June 11, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

Save for 1985’s ”The Night I Fell in Love,” Luther Vandross’ albums always come this close to perfection — and Never Let Me Go is no exception. As always, his enunciation is eloquent, his phrasing fierce; and the R&B as smooth as glass. This time Luther stumbles where he usually triumphs, on covers: in this case, a three-song medley that opens with the Bee Gees’ ”How Deep Is Your Love” — a cappella. It’s hard to hear the man who turned Dionne Warwick’s ”A House Is Not a Home” into his own heart-wrenching signature tune now drawing material from as cheesy a place as the ”Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack.

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