Natalie Cole – Love Songs (CD)

A number of artists are coming out with albums that have to do with love. Many of them are not very good (Diana Ross’ “I Love You”), but that should not influence the review of Natalie’s own batch of love songs. Immediately, one just needs to listen to the digital duet of “Unforgettable” (where Natalie’s vocals are patched in to the original Nat King Cole track), and will know that this is a stronger effort than Ross’s was. For those individuals that already have a greatest hits collection with Natalie Cole, there are a few tracks that are not present on those prior albums. For example, “As Time Goes By” is not present on greatest hits collections, and it is a solid song that deserves inclusion on some sort of collection like this.

There is another digital collaboration that is present on “Love Songs” that has Natalie singing with eir father; that track is the near-classic “When I Fall In Love”. So, there is little similarity that this album has with prior greatest hits album. This increases the purchaseability of the album; the major criticism that I had with “Love Songs” is that there are not more in the way of new tracks created just for this album. Completists will have a great deal of these songs on albums already; having four or five new songs would have just put the album over the top for me. However, even considering that the songs on this album range over the entirety of Cole’s career, there is a cohesion created that makes this an album that one can just sit down with and listen all the way through. The album is not short in the least; with nineteen tracks hovering around the hour mark, the repeatability and value of the disc is further increased.

Tracks to look out for as standouts on an already solid album have to be “Too Young”, “Our Love”, and of course, the opening track “Unforgettable”. The waves created by the release of “Love Songs” should be enough to get interest piqued in fans, which in turn should make Natalie release an album of new tracks. Give the disc a go if you are a casual fan, a completist, or someone that is in the middle. There could be more new tracks, but at the end of the day, that is a minor complaint against what is a solid album.

Top Tracks: Unforgettable, Too Young

Rating: 6.0/10

Natalie Cole – Love Songs / 2007 Rhino / 19 Tracks / http://www.nataliecole.com / http://www.rhino.com / Reviewed 21 April 2007

[JMcQ]

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