Al Jarreau has been around for a long period of time. While individuals that are in to contemporary music may remember eir duet with Paris Bennett during the 5th season of American Idol, Jarreau made a name for eirself through eir 1981 hit â€œWeâ€™re in this Love Togetherâ€ as well as being a major player in the vocals laid down for â€œWe Are The Worldâ€. From eir 1965 debut (â€œ1965â€) to 2006â€™s â€œGivinâ€™ It Upâ€ (which featured George Benson), Jarreau has been a major player on the R&B and jazz charts. It has been about 15 years since Jarreau has cut a traditional single (eir last was 1992â€™s â€œItâ€™s Not Hard To Love Youâ€, which made it up to #36 on the R&B charts), but â€œLove Songsâ€ is something that shows off both single and album-oriented sides of Jarreau.
This hand-picked selection of love songs is something that outstrips many other Valentineâ€™s Day-oriented albums in that Jarreau does not pick only the sappiest and most vapid of eir compositions, but rather weaves together a tremendous narrative that speaks of love, loss, and any other of a myriad of different love-related emotions. Two tracks are featured from what was arguably Jarreauâ€™s biggest album â€“ â€œTeach Me Tonightâ€ as well as â€œWeâ€™re in this Love Togetherâ€ from â€œBreakinâ€™ Awayâ€. Of particular strength during the latter half of â€œLove Songsâ€ has to be â€œGoodhands Tonightâ€, which features Jarreau along with George Benson and Patti Austin. After releasing so many albums over the space of forty-plus years, it becomes a Sisyphean chore to pick out songs that fit well together as well as contribute to the overall theme of the disc.
Al Jarreau does that perfectly during â€œLove Songsâ€, and while there is not much in the way of bonus material in this disc, the albumâ€™s allure is in the fact that the tracks all talk together in a way that the original context of the tracks would not allow. While Jarreau has been around for a tremendous amount of time, the songs committed to â€œLove Songsâ€ show a vitality to Jarreauâ€™s style that, whether pulled from 1979 or 1996, does not diminish in the slightest. Pick up â€œLove Songsâ€, pick up any following albums that Jarreau may release, and sail away on Jarreauâ€™s unique blend of R&B, jazz, and countless other genres and styles.
Top Tracks: Your Song, Secrets of Love