I remember being fascinated by the transition of taboo in music when I was growing up. I remember the first time hearing ‘sh*t’ on the radio. I remember the subtle, gradual descent of so called ‘naughty’ language in lyrics. I remember how rocked the world was when Madonna got up on stage and sang and danced about sex in an explicit manner; it was so unheard of at the time that the whole world talked about it for weeks (we still do!). When I was young, talking about sex in a song was usually implied, but never implicitly stated.
Back then, if you wanted to tell a story about something sexy, you might say something vague like ‘I wanna lay you down’ or ‘Can I get next to you’. Now, people just write songs about being in backseats with lyrics like ‘her body got that ass that a ruler couldn’t measure’. I’m not hating on Kendrick or anyone who has subscribed to the in-your-face style of writing songs about something we all relate to and experience. But I will say that I miss the ambiguous nature of talking about this subject in music. In a world where very few things are private and taboo anymore, a world where shock value can have more merit than a sacred art form; leaving something to be desired can be a good thing. It’s the difference between a girl dressed provocatively for all to see and a girl in well dressed clothes that compliment and cover her curves; one is immediately gratifying to look at, but the other leaves you wanting more and wondering what’s under there.
So below, please find a collection of my very favorite so called ‘sexy songs’. I don’t call them that because you have to ahem, be sexy while listening to them (though they all would be more adequate for that), but because they’re all so sensuous . Sometimes I listen to this playlist when getting ready for date night, or my boyfriend and I will throw it on when we’re cooking dinner together. All these songs are suggestive and intimate, but not in a straight forward ‘this is baby-making music‘ sort of way.
The first song ‘Open’ by a duo called Rhye is one of my favorite songs by 2013. It’s light and inviting and full of lyrics I adore like ‘I’m a fool for that sound in your sighs, stay open, stay open’. Song 2 is one that may have graced your ears already, Miguel has been tearing up charts and winning awards all year long. Written on a plane ride home to see his wife after a long trip, ‘Adorn’ is one of my favorite new sexy beats, it’s perfect for flirting and dancing and I love the little Michael Jackson-esque ‘Wah’ sounds throughout. Song 3 is by Fink, the acoustic maven I gave a Music Monday to a while back. It’s called ‘Perfect Darkness’ and it’s dark and rich and intense. I can’t make a list like this without a mention of Al Green. ‘I can’t get next to you’ is one of my favorite songs of his and a true example of why he is one of the original kings of sexual subtlety. And my final treat for you is from local Toronto boy, The Weeknd. His voice could make anything sound sensual, but this one here is my favorite to have playing in the background. So hit play, go find yourself someone to listen to these songs with, and have yourself a sexy day.