This Valentine’s Day playlist shows why R&B is the true love language

This Valentine’s Day playlist shows why R&B is the true love language

By Dominique Hodge

R&B is a genre where love and romance play a part in nearly every song. The combination of rhythm and blues is a recipe for soul-touching and groundbreaking hits. With Valentine’s Day this past weekend, I felt inspired to compile a list of R&B songs that would make you feel the love.

Boyz II Men - “I’ll Make Love to You” This song has been on every love playlist I have ever seen. Boyz II Men is one of the most top-tier R&B groups out there. Their catalog is just so iconic and this song is no exception. “I’ll Make Love to You” touches the soul the way every R&B song should. This song is not just meant for couples or the “it’s complicateds,” it is meant for everyone who loves something. Or if you want to feel loved, just sit back and let it take you away. Boyz II Men are the cupids we all need.

112 - “Cupid” If you are hesitant to jump into a commitment too soon, 112 is here to calm your worries. “Cupid” is the song for coming together. 112 is another ‘90s R&B group that embodies everything you would expect from old school R&B. The matching outfits, the amazing supporting vocals and the passionate solos in this song alone show off the time period; yet what makes this song such a great love song is the sweet message. For those who are afraid to put themselves out there or give love a try, the song speaks to the beauty of all things that may be scary. “Cupid doesn’t lie,” after all; just give in.

New Edition - “If It Isn’t Love” If you needed any motivation to get up and dance, here it is! Not an awkward slow dance either — this song will inspire you to break out all of the moves you save for parties. New Edition is one of the top R&B groups of all time. Unlike Boyz II Men, New Edition’s music is more upbeat and reserved for those fun moments. “If It Isn’t Love” holds a special place in my heart because the song is so pure and good-spirited. This song is perfect to start the day with because it will leave you with such a wonderful feeling afterward.

Babyface - “Two Occasions” I prefer the live version of this song. Babyface’s voice is enchanting and spiritual. His vocals make you cling to every word. “Two Occasions” is a song that is not commonly known even though it should be. The song has all of the necessary elements for a good R&B song but the passion Babyface puts into the cover sparks so much joy. Despite this song most often being played at weddings, it’s good for those people that you cannot get out of your head.

Bell Biv Devoe - “Poison” If your goal is to radiate that confident and lethal energy on Valentine’s Day, this song is for you. This song is perfect if you want to get up and dance or get dressed in style. If you’re wondering why Bell Biv Devoe sounds familiar, it’s because they were also members of New Edition. This song was released after the split and reeks of the “better than you” energy that everyone wants to hear post-breakup. The beats layered on top of one another and the cool, self-assured boy band tones transform you. “Poison” inspires you to be bold and independent, because who needs a partner to enjoy the holiday?

Lauryn Hill - “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” There have been too many renditions of this song, yet Lauryn Hill manages to make it refreshing. She is a soulful artist that ruled the 90s with her unique and classic melodies. The once slow and cheery 60s beat is transformed with the hip hop stylings of the 90s. The sound combined with Hill’s smooth voice is a recipe for good times. If you ever needed a song to give you that warm loving feeling without spelling it out for you, this is the song to choose.

Aaliyah - “One in a Million” Aaliyah is one of the queens of the 90s hip hop and R&B industry. Her charisma and flow are unmatched. The vocals, the style and the spirit she displayed in her art made her an icon. “One in a Million” is a song that I recommend everyone listen to on Valentine’s Day. Regardless of your plans or relationship status, this song is wonderful to vibe if you want to feel relaxed and blissful. The sound is romantic and seductive in the inner calm it brings. Even Valentine's day scrooges will enjoy it.

Edited by Chloe Konrad | ckonrad@themaneater.com

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