Mariah Carey either has a good sense of humour or operates under a thick veil of delusion. ‘Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse’ is… a ridiculous album title.
But it’s Mariah and she probably knows that it’s a bit grand and ridiculous, but why not! It’s that kind of attitude that fuels this largely retro album.
Rather than chase the Avicii-esque sound of ‘now’, “Me…” is a proudly old school affair. In a nutshell, it’s R&B and hip hop with a smattering of disco and gospel to appeal to both the gays and the conservatives that hate them. It shouldn’t work but, since it’s Mariah, it does.
We love ‘#Beautiful’ for its juxtaposition of soul and rock influences, though we would’ve preferred more of Mimi herself.
She throws in some electronic elements to spice things up on the catchphrase-defining ‘Thirsty’ whilst ‘Dedicated’ and ‘Make It Look Good’ should satisfy the 90s cravings of old-school fanatics.
She also throws in a fair splat of gospel piano on album opener ‘Cry’ and on ‘One More Try’, to demonstrate the soulfulness of that voice.
Mariah comes up short in the R&B department, giving us the lacklustre ‘Money’ and ‘Faded’, the latter of which sounds like a second rate ‘Don’t Forget About Us’.
Mariah is far better when she throws caution to the wind and goes all disco on us on ‘You Don’t Know What To Do’ and ‘Meteorite’. Some may find them cheesy but we love that she’s not afraid to ignore the trends and do what comes naturally.
There’s something on ‘Me…I Am Mariah’ to satisfy most Mariah fans, though there may not be much to draw new ones in.
It may be an ostentatious album title but, at least to her longtime fans, Mariah has no issue proving she remains their elusive chanteuse.
Download: #Beautiful, Thisty, You Don’t Know What To Do.