Since the concept of the song has been around, we still haven’t really seemed to agree on love. The Beatles told us love was all we needed back then, and you also have someone like Pat Benatar saying love is a battleground. It would be better to simply say that love is a complicated emotion, but it can also get downright dark at times.
While you can call every song on this list a love song, they don’t detail their emotions in the best way. On each of these tracks, the relationships in question are either on the rocks or heading for a downward spiral that isn’t going to improve anytime soon. So can you call them breakup songs? Well, not exactly. The breakup songs give us some context about what went wrong, and each of those relationships still play out as you listen.
As the song unfolds, you hear a lot more details about what this person is going through and who knows if they will end up being happy by the end of the song. Still, it’s better to have at least known love once than never to have had it at all, and this is when love starts to get really messy.
In the midst of the 2000s emo rock scene, bands definitely had their fair share of hearts on their sleeve. Even though all the song was trying to say was the inner pain they felt inside, you couldn’t stop paying attention to the songs from My Chemical Romance or Fall Out Boy if you tried. There were, however, love songs sprinkled into the mix, but not the kind you’d find on a Valentine’s Day card.
Although the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus have rebranded themselves more as a Christian group these days, their hearts were already in the right place with Face Down, about a woman who has fallen on hard times. Nor is it the poverty lifestyle of Living on a Prayer. This woman is going through an abusive relationship in these lyrics, her face being put in the dirt as this space-wasting man treats her like trash in every way possible.
For a genre that has always been known for draining the same love songs from their fans, this was a much bigger leap forward for the genre, choosing to stand by and take the abusers to task for what they did. There’s even an optimistic twist towards the end, where one hopes this woman will find the strength to tell her attacker that she’s had enough. It might seem a little easier said than done, but hopefully this story ends as we hope it will: with this woman finding peace and this man left on his ass.