In honor of Mariah Carey’s new Valentine’s Day single, “You’re Mine (Eternal),” here’s a look at some of the most romantic pop songs that have made us swoon over the years:
1. Whitney Houston – “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”
It’s not often that a love song manages to be heartfelt and make you want to dance at the same time. With a voice like honey and hair that’s awesomely ‘80s, Houston calls out for a dance partner who can chase away her loneliness. In what can easily be misconstrued as just another pop song, Mrs. Houston asks for what everyone wants... Eternal love… And, of course, to shake it on the dance floor.
2. Mariah Carey – “Emotions”
Mariah Carey definitely channels love in her powerful 1991 ballad “Emotions,” hitting notes that some of us can only dream of and bringing about complete and utter joy at the same time. Whether your love is a summer fling or you’re in it for the long haul, anyone who’s ever had a crush can relate to Carey’s song. But instead of eliciting a collective eye roll, the song hits its mark and brings forward all of love’s best qualities.
3. *NSYNC – “This I Promise You” (2000)
Forever is a long time, but all the same, *NSYNC made their promises. The song reads like a personal wedding vow. And that’s what makes it so pleasant. Slower than their usual hits, “This I Promise You” promises no more pain, a love that transcends time and total devotion. Which, in retrospect, is what every sensible teen girl was asking for at the beginning of a new millennium, right?
4. Ke$ha – “Your Love Is My Drug”
Few people would instantly make a connection between Ke$ha and romance, in no small part because of her party-girl persona. But the young pop star proved that she can write a bumping love song with the best of ‘em, singing to a boy about her “sick obsession.” In the end though, she makes peace with it, because “what you got, boy, is hard to find,” and she has no plans to get him off her mind.
5. Katy Perry, “Unconditionally”
One of the latest love songs to hit the airwaves, Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally,” is surprisingly sweet, given the current roster of pop hits. KP croons about real-life boyfriend John Mayer, serenading him with lyrics like, “There is no fear now, let go and just be free, I will love you, unconditionally.” While fans quickly moved on to her new single “Dark Horse,” Perry proved that she could be just edgy just by being refreshingly honest in her music.