There’s only one Mariah, and she’s not going anywhere. While she’s inspired a new generation of divas, the iconic singer proves she hasn’t lost her luster with her first album in nearly five years, Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse, in stores today.
On the follow-up to 2009’s Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, Mimi caters to her diverse fanbase with hip-hop bangers (“Thirsty”), gospel power ballads (“Heavenly”), and disco-soul grooves (“Meteorite”).
She enlists Nas, Fabolous, Miguel, Wale, Stevie Wonder, and even Dem Babies, with production from hitmakers including Jermaine Dupri, Hit-Boy, Rodney Jerkins, and Q-Tip.
Did MC hit all the right notes with critics? The reviews are in.
Los Angeles Times: A generation of today’s pop singers like Ariana Grande have grown up idolizing Carey, and her sound is again back in vogue. What a treat that this daftly titled album really is a statement of a still-relevant musical identity as well. 2.5/4
USA Today: Gone is the self-consciousness that marred her last studio album, 2009’s Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. Instead, Carey gives the impression that her only concerns are meeting her own standards, and those of the fans who have stuck with her through everything. 3.5/4
Entertainment Weekly: Ariana Grande may have been christened the ‘new Mariah,’ but we still need the old one. And she is telling you that she’s not going. B
Newsday: It’s a balance that may be elusive to many, but Carey has nailed it once again on Chanteuse, her strongest effort since 1995’s Daydream.
Boston Globe: What is unfortunately not elusive on the album are a clutch of interchangeable slow-to-midtempo tunes long on pulsating atmosphere—several with distractingly fidgety rhythmic tracks—but short on melody or verve.
AP: The downtempo ballad “You’re Mine (Eternal)” is “We Belong Together” 2.0, while the bouncy “Thirsty” sounds like it was recorded a decade ago.
New York Daily News: Contrary to its title, the new album may be Carey’s least elusive work. Rarely has she made her talent more clear. 4/5
Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Dedicated,” “#Beautiful,” “You Don’t Know What to Do,” “Money”