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Happy Valentines, Happy Happy Valentines, Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Sorry for the title of this post. I was channeling my inner Andre 3000.

Who can forget the slow jam tape made for those special times between you and the one you were trying to put it on? I remember all too well, putting the tape in the tape deck, sitting in front of my receiver for hours piecing together the perfect mix and flow of ballads. I remember being stiff from sitting on the floor for so long or being horrified if the tape got tangled. I remember my lazy frat brothers asking me to dub copies for them and not even giving me a tape for their copy. I was never a Luther Vandross kind of guy --- yes, I know. Shame on me. I'm going to Hell. I was always into the alternative stuff from the ones that didn't really fit anyone's mold until they created one themselves.

I decided to do this a couple days early in preparation for Valentine's Day because downloading songs onto your iPod or mp3 player is JUST as annoying and time consuming as dubbing tapes was back in the day. And for anyone who doesn't know what a dual tape deck is...well, what can I say? You missed out, the same way I missed out on 8-track tapes (sort of - I was way too young to understand - I thought they were toys). The following are some of my favorites.

Who knew this was going to be what it was when it came out all on the low? I only found out about her after reading a review in Time Magazine. Who Is Jill Scott? Words And Sounds Vol. 1

Then Jill came with another banger. My favorite off this one is Cross My Mind. Beautifully Human: Words And Sounds Vol. 2

This album is just nasty! Ms. Scott was a hot divorced woman when she laid these tracks. The Real Thing: Words And Sounds, Vol. 3.Now she's engaged and pregnant so I suppose her music is going to be happy?

I don't even need to explain this one. I've been to every concert and wanted to throw my boxers at the man each time. Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite

What a mess. But this was hot. Lady was my favorite off this joint. Brown Sugar,a classic by D'Angelo.

A great movie about love --- even if the plot was full of holes and a great soundtrack to go along with it. John Coltrane (and Duke Ellington's) In A Sentimental Mood is by far one of my most favoritest the songs I love the most in life, period. My lovely wife chose it as the music for our first dance. Maxwell has an incredible remix of Sumthin Sumthin on here too. Love Jones The Music.

R. Kelly wrote it, but despite that, this record is insane. Fortunate,by Maxwell.

Here's a joint I'm not even sure hardcore Maxwell fans are up on. Softly Softlyon the Sweetback album.

And unless you're into Brazilian music and aware of the unfortunate AIDS epidemic over there, you'd never know Maxwell has a joint where he's dropping (some of) it in Portuguese. Red Hot + Rio: Pure Listening Pleasure.

Then there's my girl, Me'shell. A fierce chick, for real. Plantation Lullabies

Again, Me'Shell. Peace Beyond Passion

Let's stop off at crazy and check out Miss Ericka Wright, a.k.a. Erykah Badu. Baduizm

Erykah again with the joints. Mama's Gun

Lenny Kravitz is on Back in the Day. And I Want You is heart pounding (or back breaking). Worldwide Underground

There's only rap song that makes it to my list. This song was, is and shall always be ridonculous. Every time I hear it, it's like hearing it for the first time. I present, The Roots' Break You Off.

This album is AMAZING! The way it was explained to me, this album was released here in the states after Back To Black, but it cut in England before Amy Winehouse (the pics are bananas, right?) became a crackhead. And even if this isn't true, if you listen to this album a couple times this story is very believable. Frankby Amy Winehouse.

Let me round it out this list with a contemporary soulster. I met this brother in Central Park back in 2000. I was meeting my then-girlfriend-now-wife there and saw her sitting on a park bench talking to this real scruffy (looking down on his luck scruffy) dude wearing a trucker's hat and some grocery-store flip flops while his daughter and my future son played. She introduced us and before we left he mentioned something about when his album was dropping. When I asked my lady who he was she said she had just met him and he said he had an album. Of course I just thought he was trying to snatch her up and then about three weeks later I saw this dude on BET with a video. Who knew? I definitely shouldn't have judged the man. Last but not least Anthony Hamilton's Ain't Nobody Worryin'.

Happy Valentine's day in advance. I may not be blogging tomorrow if I fall to the flu that has taken over most of the members of my house.

Now this list could go on forever and cross over into nearly every genre imaginable, but I can't so I'm cutting it here. Feel free to debate what I've posted or add your favorites in the comments.


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