Valentine’s Day is coming soon, and that means it’s time for romance. So turn the lights down low, open some champagne or your bubbly non-alcoholic beverage of choice, and pop on that Batman movie soundtrack.
*Record scratch*Wait, the soundtrack for what? You heard me.
Comic book movie soundtracks aren’t often considered great complements to romantic evenings (read: nu-metal). It’s almost as though Seether (remember Seether?) was contractually obligated to do a song for every single superhero film that came out in the 2000s. Not exactly the sound for love.
See? Puddle of Mudd is here, which as we know from The Good Place is the official music of Hell.
However, the nine songs below are proof that you can find diamonds in the rough, or at least semi-precious stones of reasonable clarity. Cue them up, settle in, and enjoy.
9. “BRING ME TO LIFE” – EVANESCENCE
Ah, to love with the innocence of youth, when even a small setback means the literal end of the world! Why were we all so into songs about being “numb” and “without a soul” and unable to feel emotions? And why does it feel so good to shout “I CAN’T WAKE UP!” at your friends during karaoke, no matter how old you are?
From the movie soundtrack to 2003’s Daredevil (yep, the one with Ben Affleck), “Bring Me To Life” is far from a sexy slow jam. If you want some OTT musical angst to wake you up inside make you laugh until you snort champagne out your nose, though, time to get down with Evanescence and the Man Without Fear.
8. “FACE TO FACE” – SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES
Written for the Batman Returns soundtrack and inspired by the portrayals of Batman and Catwoman in the movie, this gothy number commemorates the doomed romance of two people who spend a lot of time prowling the city at night dressed in head-to-toe leather. That beat suggests you should be listening to this while gazing across a smoky room at someone gorgeous and brooding before sweeping them into the passionate embrace of the tango and murmuring “Darling!” in your sultriest voice.
7. “POISON IVY” – ME’SHELL NDEGEOCELLO
Batman and Robin managed to reduce 1990s Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy–a combination that should have been so sexy it hurt–to a series of regrettable hairdos and makeup decisions. At least the character managed to get her own song on the soundtrack. Like much of Me’shell Ndegeocello’s discography, this rendition of what was once a bouncy late ’50s pop number bears definite tinges of Doing It.
6. “MY NUTMEG PHANTASY” – MACY GRAY
Cast your minds back to the World Unity Festival scene in the first Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man movie, where Tobey Maguire made his debut as everyone’s favorite wall-crawler. You know how there’s a snippet of a musical performance that’s slightly too long to be purely incidental and too short to feel like an intentional inclusion? “My Nutmeg Phantasy” is that song!
It’s a bit more upbeat than your usual romantic ballad, but that makes it perfect for busting a sexy move or two. Feel that relaxed rhythm. Macy Gray wouldn’t steer you wrong.
5. “THE HUNTER GETS CAPTURED BY THE GAME” – MASSIVE ATTACK FEAT. TRACY THORN
Let’s talk for a minute about how amazing the Batman Forever soundtrack was. The movie gets a bad rap for its cartoonish neon aesthetic, but hot damn, that soundtrack was brilliant. What other film soundtrack ranges from Scottish folk singer-songwriter Eddi Reader, to U2 when they were still good, to trip-hop legends Massive Attack?
Although this particular tune is technically a cover of a Smokey Robinson song, Massive Attack spins it into something new and strange: a languid, yet edgy, update on a golden oldie. Pairs well with mocha lipstick and plastic tattoo chokers.
4. “WHERE ARE YOU NOW” – BRANDY FEAT. LENNY KRAVITZ
Batman Forever track. It’s not the most lyrically inventive, but that 70s-inflected groove makes up for a lot. Plus, there’s something about Brandy’s style that evokes a sense of yes, girl, I’ve been there too. She’s singing about a boy who ditched her after a few weeks, and a person who is definitely not me once dated a boy for a total of two days in sophomore year of high school. Brandy in her heyday is the precise sound of every adolescent crush you ever had. But I regret this song is no match for…
3. “SCANDALOUS” – PRINCE
If Me’shell Ndegeocello’s “Poison Ivy” verges on Getting Freaky, “Scandalous” is full-on silk sheets/rose petals on the bed/candles everywhere/naked backrubs with scented oils. Doesn’t that just scream “Batman” to you?
Tim Burton certainly thought so. This sensual, slow-pelvic-gyration inducing song was part of the all-Prince soundtrack for his 1989 Batman movie, the same one that gave us the Batdance. Which means we were supposed to see Michael Keaton doing bedroom eyes and think of mid-coitus ecstasy. As Paris Hilton would say, that’s hot.
2. “ARMS OF ORION” – PRINCE AND SHEENA EASTON
Another one from the 1989 Batman soundtrack. You could not put together a more quintessential love ballad if you had a team of dedicated specialists working on it. Made for staring wistfully out the window, soft-focus montages, poring over a single photograph for hours, and dramatic reunions where you rush into each other’s arms either in the rain or in a crowded public place.
YouTube videos of this gem are unfortunately hard to find, but you can listen to it here.
And taking the top spot, now and until the end of time:
1. KISS FROM A ROSE (SEAL)
If you read those words and didn’t start singing the intro in your head or out loud, you might be dead inside. It’s one of those songs that seemingly everyone on earth knows. No doubt being on the Batman Forever soundtrack helped, but it’s not as though we’ve all been listening to that album for the last 20-odd years. The power of “Kiss From A Rose” clearly transcends soundtracks and the shelf life of Val Kilmer’s turn as Batman. Seriously, this song is so great. If there were a position better than #1, I would install it there for eternity.
What nerdy tracks are on your romance playlist? Tell us in the comments!
Images: YouTube, Warner Bros./DC, Marvel, Amazon