Thanks to a voice as smooth and warm as hot buttered rum, Lou Rawls has enjoyed a career that most contemporary artists can only dream about.

Thanks to a voice as smooth and warm as hot buttered rum, Lou Rawls has enjoyed a career that most contemporary artists can only dream about. For 40-plus years, the Chicago native has used his four-octave range to deliver sound treatises on gospel, blues, jazz, R&B/soul and pop—even early rap—with equal aplomb. Unlike other Rawls compilations, this project solely concentrates on the singer's love ballads. The obligatory hit singles from his Capitol and Philadelphia International years are chronicled, including "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing" (his first R&B No. 1) and "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine." However, this set's added glow lies in the well-chosen album tracks. Rawls' take on the classic "Unforgettable" is just that. And on "Early Morning Love" and "Let's Fall in Love Again," he eloquently extols love's joy and pain.—GM