Strictly speaking, many of the 32 tracks on the 2018 compilation The Ballads of Fats Domino are not ballads. They're blues and slow-rolling R&B, songs that seem to define the Big Easy sound of Fats: "Blueberry Hill," "Blue Monday," "One Night," "Poor Me, "Before I Grow Too Old," "Natural Born Lover," and "I Hear You Knocking." They're surrounded by lots of songs that could conceivably be called ballads, but the feel of the comp isn't sweet and anodyne. Some of the tempos may be slow, but this is an R&B and rock & roll record through and through; it just happens to lean toward an easier roll. That sustained feel is appealing, as is the fact that this compilation is filled with songs that aren't hits but aren't slouches either. For some listeners, this may be a good way to launch an exploration of his classic Imperial period.