Something about earnest love songs -- rooted in their lost and desperate appeal to emotion, in their universal struggle against unrequited affection -- always makes me reflect on my own life and think "Man, I am a way better storyteller than musicians." The trouble is that they get ahead of themselves, jumping right to the heartache and the yearning while only throwing out a few rushed metaphors and cloying imagery to describe the girl or the guy they love. Well, if I'm going to commiserate, I need some indication that the person is worth all that longing to begin with, and the best place to start is with physical beauty. I don't care if Bell Biv DeVoe's love is poison or if Poison's love has thorns if no one's going to assure me from the start that the women they're singing about are hot. And if they're not, then honestly, what's the point of all this?
I can't see what she looks like in that spacesuit, Air Supply.
For anyone else who's spent a lifetime frustrated by love songs so vague they might as well be about our own relationships, I have built this reference guide for you. I have culled the few popular love songs that make even a halfhearted effort at describing the objects of their affection and, through the medium of my spectacular imagination (and six colored pencils), I have enhanced each story by doing what I do best: drawing composites of hot chicks based on song lyrics. Now I gift them to you. I hope some lonely night, as these classic songs trickle from your car radio, that you think of the pictures I drew for you, and that they remind you of what love really looks like.
#6. "Sweet Child O' Mine" -- Guns N' Roses
She's got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky ...
She's got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I hate to look into those eyes
And see an ounce of pain
Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place
Where as a child I'd hide
I'm pretty proud of this one. I think I really nailed the nostalgia in the mouth and the way it reminds us all of our favorite moments as children. If memory serves, that's a mouth I saw on a lot of adults when I was a kid. Additionally, the color I chose for the eyes was a crayon fortuitously labeled "sky blue." I think you'll agree that as you look into those stunning windows, you wouldn't wish an ounce of pain on the soul behind them. If you find them piercing, I assure you, that was intentional. The shadowing on the face really allows them to pop.
Perhaps the most important part for me to capture, as an artist, was the hair. I struggled with how to convey a safe place children might hide, particularly when that place had to be on the head of a human. Ultimately, I landed on the idea of drawing an awesome fort in her hair. Hopefully, it reminds you of the best fort you ever made and that you could see yourself crawling into her scalp for warmth and security.
#5. "Maneater" -- Hall & Oates
She'll only come out at night
The lean and hungry type ...
The woman is wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar ...
She's deadly, man, she could really rip your world apart
Mind over matter
Ooh, the beauty is there but a beast is in the heart
Now you may look at that picture and say "But Soren, that's just some expertly drawn jungle plant, where is the maneater you promised?" to which I would say, look again.
(If you still don't see her, here's a hint: She's wearing pink.)
By drawing a woman who is only visible after a second or third glance, I've given the impression that you are being stalked as you look at the picture. Startling, isn't it? That's good, your heart should be beating faster to fully appreciate it. The hunger in her eyes should feel as though, at any moment, her love could rip out your ventricles and slake her thirst for human blood. There are also several allusions in the song to her catlike nature, which I've accounted for in a cat-ear headband. I suppose some artists would have opted for a full cat suit, but instead I gave her normal clothes for the sake of realism. I'm also not very good at doing animal costumes.
#4. "Bette Davis Eyes" -- Kim Carnes
Her hair is hollow gold
Her lips sweet surprise
Her hands are never cold
She's got Bette Davis eyes ...
She'll expose you
When she snows you
Off your feet with the crumbs she throws you ...
All the boys think she's a spy
I just want to preface this by saying that drawing Bette Davis eyes was much harder than just cutting out Bette Davis' real eyes and Scotch taping them to this beauty's face. Which I did. Seeing them, I think it's pretty clear why they were deserving of an entire song. Also, it's possible that those are both the same eye from different photographs; I cut out a lot of them and got confused.
Additionally, I wasn't entirely sure what hollow gold hair actually looks like, so I gave her a blonde beehive, which seems to work nicely. Her ability to create flames in her hands and trip people with bread crumbs are all self-evident from listening to the song, but once you compile all her powers together in a single image, the woman really comes to life on the page. I'm almost positive this is exactly the image Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon had in their heads when they wrote the song.