Picks and Pans Review: Spotlight On...Romantic Collections

updated 02/16/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/16/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

Valentine's Day is just around the corner (Feb. 14, in case you forgot). If your Cupid could use a little help getting in the mood, here are some recently released CD compilations that will add fire and desire to your love thang.

50 FIRST DATES The soundtrack to the new Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore comedy, which opens Feb. 13, features popular '80s love songs remade with a reggae twist. Wayne Wonder puts a dancehall spin on the Thompson Twins' "Hold Me Now," Ziggy Marley jump-starts the Cars' "Drive," and UB40 breathes new life into the Police's classic "Every Breath You Take."

AL GREEN: THE ABSOLUTE BEST A two-CD retrospective shows why Green is still the make-out man. In addition to such timeless gems as "Let's Stay Together" and "Love and Happiness," Disc 1 features two songs previously unreleased in the States, while Disc 2 includes the romance-ready "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)" and "Call Me (Come Back Home)."

LOVE IS COMING BACK Some things never go out of style, like these heart-tugging pop-jazz standards, including Sarah Vaughan's smoky "The Nearness of You," Ella Fitzgerald's flirty "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby" and Mel Tormé's velvety "P.S. I Love You." Modern-day jazzman Peter Cincotti also pipes in with the swinging "You Stepped Out of a Dream."

LET'S GET IT ON This collection of oh-so-smooth soul features such R&B chestnuts as the Isley Brothers' "Between the Sheets," Smokey Robinson's "Quiet Storm" and Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You." But the song that really warms things up is Rick James and Teena Marie's 1981 duet "Fire & Desire," which still bums with red-hot passion after all these years.

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