Staff Top 10
Top Ten Songs To Make-Out To

lisa: What makes the perfect make-out tune? In my world, it’s all about mood. The perfect make-out tune (henceforth abbreviated to ‘PMOT’) isn’t some schmaltzy love song or a quasi bang chicka bong Serge Gainsbourg soft-core porn affair. Songs are like people – if they have to work that hard to be sexy, they aren’t. PMOTs are effortlessly vibrant and relatable to all five senses. And ideally have no vocals/lyrics to distract you from the task at hand. Because people, if there was ever a time to keep your eye on the prize, this is it.
Nick: Kissing? Kissing’s for wimps and girls. I’m not a girl. Just tell me what’s gonna make you take your top off, yeah?
Lisa: Whatever…
Nick: And so, without further ado…

Lisa’s Five

Air – “Ce Matin Là”
Translated, the title means ‘That Morning’. And we have all had that morning after the night before. First light shines in; sheets are rumpled, damp and smell of lust and folly. Bodies glisten with fresh sweat. This song sums up afterglow – tiptoeing in with hushed footfalls, the melody lifting its sleep head and the French horn soaring over it all, imbued with sublime hope. Magic.

My Bloody Valentine – “Soon”
Clothes being thrown off as you climb the stairs to get into your apartment. Grabbing, aching, buck wild banging; arms bending backwards, legs wrapped around hips is the type of make-out session this invites. It launches straight into it with a driving beat that perfectly mimics pelvises grinding against each other. The vocals are nonsense, mostly consisting of “ohhs” and “ahhs”, which can easily be interspersed with your own “ohhs” and “ahhs”.

Spacemen 3 – “Come Down Softly to My Soul”
Like Guinness being poured over a 100-proof hangover, this feels so warm and soothing. It’s ideal for languid, passionate fully clothed make-out sessions on snug couches. As Jason Pierce sings, “Feels just outside of heaven”. Hell yeah - doesn’t it just.

Marvin Gaye– “Let's Get It On”
Sometimes the obvious works best, and this song could not be more obvious, and therefore more effective. What swings it is when Marvin says “threatening you baby / I want to get it on.” He isn’t saying it in a malicious or violent way, but in an “I need this to happen otherwise I’m going to explode” way. Oh, and no one says “baby” like Marvin Gaye. My friend Jude and I have an ongoing quest to find someone who does. So far we’ve failed.

Nitin Sawhney – “Breathing Light”
Ignore the opening sound bite from a war correspondent in Sarajevo, and just listen, LISTEN, to that piano arpeggio! It sounds like a nubile thigh falling open onto its side. And the flute’s soaring measure! That is surely the echo of each vertebra of your back unfurling into recline. The only words are “We are free to be free” and isn’t that what making out is all about - being free? It is the one time in our overly articulated lives that we can shut the fuck up and release the silence. Free with ourselves, our desires. We reciprocally give and receive pleasure without selfish jealously. And isn’t that what keeps us going – the quest and sweet salvation of being set free?

Nick’s Five

Curtis Mayfield – “Gimme Your Love”
Sod Barry White, sod Marvin Gaye, even; Curtis is the man for me to woo too. He’s whispering sweet nothings here so you don’t have to come up for air. I suggest you learn to breathe through your nose, cos with this on you’re bound to get carried away. Plus he was a gentlemen and an activist, and there’s nothing a woman loves more.

Miles Davis – “Rated X / Billy Preston (Bill Laswell Reconstruction)”
Panthalassa is a beautifully bizarre album mixing up Miles’ electric heyday into a liquid and sensuous miasma. There’s precious little melody here to distract, just an oceanic pool of sound and some delicious polyrhythms that shift position every time you want to (i.e. every five minutes, but only slightly). Stick it on repeat so it lasts forever, and pray that you do too.

Tricky – “Overcome”
Oooh, this is moody. And how. Those rhythmic female exhalations that make up part of the beat, those subdued pipes, the crawling tempo, Martina’s voice; “when we fuck we’ll hear beats…” Ohhh… Utterly exquisite and slightly sinister too, just to add that touch of danger as you roll about the floor, make no mistake, just hope you’re not overcome in sixty seconds like Martina warns.

The Wonderstuff – “Hot Love Now!”
Everyone knows that trumpets are the best instrument ever, and this has fanfares in spades. Pop music, swoonsome and melancholy with just a little hint of desperation, is the best thing to make-out to, disposable, repeatable, nonsensical and fun. Plus this comes with lyrical tips! “There’s no sense in dressing-up cos it’s time to get revealin’ / and look what you can do when yer swingin’ from the ceiling…”

Bowery Electric – “Postscript”
This lasts for about fifteen minutes and consists of little more than an absent rhythm which resembles that of a human heart and some very minimal synth drone. After all, you don’t want to listen to anything that’s going to distract you too much, do you? Lisa…?

By: Lisa Oliver and Nick Southall
Published on: 2003-10-17
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