'Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse' Might Actually Be Good
It's been five years since Mariah Carey released an album of new material, Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel. That album flopped and was followed by a Christmas album, yet another Best Of album (her fourth to date)
She hired Randy Jackson to manage her career, she also got married and had twins. Oh yeah, and was a judge on American Idol. So she hasn't just been sitting and twiddling her thumbs this whole time.
It looks like Mariah has refocused on what it is that she's good at, and what it is that her fans love her for, singing R&B.
Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse (which should count as a self-titled album) finds her owning her multiple personalities, minus the caricature. It’s a successful merger of her opposing images: the forever-young R&B star known to skate at a theme park in daisy dukes and the balladeer who finger-wags behind a mic in a gown. [Vibe]
Whether in more elegant ballads, or most assertive R&B songs, the new tunes give Carey more to play with than usual. It's as if she'd been listening to Beyonce's albums, gaining tips for how to bridge trendy music with the classic type. Even a hip-hop influenced ditty like "Thirsty" has a broad tune. Contrary to its title, the new album may be Carey's least elusive work. Rarely has she made her talent more clear. [NYDN]
So what's most striking about Carey's new album — titled, rather insistently, Me. I Am Mariah ...The Elusive Chanteuse (***½ out of four) and now streaming on iTunes Radio ahead of its May 27 release — is how relaxed and confident she sounds. Gone is the self-consciousness that marred her last studio album, 2009's Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. Instead, Carey — whose delays of Chanteuse's release date inspired predictable hand-wringing (as did the less-than-spectacular performance of the lead singles) — gives the impression that her only concerns are meeting her own standards, and those of the fans who have stuck with her through everything. [USA Today]
Woot! Mariah is back!