Various Artists

Blues Love Songs

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This strange collection should probably have been titled Bluesy Love Songs rather than Blues Love Songs, since half of what is here on this two-disc set (with a little editing this could have easily been a single disc) isn't blues by most definitions of the genre. Not that there aren't wonderful tracks, like the marvelous field recording of Vera Ward Hall singing the slave-era lament "Another Man Done Gone" that leads things off, Bobby Bland's powerful "I'll Take Care of You," or Taj Mahal and Toumani Diabate's delightful restructuring of "Queen Bee." But a great deal of the music here isn't the blues at all, so in the end this anthology plays like someone's personal mix tape -- which is fine, but most folks can make their own.

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