Picks and Pans Review: Spotlight On...Makeout Music
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but who needs Cupid when you have these albums—from classics to current releases—to get your romantic mojo going?
Come Away with Me Norah Jones (Blue Note) On last year’s debut the jazzy Jones put the flame back in torch songs like “Turn Me On” and “The Nearness of You,” while originating tunes such as “Don’t Know Why” and the title track, which are perfect for cozying up by the fire.
The Way I Feel Remy Shand (Motown) This Canadian blue-eyed soulster, who is up for four Grammys later this month, is the master of the midtempo seduction on his first album, which conjures up memories of old-school R&B Romeos like Al Green and Smokey Robinson.
Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! Frank Sinatra (Capitol) Whether pledging that “Love Is Here to Stay” or roguishly teasing about “Makin’ Whoopee,” Sinatra is still the man when it comes to laying on the romantic charm.
Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite Maxwell (Columbia) This neo-soul man’s 1996 debut made him an instant sex symbol, with his silky falsetto, bedroom balladry and sensual arrangements. A concept album tracing the course of a love affair, it peaks midway through with the simply beautiful declaration “Whenever Wherever Whatever.”
Stronger than Pride Sade (Epic) Any of Sade’s CDs would qualify for this list, but we’d pick the group’s 1988 disc. It’s not Sade’s best album (that would be Lovers Rock), but it immediately sets the mood with its first cut, “Love Is Stronger than Pride,” on which singer Sade Adu achingly confesses, “I still really, really love you.”
Let’s Get It On Marvin Gaye (Motown) Gaye’s treatise on carnal pleasures does more for lovemaking than the Kama Sutra. The disc starts with his classic come-on “Let’s Get It On” and closes with the heart-wrenching breakup ballad “Just to Keep You Satisfied.”
The Patsy Cline Story Patsy Cline (MCA) With her warm, rich alto, country legend Cline gets right to the heart of the matter on ballads such as “I Love You So Much It Hurts,” “True Love” and, of course, “Crazy,” boasting an unmistakable style that Nashville’s current leading ladies can only wish they had.