Valentine’s Day alone, or just an end to the perfect romance…yes, you could just sink into a tub of chocolate, but after working up a lather listening to this mix of empowering, funny, trenchant, and anthemic dance songs, you might not need to.
DePhazz w/Karl Frieson, “Something Special”
Salient Lyrics: Cause you’re so special, just like anybody else.
Brazilian rhythms provide the backbeat to this ironic little ditty, with its shout-outs to Doris Day, Brian Jones, and Lady Chatterley.
Ashlee Simpson, “L.O.V.E. (Missy Elliott remix)”
Salient Lyrics: All my girls, stand in a circle and clap your hands, this is for you, ups and downs, highs and lows, it don’t matter what, you’ll see my through. My boyfriend he don’t answer on the telephone…I need all my girls to keep him off my mind.
Still the number-one reason to stay in good with your girlfriends is: Never spend a breakup alone.
Blow Monkeys, “Digging Your Scene”
Genre: Brit Pop
Salient Lyrics: Every day I walk alone and pray that God won’t see me. I know it’s wrong. I know it’s wrong. Oh, tell me why is it I’m digging your scene? I know I’ll die, baby.
Forget the creepazoid lyrics and focus on the infectious beats and bright, jazzy sax riffs. This isn’t “dance music,” per se, but you won’t be able to sit still through it.
Headrillaz & Ricky Barrow, “Good is Bad”
Salient Lyrics: Temptation’s got a hold on me, and I hear them say: Everything good is bad, and everything bad is good.
Perhaps the ultimate in nihilistic sentiment, this piece was featured on the soundtrack of Party Monster, the movie about “club kid” Michael Alig’s rise and murderous fall—if that gives you any indication.
Dave Gahan, “I Need You (Gabriel & Dresden Unplugged remix)”
Genre: Progressive house/trance
Salient Lyrics: You’ll always need me, you’ll always need more, you’ll always need me much, much more…than I need you.
Gahan, lead singer of Depeche Mode, brings his usual intense yet restrained despair to these beats. Sing along, envisioning the appropriate other, and you might even begin to believe the words as much as Gahan makes you believe them.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor, “Murder on the Dancefloor (Jewels and Stone mix)”
Salient Lyrics: I know, I know, I know, I know about your kind, and so I’ll have to play. If you think you’re getting away, I will prove you wrong…gonna burn this g-d house right down.
Stomp out your frustrations to this hot-and-heavy burner.
Michael Jackson, “Blame in on the Boogie (2003 white label mix)”
Genre: Pop/tribal house
Salient Lyrics: Don’t blame it on the sunshine, don’t blame it on the moonight, don’t blame it on the good times, blame it on the boogie.
MJ may be a freak, but when he’s having a bad day—or a bad year, for that matter—you can be sure he pulls on a sparkly glove and gets to stepping. You will, too, to this tribal-house version of his hit.
Masters at Work f. Jocelyn Brown, “It’s Alright (I feel It!)”
Genre: Soulful house
Salient Lyrics: The music in my life has kept me through all of the changes the world has put me through.
Pretty much the “I Will Survive” of house music; the anthem of anti-depression. Up, up, and away.
Lyrics Born, “I Changed My Mind (Stereo MC’s Rattlesnake Mix)”
Genre: Funk, hip-hop
Salient Lyrics: I changed my mind ‘bout this here relationship that you’ve become so complacent with.
A song of male empowerment, for the guy who’s spent enough time playing the sucker, aka “cuckold.” Fittingly, it played at the end of the Entourage episode where Eric finally dumped his cheating girlfriend.
Michael Penn, “Nothing Like Us”
Salient Lyrics: Aaaaaah, aaaaaaah, aaaaaaah…
Floaty and uplifting, this shows up on the soundtrack of two indie films, Melvin Goes to Dinner and The Anniversary Party. In the latter, it plays as Alan Cumming, Gwyneth Paltrow and numerous other guests are gathered around a swimming pool, “rolling”, thanks to a generous gift. There are worse ways to spend an evening, no?
BT, “Mercury and Solace”
Salient Lyrics: Awareness…and happiness…reach out for me.
Trance had such a hold on the rave scene for so long exactly because of this type of hopeful sunrise-after-the-darkness song. Guaranteed to lift your mood.
Genre: French techno
Salient Lyrics: There’s nothing to do but believe, another day. Just believe. Just breathe.
Words to live by, since one of the hardest things to do during a breakup is, quite simply, just breathe. Hopefully, you’ll also have pleasant memories of those trippy Mitsubishi commercials. Or not.