Ballads, a 12-song budget compilation that covers Kool & the Gang's 1979-1986 run -- the albums Ladies Night, Celebrate!, Something Special, As One, Emergency, and Forever -- features only four charting singles: "Too Hot," "Cherish," "Special Way," and "Jones vs. Jones." The deeper album cuts are selected with some care, but the set is not ideal for listeners who expect to get nothing but hits (as well as the band's earlier slow numbers, such as "Summer Madness"). It's not ideal for serious fans, who likely own either a solid two-disc set (such as Gold, released in 2005) or several of the era's albums.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman