Impact’s Essential Romance Albums for Gen Z


Entertainment Team

There’s something in the air in early February that just makes you want to hold your loved ones a little closer. Maybe you’re anticipating a magical night out with your Valentine? Maybe you’re excited to see you friends for Galentine’s Day? Maybe it’s just the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you see roses at the store and know you have someone to share them with. Whatever your Valentine’s Day plans, we’ve collected a list of albums that put a sound to the feelings of romance in the air.

The Divine Feminine by Mac Miller — Taylor Truszkowski

The Divine Feminine by Mac Miller is possibly the best hip hop love album in existence. Not only is it shamelessly sexy but it is incredibly sweet. The dreamy piano on “Congratulations (Feat. Bilal)” and its sentimental lyrics set the perfect beginning for an album that celebrates love, and specifically, celebrates the woman he loves. Throughout the album, Mac Miller continuously illustrates the link between a physical connection and an emotional connection and emphasizes the need for both in a loving relationship. The contrasts and correlations between feelings of the heart and body are highlighted throughout the album and specifically on the track “God is Fair, Sexy Nasty (Feat. Kendrick Lamar).” This song features some suggestive lyrics while still celebrating that one special woman, and it ends with a heartfelt monologue by what sounds to be an older woman talking about her marriage. The song is extremely creative as there is a lot about it that hasn’t been done in his genre, just like the entire album. Mac Miller certainly knows how to make a woman swoon, continuously praising his lover as something divine and even comparing her to “Cinderella.” Anyone who wants to know how to treat their girl like a princess should listen to The Divine Feminine this Valentine’s Day.

Planet Her by Doja Cat — Norene Bassin

Doja Cat knew exactly what she was doing when she released Planet Her. The R&B-pop princess’s 2021 album centers around themes of love, sex, luxury and lies. The only adjective I can think of to describe the vibe of this album is sexy. This music invokes the feeling of crushed red velvet against your skin, the scent of freshly-cut roses, and the warmth of candlelight on a dinner table set for two. The hypnotically groovy beat on “Woman” is sultry enough to make everyone want to switch their LED lights to red. “Need to Know” has a more laid-back beat, making it the perfect background track for your various Valentine’s Day activities. “You Right” is taken to the next level with the help of The Weeknd’s angelic vocals. The dreamy, cotton candy sky soundscape this album creates is exactly the type of sunset you want to bring your valentine to watch. Planet Her is the most romantic love album this generation has ever heard, both lyrically and musically.


Kiss by Carly Rae Jepsen — Kyle Davidson

Carly Rae Jepsen’s Kiss is — without a doubt — the quintessential bubblegum pop album. Jepsen’s break-out album dominated the airwaves of the early 2010s with hits like “This Kiss,” “Good Time” and of course, “Call Me Maybe.” While Kiss may not have received the same artistic recognition as Jepsen’s later works, the album stands apart from her other albums with its themes of pure adoration and lyrics straight out of a teen romance novel. Even the most renowned pop artists of all time couldn’t come close to topping lines like “If you cut a piece of guitar string, I would wear it like it’s a wedding ring.” Alongside her anthems of affection, Jepsen delves deeper, touching on themes of unresolved feelings and the freedom and self love needed to survive a nasty breakup. While these factors already add up to an iconic whole, Jepsen also collaborated with Justin Bieber and Owl City for two tracks on the record, sealing its fate as one of the most iconic pop albums of the 2010s.  

You Will Never Know Why by Sweet Trip — Matt Cruz

Sweet Trip’s third LP is a distillation of their pop fanaticism that has been meticulously crafted since their first record. A stark departure from the glitchy, chaotic and futuristic Velocity : Design : Comfort, You Will Never Know Why forgoes structural experimentation for emotional poignancy and melodic simplicity. The chaotic, Pollock-ian explosion of sound has been reigned into the buoyed sway of two bodies under an unbreakable spell. The compositions you will find to be frozen in time, as if perpetually entranced in love at first sight. The slowcore dream pop of cuts like “Air Supply” and “Pretending” stand out to be some of Sweet Trip’s warmest and most beloved songs. “Milk,” one of their most popular songs, captures an enriching and mutually nourishing ballad built only for two. Valerie Cooper’s crestfallen delivery illustrates a sacred transmission that would have otherwise been lost if not on the receiving end. The twee pop highs of “Your World Is Eternally Complete,” “To The Moon” and “Conservation of Two” bubble into a loving embrace, radiating energy with each saccharine verse. You Will Never Know Why stands as one of the greatest indie pop albums of the 2000s, and only gets more rewarding after each listen, I can’t promise that you can fall in love with someone, but I can promise that you’ll fall in love with this record. 

Fine Line by Harry Styles — Norene Bassin

Harry Styles’ Fine Line is the ideal pop-rock album for when you’re longing for that one person you want to see most, but just can’t for one reason or another. The swirl of folk, prog rock and funk influences blend to make the perfect medicine for aching hearts: for those who disagree with the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” The first few tracks explore the feeling of falling in love and the joy of the honeymoon phase, like “Watermelon Sugar” and “Adore You.” “Cherry” goes a different direction and discusses the pain of seeing them with someone else. “To Be So Lonely” is about, well, feeling lonely. It could be the longing for your partner while they’re away, being distant, or even gone from your life. He’s still singing about love at this part, it just gets quieter. “She” and “Canyon Moon” really delve into the exhaustion of missing them and fantasizing about the past. Closing the album out is the title track, reminding you that it will be okay, whether you’re healed by time or just hearing their voice again. Hopeless romantics, this album belongs in your rotation as one of the most heartfelt, honest and beautiful records of the 2010s.

Have strong feelings about these albums? Be sure to vote for your favorites every day until Feb. 14 in our Valentine’s Day album bracket battle on Twitter @WDBM.