The Best So Far...

by: D'Angelo

The title is deceiving, not to mention a little ridiculous, given the short discography from which the disc has to pull. The Best So Far... is more like a sampler of D'Angelo's two proper studio albums -- one that favors the a cappella version of "Devil's Pie" over the original mix, one that includes neither "Spanish Joint" nor "Shit, Damn, Motherfucker" -- accompanied by an incomplete array of soundtrack and compilation appearances and features. It's an obvious cash-in; plenty of fans are so hungry for something new from D'Angelo that they must be willing to partially satiate themselves with the next best thing. It is doubtful that many would have moaned about expanded reissues of Brown Sugar and Voodoo, two of the most excellent and singular R&B albums of the past 15 years, which would've been a less problematic way to put all the rarities back into circulation. And a complete set of non-album material would have been an ideal stopgap, a good way to treat those who have been waiting all this time for album number three (if a licensing headache for Virgin). Anyone with remote interest in D'Angelo needs the two primary albums. There's no way around it; this will not cut it. But if you've been apprehensive to shell out for all the discs containing stray appearances -- including Space Jam, Get on the Bus, Scream 2, Down in the Delta, Marvin Is 60, and Raphael Saadiq's Instant Vintage -- this will come in handy, despite the nagging flaws. There's also a DVD containing seven videos. ~ Andy Kellman

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