Here Are Joyce Littel's Top 10 Romantic Valentine's Day Love Songs

What you do with it is on you

February 13, 2019
An African-American couple in love

Igor Golubov |

Valentine’s Day isn’t complete without romantic music. And few people can hold a candle to V-103’s own Joyce Littel, host of The Quiet Storm, when it comes to choosing the right song to set the mood on the sexiest night of the year, so we got her to share a list of 10 of her favorite love songs for anyone planning to make the night unforgettable. As Joyce always says, she’s gonna provide the soundtrack. “What you do with it is on you.”

Be sure to listen at 11pm on Valentine’s Night, as Joyce will play the songs below, after opening the show with a poem from Andrea Mills called “Nookie Night Thursday.” Happy Valentine’s Day!


“... Til the Cops Come Knockin'" by Maxwell

It’s the breakout song that began the career of one of R&B’s most recognizable male singers, and it still resonates romance today, so says Joyce. “It’s the most sexy, romantic, sensuous, put-you-in-the-mood song -- one of my top three, because of the sound of it, the sexiness of it. It’s a make-your-body-feel-good-song, and it doesn’t even have to be associated with lovemaking.”


"Seduction" by Usher

Produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and appearing as a special-edition bonus track on his game-changing 2004 album “Confessions,” this song is exactly what it says it’s about. The controlled repetition of the guitar lick, combined with soft harmony on the hook – and Usher’s grown-man lyrics delivered through a shivering voice – make it clear what’s in the plan. “He’s telling you to be seductive and feel this love,” Joyce says.


"Between the Sheets" by The Isley Brothers

Of course one of history’s all-time sexiest songs was going to land on Joyce’s list. Or as she would say, including this often-sampled Isleys classic is “self-explanatory. The music of that era was filled with true instruments. It wasn’t synthesized; it was all natural and organic. You could feel the vibe.” We hope you and yours feel the same when you turn this up just loud enough on Valentine’s night.


"Untitled (How Does It Feel)" by D’angelo

“The. Video. Says. It. All.” And Joyce wasn’t the only lady who found pleasure in watching the singer born Michael Archer in what looked a lot like no clothes. Fans everywhere found themselves up against the glass screens on their televisions, trying to see if they could look down into the set to see just what was going on below the camera’s frame. Only D knows for sure how whatever that was felt for sure, but with the Prince-inspired vocal delivery and devilishly slow groove, “Untitled” definitely should make for good feelings.


"Any Time, Any Place" by Janet Jackson

No song can guarantee love, but if you and yours already know where the night is headed, playing this timeless classic song from Janet is only going to get you there sooner, so just try to make it last (that’s what the repeat button is for). “Sensuous and sexy” is how Joyce described it – she actually began humming the melody with her eyes closed and drifting into her own inner thoughts before refocusing with a smile and insisting that it be included in the list.


"Best Part" by Daniel Caesar feat. H.E.R.

A beautiful, soulful vocal performance set over breezy acoustic guitar strums, “Best Part” is a dangerous song to play if you’re not truly in love with the one you’re with on Valentine’s Day. The hook demands that you say those words, and the joy with which Daniel sings, in perfect tandem with recent multi-Grammy-winning singer (and 2019 V-103 WINTERFEST performer) H.E.R., works just as well before, during and after the time comes to express love in ways that go beyond words and musical notes. “He helps create a new voice for romantic love songs,” Joyce says.


"When We" by Tank

Tank is known for making confessional songs, and “When We” sings us through what he wants. And it should be said for anyone who doesn’t know the song that it’s somewhat explicit, yet his voice delivers the request with a tenderness that you have to admit probably gets the permission he needs. After all, telling a woman that you “can be a savage,” doesn’t make you one all the time, but when you need to be and when she wants that from you, you’d better realize what time it is. Play this when you know for sure that time is now.


"Lose Control" by Silk

The ‘90s may be in the past, but this piano-laced ballad is just as relevant in the present and has a timelessness that is unlikely to fade in the future as it’s rediscovered again and again. And from the song’s intro of recalling an argument to the climax, with the five-man group repeating the phrase “Can I turn you on,” this Keith-Sweat-produced slow jam has all the elements to be the perfect Valentine’s Day song, whether you’re asking forgiveness or begging that special someone to let down their guard so that you can prove your love in the physical sense.


"Adore" by Prince

“Adore to me was the epitome of what a love song should musically embrace,” Joyce says when asked why this Prince fan favorite was a mandatory inclusion on her top 10 lineup of love songs. “And it can be played to express your love for many years to come.” Rest in peace to the legendary Prince Rogers Nelson, a brilliant singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and producer – the total package of musicianship – who could put seemingly everyone in the mood with his incredible talent.


"He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)" by Jill Scott

It sounds like surrendering to love – almost like love against the winds of spring and fall seasons. The stirring string instruments and piano accompaniment, layered with Jill Scott’s masterful control of her sweet-yet-powerful voice, has been known to sweep entire crowds of love-struck couples into the arms of their partners. And it’s so incredibly specific, yet universal enough that anyone who has ever loved a man can relate it to that special guy whose cologne, hair, smile and intelligence will always inspire a soaring melody that requires no words.