A Love Song Collection

by: Kenny Rogers

This compilation, released just in time for Valentine's Day 2008, isn't the most unnecessary of Kenny Rogers' career, but it's most useful if you're fairly new to Rogers and/or his love of love songs. If you own a decent Rogers collection, such as 2004's 42 Ultimate Hits, most of this ground is covered. However, due to the gaps natural to an album such as 2006's 21 Number Ones -- Rogers' best-selling album this decade -- this makes a tidy companion to that one, including as it does such smashes (but non-number ones) as "Love the World Away" and "Through the Years" missing from the earlier comp. There's natural overlap, of course -- what Rogers fan doesn't already own "Islands in the Stream," "Love Will Turn You Around," or "Lady"? -- but if you're looking for a solid collection of Rogers' love songs all in one place, you could do plenty worse than this. The liner notes by Robyn Flans are fine, there's complete Billboard chart data for all songs, and all 17 tracks have been remastered. The best reason to recommend A Love Song Collection, however, is the quality of what's contained herein; it's hard to argue with any album, however dubious its necessity, including the likes of the Kim Carnes duet "Don't Fall in Love with a Dreamer" (those voices were meant to sing together), "Islands" (Kenny plus Dolly never gets old), and "Share Your Love with Me" (easy-lovin' early-'80s pop-country -- many did it, but Kenny did it best). ~ Thomas Inskeep

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