5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
No stopping Mariah for now,
This review is from: Me. I am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse (Audio CD)
Could you believe that Mariah Carey has been with us for almost quarter-of-a-century now? With her 14th (!) regular album, she proves that hard work pays off. Produced mostly in a way combining modern and retro sounds, she's sounding like no other superstar - currently she's more into old school than Beyonce, does not tamper with Lady Gaga or Adele and her composing skills do not let her slip into sameness which is sometimes typical for the likes of Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus or even Kelly Clarkson.
It's a bit hard to understand why she chose words from a drawing she did as a three-year-old as the title of the album and it is obvious that HER on the album cover art looks a fraction too flattering. But as for the music, it is more colorful and diverse than, for example, on the "Memoirs of Imperfect Angel". The big step forward from that, an otherwise good album, is that "Me" includes a couple of hit singles - the sleek "Beautiful" featuring Miguel, "Thirsty" with the excellent bridge hook, the Rodney Jerkins co-produced subtlety "You're Mine (Eternal)" or the grower "Money" (w/Fabolous) - all four with great radio potential (which, however, in the past few years has often gone unfulfilled with Mariah - maybe she's not IN VOGUE anymore no matter what she does).
One of the great tracks is certainly the nostalgic "Dedicated" ft Nas, sounding at once retro and hip (quite a feat nowadays). Excellent beats are also to be found here and there, as on the seductive "Make It Look Good", the pounding "You Don't Know What To Do" (with Wale) or the surprisingly giddy disco "Meteorite".
Some melodies are reminiscent of formulas started on "Emancipation of Mimi", hammond organ is employed quite a few times throughout the album ("Cry", "Heavenly"), some songs are autobiographical, including the "Supernatural" (featuring giggling of her twin kids, which borders on too cute). Not too successful she is on the rather overwrought and flat ballad "Camouflage." The singing sometimes sounds strained a bit and in other cases a little artificial (as on the otherwise decent George Michael cover "One More Try").
Still, the album is sequenced well and plays as a confident, state-of-the-art big affair of 2014. Despite the unsure commercial success at the time of the release, Mariah Carey can be proud of the finished product. Her fanbase should by no means shrink after this album.
PS The deluxe version includes two songs from the "Memoirs of Imperfect Angel" with guest starts - "It's a Wrap" features words of recognition by Mary J. Blige and "Betcha Gon' Know" is recorded with feisty, soulful vocals of R. Kelly. The deluxe closes with "The Art of Letting Go", which scored only as a modest hit in November 2013.