B.J. Thomas

Have a Heart: The Love Songs Collection

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Most compilations called Love Songs (or some variation of that) are collections of familiar, shopworn hits. Not Varese's 2004 B.J. Thomas compilation Have a Heart: The Love Songs Collection. While this 16-track disc does indeed have hit singles -- including the Top Ten "I Just Can't Help Believing" -- exactly half of this collection contains previously unreleased material from his peak of the late '60s and early '70s, while the rest of the album features lesser-known album tracks. Instead of resulting in an uneven listen, this concentration on obscurities strengthens the collection for both dedicated and casual Thomas fans because the material is uniformly strong. The album holds together as a fine, laid-back collection of romantic soft rock, and it's as entertaining as any of his proper albums or hits collections, for that matter, and that's why this Have a Heart is the rare romantic comp that is worthwhile as something other than mood music.

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