Babies Makin’ Babies Vol. 2: The Misery Strikes

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Amir "?uestlove" Thompson may be best known as the Roots' 'fro'd pick-sporting drummer and Fiona Apple, Jay-Z and John Mayer collaborator, but he moonlights as a crate-digging DJ, as first heard on 2002's Babies Makin' Babies comp of soul and funk. This time out, ?uestlove puts together an anti-Valentine's Day comp of heartbroken soul cuts that feels more like an overnight radio show than a K-tel collection for the lovelorn. Sometimes he finds the obscure B-sides by funk legends mining the bluesier side of love, like the comp's lead track, the Ohio Players' crawling "Our Love Has Died," which features a doo-wop chorus to describe exactly where the aforementioned love has gone. He also includes such classics as Al Green's "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" and the Delfonics' "I'm Sorry," and out-of-nowhere cuts by Jermaine Jackson ("You're Supposed To Keep Your Love For Me") and Natalie Cole ("Good Morning Heartache") for narrative depth and dimension. His choices are obscure enough to keep trainspotters from fast-forwarding, but accessible enough for the curious listener to appreciate.

Hobey Echlin writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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