Album: Cassandra Wilson, Closer to You: The Pop Side (Blue Note)

While my inner grump insists that you really need to hear these tracks in the context of the original albums, where they're mixed with Wilson's own songs and other, less obvious fare, it's hard to get sniffy about this superior compilation. Her bare-wires and yearning vocal treatments of "Tupelo Honey", "Time After Time" and "Wichita Lineman" are among the best cover versions ever, and I can live with U2's "Love Is Blindness" and Sting's "Fragile" if I have to. "The Weight" doesn't work, though. Blue Light 'Til Dawn is the album to get.

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