In a new EP titled Universal Love, six classic love songs have been reimagined to be more inclusive.
As marriage has become more inclusive, it seems like it’s time the music we use to celebrate it caught up. That’s why [MGM Resorts] partnered with Legacy Recordings and a diverse group of iconic artists to create Universal Love, an album that re-imagines what a first-dance song can be.
- He's Funny That Way" by Bob Dylan
- "And Then She Kissed Me" by St. Vincent
- "My Guy" by Kele Okereke
- "Mad About The Girl" by Valerie June
- "And I Love Him" by Ben Gibbard
- "I Need a Woman to Love" by Kesha
From the project's liner notes by Anthony DeCurtis:
The performances here leave no doubt about the same-sex nature of the singer’s desire. Male and female singers have flipped the pronouns in “He’s Funny That Way,” but it takes Bob Dylan to lend the song a simmering, homoerotic heat. Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie retains all the dreamy sweetness of the Beatles’ original in his version of “And I Love Him.” Similarly, Kele Okereke of Bloc Party places his man on the lofty pedestal the Temptations build for the gorgeous “My Guy.” Valerie June brings a delicious, elegant slow burn to Noel Coward’s “Mad About the Boy,” and St. Vincent finds all the adolescent wonder and excitement in the Crystals’ “Then She Kissed Me.” Finally, please, can someone arrange an invitation for me to the wedding of the couple that chooses Kesha’s incineration of Janis Joplin’s “I Need a Woman to Love Me” as their wedding song? That’s going to be a party!
Like desire itself in its most exquisite form, these re-imaginings of classic love songs are playful and intense, erotic and idealistic, fun, forceful and yearning. At first it may be jarring to hear these emotions expressed out loud in songs that are so familiar. But many millions of people will feel a liberation in not having to perform the psychological gymnastics required to make yourself feel included in an environment to which you have not specifically been invited. Like consent, inclusion is sexy.
Listen to Universal Love on Apple Music, Spotify, or Pandora and read more about the project at The New York Times.