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Album Review

Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse

June 2, 2014

On Mariah Carey's 14th studio album, stylistic cohesion is as elusive as the chanteuse herself. Here, R&B is less a static genre than a way to combine the best bits of hip-hop, disco and gospel. Highlights like the Wale-assisted dance jam "You Don't...

Song Review

"Almost Home"

February 22, 2013

"Over the Rainbow" it ain't. Still, the theme song from Disney's The Wizard of Oz prequel, Oz the Great and Powerful, has its modest virtues: an instant earworm chorus, deft production by Stargate and, just where you'd expect them (on the other side of...

Album Review

Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel

September 28, 2009

Mariah Carey, comedian? Jokeshave never been Carey's forte, but on her 12th album, she gets in touch with her funny bone, adding a cheeky marching-band coda to the thumping club jam "Up Out My Face," threatening to out a cheating lover on national television...

Album Review

The Emancipation Of Mimi

April 21, 2005

First off: Mariah Carey's ninth album, The Emancipation of Mimi, doesn't suck as comprehensively as 2001's Glitter or 2002's Charmbracelet. Those back-to-back flops suggested that her famous multioctave voice was shot, her judgment impaired and her decade-long...

Album Review

Glitter

August 30, 2001

Mariah Carey called her last album Rainbow and the one before that Butterfly. So many Mariah fans will probably be disappointed that she didn't decide to title this one Unicorn. (Or how about Kitten? Maybe Koala?) But damn if Glitter isn't a big step...

Album Review

Butterfly

October 30, 1997

On what is something of a transitional album, the recently separated Mariah Carey moves still further away from the warmed-over Whitney Houston of Carey's early recordings and firmly into the milieu of modern, hip-hop-inflected R&B. The surprise is...

Album Review

Emotions

November 14, 1991

A rookie success as spectacular as Mariah Carey's tends to spark a backlash, and Carey was derided by skeptics who saw that Columbia Records had spared no expense in accessorizing her with the most dependable collaborators money could buy. Emotions addresses...

Album Review

Merry Christmas II You

November 1, 2010

Sixteen years have passed since Mariah Carey released her first blockbuster holiday album, but she hasn't lost her desire to dress up in a Santa suit or the silky flexibility of her voice. Her take on a new batch of traditionals like "O Little Town of...

Album Review

E=MC2

April 17, 2008

Mariah Carey embraces her extremes: She's either grinding out R&B-hop or singing syrupy ballads, talking dirty or cuddling with a Hello Kitty. Her tenth studio album is no different: It starts in a club and ends in a church. Carey tries on reggae...

Album Review

Charmbracelet

November 19, 2002

Apparently, the best thing Mariah Carey can do to put her career back on track is to cover Def Leppard. The catchiest cut on Carey's eighth album, Charmbracelet, is a fascinatingly overblown orchestral remake of "Bringin' on the Heartbreak." The rest...

Album Review

Rainbow

November 25, 1999

For a singer with such an impressive vocal range, Mariah Carey used to display a narrow understanding of her musical milieu — no amount of piercing coloratura could breathe life into singles that were nothing more than hit-radio vehicles. But with...

Album Review

Music Box

October 28, 1993

With a voice that could stop a truck, a husband (Sony Records chief Tommy Mottola) who runs the store and only the hottest songwriting and producing collaborators going (Walter Afanasieff, C+C Music Factory and Babyface), Mariah Carey is the closest thing...

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