I don't know what it is, but I love depressing love songs where the people are just grasping for a few minutes of love or something they can pretend is love. And it's almost all about the vocal performance in these songs that makes them so awesome. Here's a trifecta of great ones:
1. "I Want to Know What Love Is" -Foreigner
The kicker of this song for me is the bridge. It's in a minor key and so heart wrenching. And then the gospel choir comes in and just makes it hilarious.
2. "I Can't Make You Love Me" - Bonnie Raitt
Ms. Raitt's raw alto voice at its finest.
3. "We've Got Tonight"* - Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
Sexy desperation. Hard to pull off, but Bob does it.
*Originally "We've Got Tonite." Awesome.