Various Artists - Sweetheart: Love Songs [2005]

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Various Artists
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Starbucks' second-annual collection of starry-eyed, swoonworthy covers of classic love songs is as sticky-sweet as the coffee chain's Chantico chocolate drink -- i.e., it's good in small doses, but too much might compel you to blow chunks. Like most Starbucks compilations, Sweetheart 2005 caters to the NPR crowd, offering smart and heartfelt performances that somehow fail to challenge listeners in any respect -- it's music meant for the background, not the foreground, no matter how much it should command the latter. In a perfect world, the best performances here (among them Rufus Wainwright's "My Funny Valentine," Neko Case's "Buckets of Rain," and Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips' "Forever") would compel anyone hearing these artists for the first time to seek out more of their work, but a world where Clear Channel's fascistic play lists dictate that left-of-center artists must depend on coffeehouse mix CDs for exposure is hardly perfect, is it? ~ Jason Ankeny

1) My Funny Valentine - Rufus Wainwright (03:24)
2) Let My Love Open the Door - M. Ward (04:17)
3) Buckets of Rain - Neko Case (03:28)
4) Love Will Tear Us Apart - Calexico (04:38)
5) She's Got Everything - Old 97's (02:56)
6) How How Can I Tell You - Gary Jules (03:00)
7) Give Your Mama One Smile - Madeleine Peyroux (02:33)
8) The More I See You - Sondre Lerche (03:01)
9) I Only Have Eyes for You - Martina Topley-Bird (03:30)
10) There Is a Light That Never Goes Out - Joseph Arthur (05:32)
11) Your Sweet Voice - Milton Mapes (03:44)
12) Use Me - Jim White (03:40)
13) Forever - Britta Phillips / Dean Wareham (04:04)
14) Inútil Paisagem - Cantuária, Vinicius (04:03)
15) A Nightingale Sand in Berkeley Square - Mindy Smith (03:59)

Sweetheart: Love Songs [2005]
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Sweetheart: Love Songs [2005] | Various Artists