Valentine’s Day — it’s either the most romantic day of the year, or a complete disaster, depending on your perspective.
But what’s going on in the hearts and minds of some of music’s biggest superstars, many of whom bank on singing about love and loss? What can we discover about our own relationships from Justin Timberlake’s pained lyrics? Can we gain insight into our own love and lust from the Donnas? Are we really beautiful, in every single way? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, don’t despair — we’ve picked apart some of today’s hottest songs for tips on how to put your love life back on track.
B2K & P. Diddy — “Bump, Bump, Bump”
Diddy and the boys of B2K are “sendin’ this one out to all the ladies all over the world,” promising to “give you what you need.” Quite a flattering invitation (if not the most subtle), but will they still be there in the morning? Probably not, but the chorus, “Baby, turn around/ And let me see that sexy body go/ Bump, bump, bump,” is sexed-up fun, not lifetime commitment.
Lesson: Be comfortable with what your momma gave you and shake it when applicable, but don’t expect an engagement ring out of the deal.
Jennifer Lopez with LL Cool J — “All I Have”
The notorious J. Lo gives LL the kiss-off in this hit, mixing sweet and sad vocals. LL raps, “It makes a cat nervous/ The thought of settlin’ down/ Especially me,” and Jennifer snaps back, “Stop playin’/ You gamin’/ I gotta leave you alone.”
Lesson: Ladies may love cool James, but J. Lo knows when a guy starts playin’, it’s time to bounce.
Justin Timberlake — “Cry Me a River”
Justin opens this much-speculated-about song with the line “You were my sun, you were my earth/ But you didn’t know all the ways I loved you, no.” While no one can know for sure if the song is about Britney, someone certainly did Justin wrong: “You don’t have to say whatcha did/ I already know, I found out from him/ Now there’s just no chance.”
Lesson: When you play, people get hurt. Be honest with your partner — they’re going to find out one way or another.
The Donnas — “Take It Off”
These hard rockin’, heart poundin’ ladies have a slightly more pragmatic view on affairs of the heart. “Stop starin’ at my D cup/ Don’t waste time, just give it to me/ C’mon baby, just feel me up/ C’mon, just give it up!”
Lesson: Modern women should be just as comfortable being the aggressor in affairs of the heart (or in this case, the crotch) as men.
Shakira — “The One”
When the heart seeks a soulmate, Shakira certainly seems to be onto something: “So I find a reason to shave my legs/ Each single morning/ So I count on someone on Friday nights/ To take me dancing again.” If you’re spending your Valentine’s Day with someone special, you already know what she’s talking about. “You’re the one I need/ The way back home is always long/ But if you’re close to me I’m holding on.”
Lesson: The path to love may be twisted, confusing and often painful, but the payoff is totally worth it.
Christina Aguilera — “Beautiful”
For everyone feeling blue about flying solo on Valentine’s Day, Christina has some uplifting words: “You are beautiful no matter what they say/ Words can’t bring you down, oh no/ ’Cause you are beautiful in every single way.”
Lesson: You can’t love anyone else until you learn to love yourself, so if you’re alone this holiday, just take a page out of Christina’s book. Your time will come.