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The Ballads by Mariah Carey
Released: Jan 2009
Label: Columbia/Legacy
Since she reinvented herself as a hip-hop chanteuse, Mariah's love songs have leaned more toward sensual slow jams than ballads per se. So a lot of this new compilation is old-school Mariah: big-voiced, hyper-emotional heart-jerkers like "Hero" and "Dreamlover." It's the stuff that made Mariah a star, albeit an adult contemporary-ish one, and though we love the new, improved Mimi, it's really nice to see her work the high drama again. This includes duets like "One Sweet Day" (with Boyz II Men) and ultimate diva throwdown "When You Believe" (featuring Whitney Houston).
Rachel Devitt