Not a member? Sign up now
30. The Smiths, "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" (1986)
Romantic in the eighteenth-century sense of the word — grandiose, sweeping, and death-obsessed — "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" is the apex of The Smiths' catalog. Maybe it borders on ridiculous, but so does young love. Only Morrissey could turn a phrase like "if a double-decker bus crashes into us, to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die" into a sincere plea for togetherness. — C.M.
Listen: The Smiths, "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"
29. Stevie Wonder, "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" (1973)
Stevie's voice isn't even the first you hear on this track, and his delayed entry sees him descend into the song like the supreme arbiter of all things romantic. As his voice soars above the sweetly layered backing vocals, you start to think that's a role he was born to play. — A.H.
Listen: Stevie Wonder, "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life"
28. The Cure, "Lovesong" (1989)
There had been plenty of nervous pop moments in The Cure’s dark catalog before this 1989 smash, but it only took a deceptively subtle two-word twist for Robert Smith to modify all of his previous moping, revealing him helplessly, hopelessly in love. “Whenever I’m alone, with you…” Written as a wedding present to his childhood sweetheart (now wife of twenty-three years), and containing only the starkest, simplest language possible (plus some truly, truly sweet guitar), it earns its blankly descriptive title, lifting it to some sort of platonic ideal. — Jeff Klingman
Listen: The Cure, "Lovesong"
27. Peter Frampton, "Baby I Love Your Way" (1975)
Covered by everyone from Dinosaur Jr, to Gary Glitter, "Baby I Love Your Way" is a standard — and with good reason. The song moves like some beautiful '70s dream, warm and embracing. When Peter Frampton wants to tell you that he loves your way, every way... you let him. — C.M.
Listen: Peter Frampton, "Baby I Love Your Way"
26. Goo Goo Dolls, "Iris" (1998)
If you're getting ready to roast us for putting "Iris" on here, stop right now and listen to it. The Goo Goo Dolls may have a deeply stupid name, but goddamn, did they know their way around a melody. There's not an ounce of insincerity that soaring, beautiful chorus. Drop your guard and let this song in. We won't tell anyone. — A.H.
Listen: Goo Goo Dolls, "Iris"
25. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, "Home" (2009)
Despite its omnipresence, "Home" still makes you smile. It's big and jaunty and sweet, and before you know it, you feel at home too. And if the song doesn't make you smile? Well then, keep your bad mojo to yourself, because I'm too busy letting love in. — C.M.
Listen: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, "Home"
24. The Temptations, "My Girl" (1964)
Every week, four guys come through my subway car and sing this one a capella. When I'm feeling down on love, I want to punch them. Other times, it sounds about as sweet and sunny as a song could be. — P.S.
Listen: The Temptations, "My Girl"
23. Guns N' Roses, "Sweet Child O' Mine" (1987)
Is there a better romance than metal romance? Pheromones and hot nights all wrapped up in a teased-out halo preserved in time through a haze of Aqua Net. I would love to say that this song played host to a great romance in Dallas, Texas in the summer of '88. But alas, it merely provided the soundtrack to some teenage fantasies of boys in leather pants during those steamy months of fast times and virginal confusion. — Linda Park, of SXSW
Listen: Guns N' Roses, "Sweet Child O' Mine"
22. Depeche Mode, "Enjoy the Silence" (1990)
"Enjoy The Silence" could be interpreted as sulky, complaining that words only screw things up in a relationship. But I like to think that it's more about finding someone whose company you can enjoy without needing to chatter. It's like what Mia Wallace says in Pulp Fiction: "That's when you know you've found somebody really special: you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably share silence." — Maura Hehir
Listen: Depeche Mode, "Enjoy the Silence"
21. Alicia Keys, "Fallin'" (2002)
"Fallin'" is one of the most honest love songs out there. It's a kind of relationship gospel, if you'll permit me. Keys recognizes that love isn't love all the time — sometimes you can't stand being around the person, but other times you simply can't stand being away. "Fallin'" is a song that you surrender to. There's no point in putting up a fight. It's sad, yes, but it's also ecstatic. It's worth the fall. — C.M.
Listen: Alicia Keys, "Fallin'"