Bwog music metacritic Bryan Mochizuki critiques the iTunes valentines day mixes, and offers his own.

The advanced minds of the iTunes Music Store have put together a collection of mixes for Valentine’s Day, and they’re…pretty crappy.  It’s bad enough that some people will actually give their dude “Rock Love Songs For Him” – so does the first song really have to be by Sarah McLachlan?  I mean, a little sentiment is necessary for such things, maybe somewhere between “Eye Of The Tiger” and the acoustic version of “Layla.”  Within these boundaries Lilith Fair is not.

Of all the mixes, the only exceptional one is “Valentine’s Alone”. Its excellence is partly due to the fact that, as an iTunes Essentials Mix, the songs come in three groups: “The Basics,” “Next Steps,” and “Deep Cuts.”  The working title for the mix is “Free Some Oxygen Up.”  So yep, that’s right, you can just buy the “Deep Cuts” on the “Kill Yourself” mix.

Even better: while most of the mix is what you’d expect (“Cry Me A River,” “I Will Survive,” Tom Jones), the “Next Steps” section contains not one, not two, but FIVE classic country drinking songs.  In a row. I made a diagram at right.

Unfortunately, this inspired, lawless making-of-playlists didn’t happen with the un-“Alone” mixes.  Of the country ones, the “Songs For Us” duets mix is the best, but its still hit-or-really-miss.  Plus there’s only one (mediocre) Emmylou Harris song, which would be like making an R+B mix with only one R. Kelly song.  Oh wait.  You don’t say? So instead of just cut-and-pasting the entire R. Kelly catalog, iTunes decides to bring back your middle school slow dance jams?  Romantic!

Never one to just armchair quarterback, though, Bwog offers up our first ever Valentine’s Day mix.  It’s a lot of good new music and a few dusty gems, and there’s no theme (besides love, of course).  Love men? Women? Loneliness? Weed?  Check out the tracklist after the jump and click here (ZShare) to download. 

Lloyd ft. Andre 3000 and Nas – “You (Remix)” (0:05)

John Legend – “Show Me” (3:45)

Bloc Party – “I Still Remember” (8:42)

Drive-By Truckers – “February 14” (12:44)

Amy Winehouse – “Love Is A Losing Game” (16:14)

Regina Spektor – “Samson” (18:44)

Jenny Lewis, M. Ward, other dudes – “Handle With Care” (21:49)

Vietnam – “Hotel Riverview” (24:41)

Lucinda Williams – “Where Is My Love?” (29:12)

Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris – “A Song For You” (34:31)

Irma Thomas – “Ruler Of My Heart” (39:23)

Mary J. Blige ft. Stat Quo – “Without You (Remix)” (41:56)

Nelly Furtado – “Do It” (45:57)

B.O.B. – “Cloud 9” (49:32)