The Ballads (released in the UK in 2010 as LoveSongs) is a compilation album by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey. The album features some of Carey's top selling ballads over the course of her career. It was released internationally in spring 2009, but was given an early release in North America in February 2009.
The album contains some of Carey's hits and singles, primarily from her time at Columbia Records. It does not feature any new material or include songs recorded with her then-current label, Island Records.
The 1993 single "Hero" was re-recorded and re-released to promote the The Ballads compilation. The video shows Mariah Carey walking into the recording room accompanied by her dog, lingering in the studio and singing to the song. It is intercut with a scene of New York City during the night.
Blogcritics said: "This release is a different type of Mariah Carey album. Without her faster and hip hop songs, it is smoother as it puts the focus squarely on her vocals which has always been her greatest attribute and saving grace."Allmusic said: "And that's what The Ballads is: nothing but big love songs sung in a big voice."Billboard stated that the album "will keep singing on the chart as we get closer to Valentine's Day, as it seems like a natural gift purchase."
The album debuted at number 17 on UK Albums Chart. Following a successful appearance on X Factor, the album peaked at number 13 in its 4th week and remained on chart for ten consecutive weeks. In Ireland, the album peaked at number 8 and remained on chart for twelve weeks, and has been certified gold. In New Zealand, the album peaked at number 19, remaining on chart for three weeks. The album also debuted at number 79 in Australia. In Japan, the album has reached number 19. The album debuted at number 45 on the Dutch Albums Chart and fell nine spots behind in the second week. In the third week the album climbed from number 54 to 5.
The album debuted at number 10 on the U.S. Billboard 200 with first week sales of 29,000 units. It was the chart's highest debut in that week and the fourth compilation that Carey has charted, following #1's (number 4 in 1998), Greatest Hits (number 52 in 2001) and The Remixes (number 26 in 2003). It also debut at number 7 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. As of April 2013, the album has sold 160,000 copies in the US.
LoveSongs is the third compilation album by Mariah Carey. It is a re-release of The Ballads (without the song "All I Want for Christmas Is You"), and was released exclusively in the UK in time for Valentine's Day on February 8, 2010.