Various Artists


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Bizarrely released four months after Valentine's Day, Heartbreakers is a rather belated addition to the plethora of love-themed compilation albums. And while the likes of Oleta Adams' "Get Here" and Shania Twain's "You're Still the One" suggest a distinct lack of originality, the majority of its track list isn't as clichéd as you'd expect. Largely consisting of tracks from the noughties, the Universal collection takes in everything from country (Taylor Swift's "Love Story") to sassy R&B (Shontelle's "T-Shirt") to guitar pop (Texas' "Say What You Want"), while there are several less obvious inclusions from high-profile artists (Amy Winehouse's "Love Is a Losing Game," Girls Aloud's "See the Day"). And despite its title, Heartbreakers also covers both sides of the romantic spectrum, as James Morrison's bittersweet "Broken Strings" and Rihanna's feisty "Take a Bow" sit comfortably alongside wedding song favorites such as Take That's "Rule the World" and Barry White's "Just the Way You Are." Highlights from the first disc include Jennifer Hudson's attitude-laden "Spotlight," Fergie's surprisingly tender "Big Girls Don't Cry," and Mariah Carey's return to form "We Belong Together," while Daniel Bedingfield's heart-tugging ballad "If You're Not the One," Toni Braxton's entertainingly overblown "Unbreak My Heart," and Boyz II Men's effortlessly smooth "I'll Make Love to You" are the standouts of the second. Enrique Iglesias' "Hero" and Boyzone's musical number "No Matter What" might be just too much schmaltz for some and Madonna's glossily produced "Cherish" seems misplaced among the host of soul classics at the end. But overall, Heartbreakers is an admirable attempt at rounding up some of the best and biggest love songs of the current decade.

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