Welcome to another edition of the Playlist, our regularly scheduled music column! This week all eyes are on Mariah Carey as the diva prepares to release her 11th studio album, E=MC2 next week! Check out our review of the album…
In 2005, Mariah (or should we say Mimi?) was emancipated and now, the world’s biggest selling female artist is unleashing another 14 tracks of fun, bliss and emotion on her “lambs.” E=MC2 is the 11th studio album from the one and only Mariah Carey, whose storied career has spanned nearly 15 years. Still, the diva continues to remain relevant in music today – after all her 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi was the biggest selling album of the year, spawning the #1 smash hit We Belong Together which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 16 weeks. Mariah described her latest offering as the dessert to the main course that was Mimi… and she couldn’t be more right! Though this offering doesn’t quite match her comeback album, Mariah still has it and puts the other rising female artists in their places with a knockout album.
Already the album has made history, it’s lead single Touch My Body became Mariah’s 18th #1 hit in the United States making her second only to the Beatles in terms of artists with the most #1s (the Beatles have 20). But having listened to this album, I can almost guarantee that Mariah will be able to match, if not surpass, the legendary British band. It’s fair to say that every song on the album has single potential, yet all the songs are an eclectic mix.
Relying on her “main man” Jermaine Dupri, who produced 2005’s Mimi, the dream team continue to cook up amazing songs together such as Last Kiss and Thanx 4 Nothin’. Then we have tracks like the current Billboard #1, Touch My Body and I’ll Be Lovin’ U Long Time which are of the more “fun” persuasion, light and fluffy showing you a more goofy side of Mariah. Then you have the heavily hip-hop tracks featuring some of the best rappers in the game – the infectious Migrate (featuring T-Pain) begins the album and later comes the lyrically emotive Side Effects in which Mariah talks about the pain she went through during her marriage to Tommy Mottola, a record executive. Mottola despised R&B and hip-hop music, so it’s only right that in dissing him she feature a rapper on the song – Young Jeezy, who recently featured on Usher’s #1 single Love In This Club adds rapping assistance to Mariah’s vocals. And of course, what Mariah album would be complete with a big, classic belter of a ballad? That’s exactly what Mariah delivers in her second single from this album (and likely her 19th #1) – Bye Bye. In this song Mariah talks about the loss of her father as well as connecting with the listener, telling them to lift their hands in the sky and never say bye bye to their lost loved ones. In the same vain as We Belong Together, Bye Bye is going to be a certifiable smash hit. Trust me. If you’re a long-time fan of Mariah, you’ll love the song For The Record, which you may recognise from her “M by Mariah Carey” perfume advert. The song features mentions of Mimi’s past hits such as Always Be My Baby, Underneath The Stars and We Belong Together. In fact, For The Record just happens to be my favourite song from the album as Mariah said in a recent interview, true Mariah fans will just love this one. It’s subtle, beautiful and almost ethereal.
Truth be told, E=MC2 exceeds the latest offerings from Alicia Keys, Mary J Blige and even Leona Lewis, even though it is not quite up to par with The Emancipation of Mimi. Many of us fans have been waiting three years for this record and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s already made history and we have no doubt that it will continue to as 2008 unfolds. Mariah certainly has a #1 album on her hands, she certainly has another #1 single on her hands with Bye Bye and if Mimi is anything to go by, she has the biggest selling album of 2008 on her hands.
Buy it, pre-order it, get it on iTunes… just get it! And remember, if you have downloaded the album already, make sure you buy it too, I know I will. E=MC2 is in stores and available to download in the United States next Tuesday, April 15th.