With Valentine’s Day approaching, there are plenty of us starting to plan out dates. Whether you’re taking your date to the movies, a nice dinner or just staying in for the evening, there’s a good chance for romance.
For those of you out there who prefer to have tunes on for romancing, we’ve compiled a list of top ten albums for your personal pleasure.
Disclaimer: The Carolinian only supports consensual sex and safe sex. Yes is best.
- Prince/ ”Purple Rain” – Prince is one of the most alluring and enigmatic figures to ever pick up the guitar. He also wrote some of the hottest jams to date. This album is great because it has some of Prince’s most recognizable songs like “Let’s Go Crazy”, “When Doves Cry” and the title track that is just killing. Perhaps my favorite part of this album is it’s 80’s flare. There are definitely some cheesey moment that have hung on from 30+ years ago, but that just makes this album more fun. And no one can deny that Prince’s singing on “Purple Rain” isn’t one of the most passionate and sweaty performances in recorded history.
- Steely Dan / ”Aja” – This album is a late 70’s slow jam classic. Filled with groovy guitar work and lusty full sounding keyboards, “Aja” has enough soul in it to rival a Motown album. “Black Cow” has some great vocals one, including a banging sax solo that every romantic evening needs. The track “Peg” has some simple but great horn lines, a sexy intro and is probably one of the best samples that De La Soul got their hands on. This album is smart, well written and you’ll definitely feel cooler afterwards.
- Beck / “Midnite Vultures” – Trying to pin down Beck to any particular genre may as well be impossible. With albums ranging from acoustic rock, psych rock and soul. The chorus of the first track on this 1999 gem goes “I want to defy the logic of all sex laws, Let the handcuffs slip off your wrists, I’ll let you be my chaperon.” The late 90’s kink on this album is real. Beck gets into rap/rock territory on “Hollywood Freaks,” which is albeit kind of weird but still a great experience. “Mixed Bizness” talks about leather over some hot funky guitar, and is into teasing some boys and lesbians. If you need a weird album with some hot groove on it, hit this up.
- Kendrick Lamar / “good kid, m.A.A.d city” – Kendrick got a dream, and as long as he keeps dropping albums like this and “To Pimp a Butterfly,” I fully support his dreams. If “Backseat Freestyle” doesn’t turn you on a little bit, just keep doing shots to “Swimming Pools” and listen to it again because you’re doing it wrong. Drake even gets some love in on “Poetic Justice,” and that song may as well be dripping. I don’t have to defend this album, you know it’s great in and outside of the bedroom.
- Justin Timberlake / “20/20 Experience” – Justin Timberlake should just be filed under sex appeal. “Pusher Love Girl” has a string intro that would make Tchaikovsky proud, and “Suit and Tie” is the only song you want to hear when looking dapper. Drake shows up again (is this a trend?) on “Cabaret” which has got a beat that is tailor made for hip swaying. J.T. has my heart and my booty.
- Beach House / “Teen Dream” – For the more tender hipsters out there, Beach House basically made an album for spooning. “Zebra” has a sleepy hook on it and is paired with the duo’s classic synth work, always starting small and growing into something lovely. Victoria Legend channels a little bit of Bjork on “Silver Soul”, and the slide guitar is a pretty nice touch. Of course “Take Care” is one of the chillest bangers out there with its lilting pace and lush instrumentation. “Teen Dream” is an intimate and beautiful album if you’re looking for a low-key evening.
- Marvin Gaye / “Greatest Hits” – You can’t have just one album when it comes to Marvin Gaye. With such sultry hits as “Let’s Get it On”, “Sexual Healing” and “How Sweet it Is”, you can’t have Valentine’s Day with Marvin. Just try it, it won’t happen.
- Anderson .Paak / “Malibu” – 2016 seems to be the year where everyone finally heard of Anderson .Paak, and it doesn’t seem like anyone’s mad about it. With a bit of a gruff feel to it, “Malibu” is pretty refreshing compared to some more polished releases from last year. Blending hip-hop, funk and soul, tracks like “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance” feels like a song to make some moves to. The disco influenced “Am I Wrong” sounds like the dance party everyone wants to be invited to, and “Come Down” has got a killing bass line under some edgy vocals, and it just feels good. This is an album you can do anything to, so throw it on your V-Day playlist.
- Alabama Shakes / ”Sound and Color” – Any album that begins with a vibraphone opening up a song, and then gets thrown in with soul, blues and R&B is going to be interesting, and Alabama Shakes slayed all expectations. The title track is mind blowing and heart melting, and Brittany Howard’s squeal on “Don’t Wanna Fight” just makes the song. “Gimme All Your Love” is slow and powerful, “The Greatest” is fun and exciting and “Over My Head” sounds like a personal plea that you can’t stop putting on repeat. There is no listening to this album just one time.
- Frank Ocean / ”Channel Orange” – Frank Ocean is the person who can drop one album, and then tease the world for four years over what he’s going to do next. And we can’t say we don’t love it. “Channel Orange” just is sex, every song in the album just has an air of mischief to it. “Super Rich Kids” is more or less a confessional of all the shenanigans we wish we were getting into. The almost ten minute long “Pyramids” is simply perfect for dancing, and Andre 3000’s feature on “Pink Matter” is nothing short of genius. “Forrest Gump” changed the way I see that movie forever. This album oozes pleasure, a good time and sexual tension. J.T. may have my booty, but Frank Ocean has my soul.