Nina Simone

Love Songs [RCA]

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The second of two ballads compilations to be issued in January of 2005 (the second being Nina Simone for Lovers), Love Songs likewise shouldn't be confused with BMG's 2004 release of the same name. While they share the same title, the songs are different and feature some of the lesser known moments from her career at RCA from 1967-1972. Nina delivers a set of songs that are par with her extremely high standards, but she seems a little uncomfortable when it comes to covering contemporary songs like Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman" and the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody." She more than makes up for it with stellar renditions of Leonard Cohen's masterpiece "Suzanne" and an onslaught of Simone standards, including a haunting version of "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair." It's not a definitive compilation of Simone's career, but fans looking to dig a little deeper below the surface will find Love Songs to be a pleasant surprise.

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