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by Mosi Reeves

February 12, 2014

Strange Soul Relationships

by Mosi Reeves  |  February 12, 2014

"Baby I just can't stand to see you happy/ More than that, I hate to see you sad," sings Prince on "Strange Relationship." Not every affair lasts forever or falls apart. These songs explore the difficulties that lie in between, when there's no conclusion, just Stevie Wonder's paranoia of wondering if "Maybe Your Baby" has another man, or seeing how Amy Winehouse's "Me & Mr. Jones" tends to ruin all your plans. (And yes, we know that the latter is a metaphor for her struggles with addiction.) It's not all heartache, though: On "So Gone," Jill Scott happily wonders how she ended up in bed with a man she had no plans to sleep with, and Frank Ocean's "Novacane" is about … well, you'll have to listen to the words. All of the stories here paint pictures fraught with confusion and extreme behavior, whether it's D'Angelo making plans to kill his cheating girlfriend on "Sh*t, Damn, M*th*rf*ck*r" or The-Dream comparing his on-off romance to a "New Orleans voodoo ritual." At the very least, they're not your typical love songs. As The Weeknd sings on "Wicked Games," "I've got my heart right here/ I've got my scars right here."

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