John Legend

Grace Dent Don't be a Valentine's Day curmudgeon

"Not wanting a fuss" would be fine if it weren't for the feelings of inadequacy one has in the face of "the Valentine's fussers". You can't beat these sort of Valentine's people. But you can join them and do it with a big open heart

Album: John Legend & the Roots, Wake Up! (Columbia)

Theres never a wrong time to revisit the core values of Seventies soul and funk, though it may have been more effective for John Legend & The Roots to release Wake Up!, a selection of politicised black covers from that era, during a previous administration's tenure, when the admonition was more pertinent.

Album: Album: Angie Stone, Unexpected (Stax)

On her second outing for Stax, soul diva Angie Stone shifts slightly away from the neo-soul style of 2007's The Art Of Love & War – although the change is not quite as pronounced as she suggests in the title-track.

Album: Angelique Kidjo, Õÿö (Razor & Tie/Proper)

Õÿö is Beninese diva Angelique Kidjo's celebration of her roots and influences, from early icons such as Miriam Makeba and the Togolese singer Bella Bellow to Santana – whose "Samba Pa Ti" brought the Saturday-night dances of her teenage years to romantic conclusions – and soul and funk legends such as Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin and James Brown.