Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mariah's New Album is HERE...

I admit I haven't been as psyched for Mariah Carey's newest album, "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel" as I have been about her previous two. The lack of enthusiasm comes from no other place but the fact that I hadn't been hearing much about the songs leading up to the release date, and when nothing leaks, I start to wonder if it's worthy of being leaked. Sure, I enjoyed "Obsessed" for it's fun and urban beat, but I thought "I Want To Know What Love Is" could have been a lot stronger on the gospel choir backing. I am looking for another "Fly Like A Bird," here, people!!!

But a combination of Carey pulling out of a bunch of public appearances in August (and all the ones I was planning to attend, mind you!) and the working-to-the-last-minute to finish the album that had been pushed back a bunch of times admittedly made me nervous.

Well, today the wait is no more, as "Memoirs..." is in stores and on digital music servers all around the country. I pre-ordered the Autographed Collector's Edition from her website, which came with a downloadable version, but Amazon.com has the whole 2-disc album (21 songs) for a mere $5.99. That's less than the cost of lunch! "Memoirs..." isn't as strong as her comeback "The Emancipation of Mimi" or perhaps even her bass-happy "E=MC2" (which produced one of my favorite tracks of All. Time: "Side Effects"), but it is a throwback to the Carey we knew and loved from the nineties. It is a bit more pop, and perhaps that is why I think it can't match up to two albums that leaned more toward the R&B/Hip-Hop side of the artist. But "Memoirs..." is more than worth the price of admission, especially when that admission is so low! With so many complaints being made about the cost of concert tickets, at least these big name artists are making their music accessible in their fans' homes!

"Memoirs..."
starts soft but really builds its momentum and gets strongest in it's "middle," the chunk of an album that is often times skippable by the non-die-hardest of fans. It is often where artists (*cough, Kanye, cough*) buries less than lackluster tracks. However, the sequential "Inseparable," Standing O," "It's A Wrap," "Up Out My Face," and "More Than Just Friends" are the quintessential anthems off Mariah's latest. The five of them play like a mini concert, and if Whitney had picked any one of them on her album, she would be having her own comeback moment right now instead of fading into the pop culture background, and dropping to the back of the charts. Carey set the bar impossibly high with her last two releases, but she did "The Impossible" by meeting all of the expectations (perhaps which were mostly her own).

I'm only on my second full listen of the album right now, and with each second, I'm hearing something I didn't catch the first time around, and it's making the music-- and the experience-- that much richer.

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