Top five: wacky alternative love songs

Everyone enjoys a good love song, and while Valentine’s Day is all about mushy sweet feelings, in reality, love is hardly as simple as a few major chords and some cute imagery about hand holding. Sometimes we all need a break from the over-the-top depictions of true love. Here are five alternative songs that provide a whole new take on romance. 

  1. “Under a Paper Moon” by All Time Low: It was difficult to pick just one wacky love song from All Time Low’s discography, as one of their favorite topics is relationships that just don’t add up. Ultimately, this tune made the cut, with its high-energy vocals and electric guitar-centered melody managing to toe the line between despairing and hopeful. The song speaks to the somewhat fragile nature of relationships when faced with the pressures of the real world, represented figuratively by minor inconveniences such as “pills in the carpet” and “knots in our ties” that create destructive forces threatening to tear the couple apart. Songwriter and lead singer Alex Gaskarth hints at fears of inadequacy when faced with a more mature relationship with adult struggles. His determination to “build” a world for the two of them to hide in makes this song realistic and endearing. Often love comes under strain when faced with everyday realities, and the realism of needing dedication to work through those trials makes this tune even sweeter than a fairytale love story. 


  1. “(One of Those) Crazy Girls” by Paramore: Paramore creates a riotously funny rendition of the all-too-familiar trope of the crazed lover who can’t seem to take no for an answer. The song follows Hayley Williams as she calls her ex incessantly, breaks into their apartment and stands in their closet to feel close to them, all while insisting she isn’t “one of those crazy girls.” The beauty of the song is its cheekiness, deliberately playing into the vibe of a traditional love song with a heartbeat bassline and love poetry, complete with on-the-nose couplets that are an apparent lyrical reach 一 never in their normal discography would Paramore even consider rhyming “slow dance” with “romance.” Perhaps most entertaining is Williams’ classic powerhouse reach for the high-notes on the well-fitting line, “As soon as you walk out my door, I’m gonna call a hundred times.” The fact that the song is insanely catchy not only plays into its thesis perfectly but makes it incredibly fun to jam out to as well. 


  1. “Push” by Avril Lavigne: Avril Lavigne is famous for highlighting relationship woes, but this wholesome tune gives us a more vulnerable view of the reciprocal nature of romantic relationships. As per Lavigne’s typical style, the song eschews sappy sentimentality. She focuses instead on realistic depictions of normal relational frustrations and expectations, such as irritating one another after seeing each other constantly. Lavigne’s view of her independence is particularly refreshing. She claims that she could see herself spending her lifetime with her partner, but ultimately noting that she is “capable of taking care of [her]self” and does not truly need them to be happy. The healthy boundaries that Lavigne sets up lyrically make her persistence to make the relationship work all the more endearing. While the song does not tell a traditional love story, it provides a picture of romance that is more satisfying than a traditional lovestruck fantasy. 


  1. “She’s My Ride Home” by Blue October: Some couples like to go to the movies. Some couples like romantic date nights. Evidently, this couple likes committing crimes together. In all seriousness, this oddly delicate track suggests “killing” the voices of others who might put strain on your relationship through negativity or judgment. The simple guitar intro and the strangely peaceful and beautiful instrumentation, particularly in the keyboards, provide an intriguing backdrop throughout the song. The lyrics could easily become excessively violent, but the tenderness of Justin Furstenfeld’s vocals keeps them in check and transfigures them into a wholesome symbolic message. Combined with sonic imagery from a typical love song, such as violin features and rich, bass-balanced chords, what on the surface appears to be a strangely romantic horror story becomes a beautifully poetic love note complete with promises of faithfulness despite external pressures. 


  1. “Stand-Up Tragedy” by The Fratellis: This cooky, off-kilter profession of love is one of my favorite love songs, wacky or otherwise. Musically, this song is fascinating, with so many Easter eggs and tiny details that it’s difficult to catch everything, even after several listens. Perhaps most compelling is the sweetness of the chords created by the rich background vocals, which are complemented well by the grungy guitar riffs and simple percussive beat. Lyrically, the poetry of this song is perfect, a conglomeration of bizarre and unappealing images that somehow work together to create a romantic patchwork. Despite the fact that Jon Fratelli knows this relationship makes no sense, he can’t help being in love with the romantic interest of this song. Although their love is unconventional, there is no use in denying it. The self-effacing nature of the lyrics creates a playful teasing that comes across as whimsical yet sincere, and it is the innovative nature of lines such as “I don’t do handsome, and you don’t do sympathy” that make this song one-of-a-kind as a romantic tribute. As a side note, the music video, which tells the story of two romantic partners reigniting their love in a residential care facility through dance, only adds to the atypical loveliness of the tune.