By Michael Slezak
Updated February 09, 2006 at 12:00 PM EST

Flowers die. Candy adds to that little spare tire some of us are trying so so so hard to burn off. Diamonds are forever, but they’re hella expensive. That’s why this Valentine’s Day, PopWatchers in the know are giving the gift of music to themselves and/or the ones they love. And while we’re suckers for the classics (Al Green’s ”Let’s Stay Together” gets us every time), we thought it’d be more interesting to compile a playlist of great love songs from the past 12 months or so. Yeah, some of ’em are a little sappy, others are a little dark, and a few are downright melancholy, but who says everybody’s celebrating Feb. 14? No matter what your mood, though, these gems (all complete with free AOL Music links) ought to have some effect on that old heart of yours. If not, feel free to suggest substitutions or additions — or suggest a whole new list! — in the comments section below.