “All Too Well” throughout the years, despite it never being a single. (Side note: It’s seven years later, and I’m still upset that song was never a single. It should’ve been. It’s one of her best songs and one of my favorites). 

But the most touching tribute happens right before the “Long Live”/”New Year’s Day” mash-up when she thanks everyone involved with the tour–the crew, technicians, and security, etc.–for sacrificing their time with their loved ones to travel the world and help her put on a great concert every night. This is followed by the camera cutting over to a member of security who flashes a thumbs up from the crowd and Taylor leading her fans in a round of applause for everyone’s hard work. It’s a very sweet and poignant moment that stands out–not only because this is the point in the film where viewers will realize there are just a few songs left, but also because it was shot on the last night of the U.S. leg of the tour. (A word of advice: If you’re like me and this makes you emotional, have some tissues nearby). It’s a moment I won’t ever forget.

Behind-the-Scenes Bloopers

Something I’m always eager to see at the end of any film is bloopers. At the conclusion of rep Tour Netflix, Taylor treats her fans to some behind-the-scenes goofs where things just didn’t go as planned during rehearsals.

Laugh along as Taylor forgets her choreography, gets lost on her massive stage, and demonstrates just how quickly she needs to carry out her quick changes. (Fun fact: During the bloopers, one of Taylor’s techs shares that the decking for her stage alone is “bigger than a 767 airplane.” Again, massive). It’s the perfect ending.

Overall, rep Tour Netflix is more than just a “concert film,” it’s a magical musical production that will captivate and entertain viewers for the entirety of its two-hour, five-minute run. It’ll make you sing and dance along, cry, and laugh. Best of all, it’ll make you keep pushing “play” again and again.

Are you a Taylor Swift fan that’s seen rep Tour Netflix? What were your favorite moments? Comment below or tweet me at @cmsellers14.