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I’d like to apologize profusely. Not only is this entirely a month late, but I feel like the Spotify nature of it’s immediately transparent. Spotify’s completely changed the way I listen to music. I don’t actually own a lot of the music I listened to this year and would normally add to this playlist. And, though this is fairly counterintuitive considering the playlist’s lateness, I was in a rush to finish with music I actually owned, so there’s a lot of repeat artists and definitely as much music on there as I probably could fit.

So now that I’ve totally undersold this collection and continued the trend of presenting and mailing this late, here’s your Dia Del Valentin ’13. It might come as a surprise that even with recurring artists and a (legally) limited selection, I feel like I actually did more thinking about this year’s playlist than last year’s. Nestle into those headphones.

1. Buzzcocks, “Why Can’t I Touch It?”
2. Big Boi, “CPU”
3. The Replacements, “Androgynous”
4. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Same Love”
5. Driver Friendly, “Do Whatever You Want”
6. Big Boi, “Apple of My Eye”
7. Mayer Hawthorne, “Can’t Stop (Dam Funk Remix)”
8. Jessie Ware, “Running”
9. Miguel, “The Thrill”
10. Schoolboy Q, “Sex Drive”
11. Terius Nash, “Ghetto”
12. Miguel, “Use Me”
13. T.Rex, “Bang a Gong (Get It On)”
14. Foster the People, “I Would Do Anything for You”
15. Usher, “There Goes My Baby”
16. Beyoncé, “Love on Top”
17. Jessie Ware, “Night Light”

The Search. 1-2: They’re both starkly different songs–one is a kind of punk anthem and the other is modern rap referring extensively to Internet culture–but they both talk about the same thing. The narrators in both songs don’t have a real connection to this world, don’t really know what it is that they’re looking for. Perhaps all they really know is that they’re looking for some kind of connection.

Understanding. 3-4: Whether it’s homosexuality or two kids cross-dressing, it doesn’t fucking matter, just so long as it’s love. What you see isn’t as important as two people in love.

Here it Comes. 5-9: This section’s sort of bookended with two songs with the same understanding that two people are falling for each other with a gooey core of “Oh, I think I’m super attracted to you.” But first of all, the lines “I think I can take it standing up/I want your tongue, your heart, your lies” and “Things were easier when we believed we couldn’t die;/well, we still got time./Let’s carve some fucking stars from the sky./No, we’re not dying, ’cause we got a lot to say” felt like a perfect transition from the Understanding section, the acceptance that there’s a lot of challenges ahead, but it’ll be much more entertaining with a companion. I think the rest of the songs in this section not only mirror that but also build on it until “Running” and “The Thrill” actually set things into motion.

Anticipation by Car Light. 9-10: These songs belong more to the sections before and after, but it’s the mutual use of woody imagery that also pairs them together.

The Physical Realm. 10-13: It’s graphic. I mean, I almost added some other songs in there, but I already grossed myself out with some of Big Sean’s rhymes and some of the stuff the lady with the pretty voice says on “Sex Drive.” They say the kind of things that we all do, but probably really shouldn’t be talking about like they do. But everything here’s still a bunch of dope-ass beats.

Significant Other. 14-17: It’s two brand-new-significant-other-style songs followed by two ballads about a solid relationship. A lot of buildup to settle smoothly in something far less explicit than its immediate predecessors and far more assured than all the predecessors. A happy ending for an era of uncertainty.

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