Photographer: Melissa Mahoney.
Given Steven Tyler's newly anointed role as America's lecherous sweetheart thanks to his gig as an American Idol judge, it was only a matter of time before a new Aerosmith compilation hit the stores in 2011. Tough Love: The Best of the Ballads arrived right on time, appearing just weeks before the close of the season, its title pitched to those AmIdol viewers who celebrate Tyler's wackiness while happily ignoring his lecherous side glances.an ignorance that would extend to the contents of this 12-track collection, as there is just no possible way that "Love in an Elevator" and "Rag Doll" could qualify as "ballads." Instead, view Tough Love as a greatest hits of Aerosmith's late-'80s and early-'90s comeback, expanded slightly by the inclusion of the granddaddy of all power ballads, "Dream On," and the collection makes sense, as it has all the big hits -- "Angel," "Amazing," "Crazy," "What It Takes," "Livin' on the Edge," "Janie's Got a Gun" -- leaving only "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" behind. For those who fell back in love or just got to know Tyler via American Idol, this is an album designed for them. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine