Songwriter: Matt Slocum
Original Release Date: August 11, 1998 (single)
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Like, literally. It’s on Saturday. I hope all you handsome gentlemen have something nice planned for your special someone because if not, you are down to the wire. Or, if Saturday will be spent celebrating “Singles Awareness Day” instead of indulging in heart shaped chocolates and over-priced flowers, that’s okay too. Whatever your plans, (Un)covered has the perfect love song for your moment. This week’s cover is a throwback to the late 90s pop hit “Kiss Me” from Sixpence None the Richer. It’s the kind of cheesy, crush-worthy single perfect for Valentine’s Day, but with a twist. Covered by the pop-punk kings New Found Glory, this version of “Kiss Me” is the sweet spot between sugary romance and the punk music you love, making it a must-have for your Valentine’s playlist.
Released in 1998 as a single, “Kiss Me” definitely falls into the category of 90s classic. The video even features 90s heartthrob Freddie Prinze Jr. (sort of). “Kiss Me” was used as the theme song for the movie She’s All That (1999), starring Freddie Prinze Jr., which is the film that’s playing in the background of this version of the music video. Heavy on the imagery, the lyrics are as sweet as those Valentine’s candy conversation hearts, drawing images of picturesque swings at dusk, dancing among fireflies beneath a sparkling moon, broken treehouses, and trails through bearded barley–yeah, it’s enough to give you a toothache. But hey, cheesy lyrics or not, the song was a major hit. It made #2 on the Billboard 100 that year (topped only by TLC’s “No Scrubs,” I might add). It must be the accordion solo.
New Found Glory covered the song for their covers album From the Screen to Your Stereo Volume II, released in 2007. The band almost fool you–the song starts steady with an easy-going melody and the same sweet lyrics that paint a picture of the perfect twilight mood. But just at the chorus, the song kicks into gear and picks up the pace. Though you can’t deny the lyrics are a little over the top, featuring heavy-on-the-love-story gushing lines like, “Kiss me/Beneath the milky twilight/Lead me/Out on the moonlight floor,” but with New Found Glory spinning the soft-shoe melody a complete 180 degrees, you can easily overlook the fact that it verges on the kind of teenage girl fantasy Taylor Swift used to write. Thankfully, there are no teardrops on any guitars here. Even sweeter is the guest appearance from Hayley Williams in the music video. Williams and NFG lead guitarist Chad Gilbert have been dating since 2008, but this past Christmas, the ridiculously cute couple announced their engagement. (If you don’t believe me about their adorable, perfect-for-each-other status, please take a look at their engagement announcement here, and also these photos of the couple from the AP Music Awards Red Carpet last summer). I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see the wedding pictures!
Valentine’s Day can be mushy. Just walking down the holiday aisle at the grocery store starts to feel like I’m trapped in the Tunnel of Love. But if you’re looking to lighten things up this year, look no further than New Found Glory’s fun and upbeat cover of a timeless but cheesy love song.