Various Artists

Smooth Grooves: Soulful Duets

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Another entry in the popular, consistently enjoyable Smooth Grooves series, Soulful Duets contains 12 urban soul and quiet storm duets, largely recorded in the '80s, but with a few tracks from the '70s and '90s. No matter the era, the general sound is the same -- smooth, smooth vocals over immaculately produced down-tempo, romantic ballad tracks, often heavy with synths. There are several very good singles here -- "Fire and Desire," "Is It Still Good to Ya," and "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" among them -- and some of the cuts aren't notable outside of their given genre but, for the most part, this fulfills the intent and promise of the title, and should satisfy most consumers who seek this out. (For those who care about such matters, there are liner notes, but not in the traditional sense -- it's a tongue-in-cheek piece of fiction, quoting lyrics from the disc's featured songs, written by Tracey H. New.)

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