The Essential Ballads

This three-disc, 60-track set paints the definition of ballad in the broadest sense, but there’s no denying that each of the tracks here packs the kind of sincerity, certainty, and emotional thump that makes up a great ballad. There’s a lot of variety here, with songs from the Goo Goo Dolls (“Iris”), Adele (“Feel My Love”), Cee Lo (“I Want You”), Prince (“Purple Rain”), k.d. lang (“Constant Craving”), Bill Withers (“Ain’t No Sunshine”), Otis Redding (“Try a Little Tenderness”), and others, and tracks are spread well across various eras. In the end, it all makes a pretty interesting playlist, although it might make one think a little bit too much about the deep end of love. Yep, there's a reason most of these songs have shown up in commercials. ~ Steve Leggett

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