Rhythm and Blues: Love Songs in Our Society

Music and romance have often been intertwined, as proven by this photo

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Music and romance have often been intertwined, as proven by this photo

Casey Chan, Editor in Chief

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You’re sitting in the car, enjoying a beautiful sunset. Suddenly, Ed Sheeran’s voice croons over the radio about how he “found a love, to carry more than just his secrets.” You switch the radio off; you’re not in the mood for another love song. 

You might not always want to hear a song about someone else’s romantic life. Sometimes, though, it seems that love is the only topic that current artists write about. Although it is true that 55 Billboard number 1 songs over the past three decades have contained the word “love,” not all popular songs are the same. At the very least, they’re not about the same topics.

Among many of the top 100 Billboard songs from the 1950s to today are completely platonic songs such as “Another One Bites the Dust” or “Royals.” Approximately half of Spotify’s most-streamed songs of all time are not traditional love songs.

Regardless of the apparent diversity of pop music, the majority of top songs over the years have been about some aspect of love. Songs about being in love are widely listened to, such as Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” and Bazzi’s “Beautiful.” Many breakup songs also rival love songs in their popularity. Recently, Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” broke records by surpassing 100 million streams in only 11 days.

But the question remains as to why songs about “love” are so appealing – and why artists can’t stop writing them. Although some scientific studies point to the advantages of using songs for attraction purposes, songs can also be used in our society to impress a love interest-see boombox scene from “Say Anything.”

Yilin Xie, a freshman in AAST, says that love songs can “remind people of the love they have, they had, or they want to have.”

They can also be used to express romantic sentiments, such as when a girl made a Spotify playlist to deliver a succinct break-up message to her boyfriend.

We looked to the student body at BCA to answer our questions about the appeal of love songs, including whether they are still in fashion or quickly becoming a relic of the past.

Steve Garcia, a senior in ATCS: “Although love songs are not always relatable, even if you’re not in a relationship, everyone can relate to the feeling of wanting to love and be loved. And because these songs are something you can relate to, that’s why this genre has been so popular. Some modern songs might not be about the traditional ideas of love, but although the genre is changing, these songs still focus on a similar theme.”

Jeremy Kim, a senior in AAST: “Love songs are still popular today, and will continue to be because love will continue to prevail.” His favorite love song is “Reality” by Vladimir Cosma, a classic song from the 1980s.

Love songs seem to be ever-present in our society. Whether you like them or not, they’re likely to persist for years to come!

Also, check this out when you have the chance: