Various Artists

Love Songs: Gold

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A two-disc grab-bag compilation spanning several decades and genres, Hip-O's Love Songs: Gold fares well for a release that's so broad and seemingly random. It's certain that no one could possibly have a strong stomach for all 40 of the selections (let alone any given 30), and there are some very polarizing hits here, where fans and haters feel equally passionate (Peaches & Herb's "Reunited," Olivia Newton-John's "I Honestly Love You," Vanessa Williams' "Save the Best for Last," Extreme's "More Than Words," Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories' "Stay"). There are just as many long-established classics that are almost universally adored, including a crop of Motown hits (the Temptations' "My Girl," Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell's "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing," Gaye's "Let's Get It On"), Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," and Barry White's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe." There's also a healthy supply of '90s hits, which shouldn't be problematic for those who don't get hung up on whether or not Sisqó and Chicago deserve to share space with Etta James and Smokey Robinson.

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