Let yourself be loved down — ILX greatheart Velveteen Bingo (the latest of his many incarnations) recently offered up a two-disc CDR mix of a collage of songs from the height of New Jack Swing — not just that, though! — called Velvet Bingo’s Rub You the Right Way Mix. Arguably the tracklisting could say it all for many, but the joy of the collection is hearing the unfamiliar with the well-known, even though it’s all contextual.

Thus, for instance, Nice ‘n’ Smooth’s “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow” — Mr. Bingo talks in that link about his longtime love of the song, but for me it was a totally new number that if famous I just had completely missed. And it’s quite something — I’ll need to hear it again to really get a sense of what it is that works the most for me, but it must have stood out at the time and just as much now, the confident delivery (with this nuance of emotion that made me actually stop to more closely listen more than once), the fluid grace of the music, all self-confidently commanding and just that cut above what could and would have been a nice enough effort. Surprises, new or old — always valuable.