The Mix: Slow And Low Valentine Jams Valentine's Day only comes once a year, so you might as well take it slow. Turn down the lights and turn up this 67-song mix of soul and lovers' rock, curated by NPR Music's resident DJ, Cuzzin B.
NPR logo The Mix: Slow And Low Valentine Jams

The Mix: Slow And Low Valentine Jams

Gerald Levert performs at the 98.7 Kiss FM's R&B Jam 2001 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Scott Gries/Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Gries/Getty Images

Gerald Levert performs at the 98.7 Kiss FM's R&B Jam 2001 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Scott Gries/Getty Images

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What is a slow jam? Is it any down-tempo ballad that speaks to the emotional ups and downs of a romantic relationship? Is it an R&B song about falling in love? How about a soul song that details exactly how badly the singer needs someone in his or her life? Do breakup songs count? Where does heartbreak figure in? What about beats per minute? Or is the determination more about when and where (and with whom) you listen to the song in question?

We know a few things, to be sure. It would not be a slow-jam mix without D'Angelo or SWV's "Weak." Gerald Levert is a hero. Teddy Pendergrass, Lenny Williams and Chico Buarque are titans in this field. Tony Toni Tone. Anita Baker. Keith Sweat. Oh, it's on.

The Playlist

  • Aaliyah, "At Your Best"
  • Aerosmith, "Crazy"
  • Art Of Noise, "Moments In Love"
  • Atlantic Starr, "Always"
  • Bad Company, "Feel Like Making Love"
  • Anita Baker, "Angel"
  • Mary J. Blige, "I'm Going Down"
  • Boyz II Men, "End Of The Road"
  • Concha Buika, "No Habra Nadine En El Mundo"
  • Chico Buarque, "Eu Te Amo"
  • Bobby Caldwell, "What You Won't Do For Love"
  • Mariah Carey, "Breakdown ft. Bone Thugs N Harmony"
  • D'Angelo, "One Mo' Gin"
  • DeBarge, "I Like It"
  • DeBarge, "Love Me In A Special Way"
  • Destiny's Child, "Cater To U"
  • Earth Wind & Fire, "Can't Hide Love"
  • Esthero, "Thank Heaven For You"
  • The Foreign Exchange, "I Wanna Know"
  • Foreigner, "Waiting For A Girl Like You"
  • Marvin Gaye, "I Want You"
  • Ginuwine, "Pony"
  • Al Green, "Love & Happiness"
  • Guns & Roses, "November Rain"
  • Guy, "Piece Of My Love"
  • Hall & Oates, "Sarah Smile"
  • Mayer Hawthorne, "A Strange Arrangement"
  • LL Cool J, "I Need Love"
  • Lauryn Hill, "The Sweetest Thing"
  • The Isley Brothers, "Footsteps In The Dark"
  • Janet Jackson, "Any Time, Any Place"
  • Michael Jackson, "Lady In My Life"
  • Rick James & Teena Marie, "Fire & Desire"
  • Jodeci, "Forever My Lady"
  • Billy Joel, "Just The Way You Are"
  • Hector Lavoe, "Que Lio"
  • Gerald Levert ft. Eddie Levert, "Baby Hold On To Me"
  • Bob Marley, "Stir It Up"
  • Massive Attack, "Protection"
  • Maxwell, "Fortunate"
  • Mazzy Star, "Blue Light"
  • Paul McCartney & Wings, "Maybe I'm Amazed"
  • New Edition, "Can You Stand The Rain"
  • Teddy Pendergrass, "Love TKO"
  • Player, "Baby Come Back"
  • Prince, "Adore "
  • Prince, "If I Was Your Girlfriend"
  • R. Kelly, "Bump & Grind"
  • Radiohead, "No Surprises"
  • Ready For The World, "Love You Down"
  • Draco Rosa, "Obra de Arte"
  • Alice Russell, "Hurry On Now"
  • SWV, "Weak"
  • Raphael Saadiq, "Ask Of You"
  • Sade, "No Ordinary Love"
  • Frank Sinatra, "Strangers In The Night"
  • Spandau Ballet, "True"
  • Keith Sweat ft. Jacci McGhee, "Make It Last Forever"
  • TLC, "Red Light Special"
  • Tony Toni Tone, "Whatever You Want"
  • Usher, "U Got It Bad"
  • Luther Vandross, "Make Me A Believer"
  • Kanye West ft. Jamie Foxx & Twista, "Slow Jamz"
  • Lenny Williams, "Cause I Love You"
  • Amy Winehouse, "(There Is) No Greater Love"
  • Stevie Wonder, "Knocks Me Off My Feet"

You could debate the definition of a slow jam for hours, and are welcome to do so in the comments section below. Or you could click the listen link above, call your special someone and just see what happens.