Luther Vandross

Lovesongs

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Spanning the entirety of Luther Vandross' solo career, Lovesongs is stacked full of quiet storm favorites from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. All 17 selections are hits, and like practically everything Vandross ever sang, they're all love songs. Lovesongs is the third in a series of Vandross best-of collections released in the wake of his 2005 passing. The first of those compilations, The Ultimate Luther Vandross (2006), covers his greatest hits chronologically, rounding up 16 songs and then tacking on two previously unreleased ones at the end. Then there's Love, Luther (2007), a 56-track box set filled with previously unreleased material for hardcore fans and completists. Like The Ultimate Luther Vandross before it, Lovesongs is a single-disc collection that goes from the singer's first album, Never Too Much (1981), to his last, Dance with My Father (2003). The two compilations include most of the same songs. Other than titles and packaging, the only differences are that Lovesongs is sequenced non-chronologically and includes more latter-day material. It favors Never Too Much ("Never Too Much," "A House Is Not a Home") as well as Dance with My Father ("Dance with My Father," "Buy Me a Rose"), and includes one of the two previously unreleased songs from The Ultimate Luther Vandross, "Got You Home." Most Vandross fans won't need both compilations. There's so much overlap, either will do. Compiled with a lot of balance (six songs from the 1980s, seven from the 1990s, and four from the 2000s), Lovesongs is an ideal single-disc collection that draws from the full span of Vandross' illustrious career, from his solo break till his swan song, and showcases him as a contemporary R&B master who specialized in love songs. It makes for a good Valentine's Day gift, too.

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