The search for the ever-elusive "bop" is difficult. Playlists and streaming-service recommendations can only do so much. They often leave a lingering question: Are these songs really good, or are they just new?
Enter Bop Shop, a hand-picked selection of songs from the MTV News team. This weekly collection doesn't discriminate by genre and can include anything — it's a snapshot of what's on our minds and what sounds good. We'll keep it fresh with the latest music, but expect a few oldies (but goodies) every once in a while, too. Get ready: The Bop Shop is now open for business.
This week, we're looking at some love-centric bops to sweeten your experience this Valentine's Day.
Justin Bieber ft. Quavo: “Intentions”
Justin Bieber’s entire new Changes album is a perfect Valentine’s Day treat, but “Intentions” might just take the chocolate rose. The catchy, upbeat track begins with Bieber swooning (and practically drooling) over the love of his life, as any V-Day song should. “Picture perfect, you don’t need no filter,” he croons on the chorus. “Gorgeous, make ’em drop dead, you a killer.” Obviously, this is a love song — née bop — for his wife Hailey, and the flattery only continues from there. In addition to calling her his “rock” and a “triple threat,” he steps up his game by praising her parents for creating her in the first place. And if you’re looking for the right words to say to your S.O. (and their parents) this holiday, take note. —Jordyn Tilchen
DreamDoll ft. G-Eazy, Rahky: “Who You Loving?”
Love & Hip Hop: New York’s DreamDoll has put a fresh coat of paint on LL Cool J’s classic 1996 smash “Loungin (Who Do Ya Luv)” with her rendition featuring a lovestruck G-Eazy, who’s seemingly moved on from spending a day infatuated with Megan Thee Stallion. DreamDoll’s verse is charming with over-the-top confidence as she demands some affection from a guy who she knows wants her by his side. It gets as explicit as can be, but she doesn’t even wince. G-Eazy responds to her questions by giving her something of an inquiry to be his bae. They’re both in for one hell of a Valentine’s Day. —Trey Alston
In the past year, Clairo has solidified her place in indie electro-pop with simply stated lyrics and deadpan tones. But I’m here to spread the gospel of one song and one song only: “Softly” falls in the middle of her debut album Immunity and finds the 21-year-old at perhaps her most vulnerable, humming about a blossoming romance that burns a little hot from the get-go. Everything is emotive — from its chill and lush production to the way “Closer, baby / I want you” rolls off her lips. At the end, “And I don’t care what they say” reminds us that we don’t need anyone’s approval to fall head over heels in love anyway. —Carson Mlnarik
Chicago-based Ratboys's latest is bombastic punky power-pop with a lot of heart. Singer/guitarist Julia Steiner wrote "Anj," the latest single from their forthcoming third album Printer's Devil, about how her childhood babysitter and the ways relationship dynamics evolve with age, especially as adulthood hits. "One time when we got together recently, she confided in me about some trauma she had experienced. It was a fundamental role reversal — she spoke to me not just as a fellow adult, but really she leaned on me for support and comfort in that moment," Steiner explains. That emotional shift is apparent in the evolution of the repeated chorus lyric, "I’m not alone," which by the end of the song becomes, "You're not alone." As the track demonstrates, true love doesn’t have to be romantic to be deeply felt and just as emotionally resonant. —Bob Marshall
Aly & AJ: “Attack of Panic”
The true queens of '80s-reminiscent synth-pop are at it again with their moody, sultry, easy-to-love new track. “Attack of Panic” is dynamic in that it alternates between low, claustrophobic moments before breaking out into pure chaos — it’s an audible representation of what it’s like to feel panic setting in while the world surrounding you is falling apart. Mania has never sounded so great. —Dan McKenna
Eric Penn: “Sinking Sand”
A photographer’s semi-viral proposal video that I came across featured “Sinking Sand,” a beautiful new R&B number by rising singer Eric Penn. Firmly planted over soothing pianos, he floats through the air as he sinks into infatuation with the woman of his dreams. His lyricism is vaguer than normal, leaving you to piece together the depth of his love-laced lines in real-time. It makes for an intriguing and stirring listen. —Trey Alston
Young the Giant: "Superposition"
I'm a hopeless romantic, and I'll forever be drawn to lyrics that cull concepts from the infinite vastness of physics and space time to talk about the connection we feel to those we love. "Superposition" eschews the thought of fate or "psychic visions," but acknowledges that "in any universe," be it this one or in an alternate dimension, this person's lover is their "dark star," or a star with so strong of a gravitational pull that nothing, not even light, can escape. When I fall in love, I fall hard, and this is the type of romance, this "superposition" I want from my relationship. We are vast, we are infinite, and we are meant to be. Colliding the spaces that divide us? Yes, please. —Brittany Vincent
Moaning: "Fall in Love"
As the great scholar Liz Lemon once said, "Love is weird. And sometimes gross.” And, while there are surely some of you for whom today meets flowers, chocolates, and romantic candle-lit dinners with your old so-and-so, there are surely many of you who will spend today alone and justifiably bitter. Well, good for you that Moaning’s latest song and video “are perfect for everyone feeling like shit this Valentine’s Day,” the band says.
Despite what images the title may conjure, “Fall In Love” is about the anxiety of love. "If we fall in love, I will lose you," sings Sean Solomon, who also created the track’s animated visual. In a statement, Solomon says, “The song is about being afraid to fall in love because of expecting heartbreak.” He also admits, “It's a bummer of a song lyrically but it's pretty fun to dance to!” —Bob Marshall
John Legend: “Conversations in the Dark”
If you’ve dropped the ball this February 14, forgotten to show that special someone just how much you appreciate them, or just can’t put your feelings into words, John Legend is out here working overtime to save you. (At this point, let’s add Cupid to his EGOT title.) “Conversations in the Dark” is a staple from the crooner and acts as a beautiful love letter to the one you hold most dear. It highlights the most intimate moments between two people that truly end up being the foundation of a relationship: late-night chats, rewatching movies that you’re not really watching, loving someone’s insecurities, and accepting them for who they are. In the most John Legend fashion, his angelic voice promises a love so pure and undying that it’s almost too good to be true. But hey, I guess love does exist! Share this bop with your lover. P.S. Taylor Swift has made “lover” an acceptable term of endearment now, right? —Alissa Godwin
Johnny Gill: “My, My, My”
No matter your level of romantic experience or your Valentine’s Day status, you can appreciate the deep and booming sexual beauty of New Edition member/R&B master Johnny Gill’s “My, My, My.” Today, it rings truer than ever. Take your partner by their hand and look them up and down, drinking in their natural fragrance and marrying your eyes to their figure. Enjoy their company to the sounds of Gill’s infatuated ode to physical love. —Trey Alston
Post Animal: “Schedule”
Though the groove lives in the pocket and the spacey keyboards suggest a rocket launch, Post Animal’s “Schedule” is perhaps most memorable for the heart-rending question it builds toward: “Baby, when I need you, can you fit me in your schedule?” The Chicago psych group does love in technicolor on this one, a key cut from their new album Forward Motion Godyssey, out now. —Patrick Hosken