The Ultimate Collection

Few singers have the consistency of vision to produce a career retrospective that doubles as a seamless "let's make out on the carpet" mixtape. From 1985's jazzy "Smooth Operator" to tracks from last year's excellent Soldier of Love, it's all state-of-the-art slow-jams all the time, driven by Sade Adu's touch-me-now contralto. The new bait here is a remix of "The Moon and the Sky," which trades the original's flamenco-flavored acoustic guitar for a Jay-Z cameo. Hova plays an ex-lover who hints that he may be the baby daddy to Sade's character, flipping the phrase "pregnant pause" into an instant MC classic. Like bar lighting, Sade's glow makes everyone look their best.

Listen to Sade feat. Jay-Z "The Moon and the Sky":

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From The Archives Issue 1130: May 12, 2011