February 15, 2007

Get Some Lovin’ on Your Valentine’s Day

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Whether you consider Valentine’s Day to be a culmination of romance and intimacy, or merely an excuse for extra-curricular Cornellians to harass you into buying flowers on Ho Plaza, there is still one aspect of this contentious holiday that brings together both optimists and pessimists alike: the prospect of really great sex on Valentine’s Night. With this in mind, I believe it to be my unshakable duty to compile for you, my overly-hormonal readers, a list of the Top Five Albums to Have Great Sex To.

5. Broadcast, Tender Buttons
Nothing screams sexy like English space age synth-pop. With those first stark notes of “I Found the F,” Tender Buttons descends into simple, repetitive beats and melodies, offset only by Trish Keenan’s delicate vocals. Although considered one of Broadcast’s weaker albums, the work is sinister in its tone and deliciously raw in its quality; mess up your hair, smudge your makeup and start slow.

4. Goldfrapp, Black Cherry
Alright, the only thing sexier than English space age synth-pop is when it considers the sexuality between man and machine. The second album from this British duo oscillates between luxuriously slow and pseudo-danceable. Some would call this inconsistent — I say it provides its listeners with a little variety. “Black Cherry” calls forth inspiration from Björk to Blondie, weaving them together through Allison Goldfrapp’s overtly-erotic voice and lyrics. A little faster, a little darker, “Black Cherry” alludes to a touch of BDSM for the more experimental listener.

3. Massive Attack, Mezzanine
Featured on shows ranging from “The West Wing” to Guy Ritchie’s “Snatch,” Massive Attack’s “Angel” — the first track on “Mezzanine” — is the universal soundtrack for illicit sexual relations. The rest of the album follows suit, shifting between simple guitars, heavy reverb and strong, solitary beats; the male vocals are nigh-spoken word, deep, gruff, and with a hint of that ever-sexy British accent. The result is a complex range of layers to lay back and get lost in.

2. Air, Moon Safari
Where were you when you heard one of the best albums of the ’90s? If you haven’t been exposed to Moon Safari yet, well, I’m truly envious of the sheer, unfathomable pleasure that you will experience when hearing those first sounds of waves breaking on the shore in “La Femme D’Argent.” Synthesizers and organs create a darker tone to underlie the delicate, unexpected melodies of electronic pianos, lending to a space-age, Barbarella-esque milieu.

1. Lovage, Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By
This is the most aptly-named album I have ever come across. At its core, Lovage is comprised of (my all-time favorite) producer Dan the Automator, Jennifer Charles of Elysian Fields and musical wunderkind Mike Patton. The contrast of these two latter vocalists is what makes the album truly fantastic: Patton’s guttural voice, and Charles’ quieter, wispy melodies, clearly embody the interplay between lovemaking and, well, no-holds-barred sex. Automator’s production (with help from turntablist Kid Koala) gives the album a playful, ironic feeling, so that Lovage need not merely be confined to the bedroom — although I can assure you that the bedroom is where you’ll get the most use out of it.