Review by Janeal Downs
Yes you, you are Mariah. We know that. Mariah Carey started off her 2014 album with a song titled “Cry”. Until she started hitting her notes, it sounded a little boring and resembled a gospel song that never had the beat drop. However, as it is only the intro, I did not want to jump to conclusions. For her next song “Dedicated” I believed it was an ode to the past of hip hop and I did enjoy the sound bites of her talking with someone in between. The song was cute and I did like the fact Nas was featured.
Following this song was “Beautiful” with Miguel which is very radio friendly and I enjoy the song overall. Miguel and Mariah’s voices harmonized together very well. By this time in the album I began thinking perhaps she just started off slow, and the album still had some potential.
However, my spirits dropped once I heard “Thirsty.” This song was Mariah’s attempt to please the new generation and what I am assuming she wanted to serve as another radio hit for the mainstream music lovers. It was not bad, but I would not download it if it was a free ringtone. The song made me imagine a mother who is trying to prove to her teenage children that she is still “hip” using words like ‘thirsty, ‘boss’ and ‘Instagram.’ However, Mariah, your kids are not teens yet so you did not have to do that song. I did get discouraged after “Thirsty,” but then came “Make it Look Good.” I liked this one! It was a fun song and I absolutely love the instrumentals in the back. The song was kind of a combination of R & B with some hip hop and some country elements and it was just shy of being lovely.
“You’re Mine (Eternal)” was an okay song but I just felt like I wanted more. I needed a real love song and I feel like Mariah is, or was, married with children and I thought it should be easier to convey the love she had for her family into a song. So I was just left hoping a real love song would come later. The next song “You Don’t Know What To Do” however was not a love song. But all I have to say is “You betta sing, sang it sang it sang it!” Is that the lovely Mariah I hear? Is that Wale I hear? Now we have got a song. This song took me back to the 90’s and I loved it.
I will admit, for some reason I really do not like songs titled supernatural, but “Supernatural” finally gave me the love song I wanted to hear. It was a love song for her children and I hope that was really their voices. I could just imagine her singing this to her twins and them giggling with glee. Whose baby voice was that at the end though? It was painfully adorable. The next couple of songs “Meteorite” and “Camouflage” had a tough act to follow, and they failed. They were okay, but nothing was too great or too bad about them. Then came “Money” with Fabolous. How many songs is he in with the word money in the title? The song was okay but I just did not like the fifty “showty’s” Fabulous put in the song.
For the next song “One More Try,” I cannot remember much but I surely will not forgert “Heavenly,” one of my favorites from the album. Mariah when did you go to church? Yes! I loved her version of the gospel song “Can’t Give Up Now.” It gave me goose bumps imagining a Mariah Carey gospel album. She hit all of her notes and made me want to raise my hands to Heaven myself. I absolutely loved the acapella ending with the choir.
After I heard “It’s a Wrap,” Mary plus Mariah, no one would dare say this is not a great combination. However, the lyrics of the song were talking about leaving a man. Although I know it was probably just for entertainment reasons, I hope this song was not Mary trying to convince Mariah to leave Nick.
Anyway, I would love to see a video for this song and “Heavenly.” While I am just loving these two songs up next comes “Betcha Gon’ Know” with none other than R. Kelly. It was great. This is when I realized, excluding Fabulous, the best songs of the album are when she is not singing alone. She had Wale, Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly, even her kids. It is concerning for a woman with such a strong voice to have to rely on others to make her songs good.
“The Art of Letting Go” was decent though it had some weird mixing of beats toward the end. The album ended with “Me. I am Mariah” and I will admit the song was cute. “The elusive chanteuse.” I have no idea what that means or who is the “they” who have been calling her that, but I like it and the picture which went with the song was adorable.
Once the album ended I am left wondering, where are the love songs about your husband who is soon to be her ex-husband. This album came out before the divorce, but were there issues during the creation of this album? The only love I could hear was to her children. This album definitely did not top “The Emancipation of Mimi.” Because I had mixed feelings throughout the whole album, I would give “Me. I am Mariah” a 5 out of 10.