Mariah Carey is a living legend, a musical icon.
She maintains a stunning voice all these years later and has still enjoys a strong fan base, but she’s had some musical misfires in the past several years.
That being said, she’s back with album number 15 and it’s well worth the wait – it’s a cracker.
‘Caution’ may be a short album at only ten songs long, but it’s all killer, no filler.
The set feels modern and current for 2018 but also feels authentically Mariah.
For this album, she’s called in some great musicians and producers. Timbaland, Dev Hynes and DJ Mustard all make appearances across the album and feels like a natural fit with Mariah’s sound. There are still a fair share of features, but thankfully they all blend well with the songs.
Something people don’t realise is how talented of a musician Mariah is in additional to being able to sing the pants off many songs. She’s an expert at musical arrangements and it shows through each song. Collaborating with her musical friends, the sonic landscape is full and rich throughout. It’s a testament to her attention to detail and hard work behind the scenes.
As the first track from the project, ‘GTFO’ is Mariah at her “I really don’t care” best. Throwing caution to the wind, she tells her former lover to leave in the most Mariah way. She brings out her full voice in the latter stages of the song which I love. It’s catchy without feeling forced or fake.
The album is mostly an enjoyable mid-tempo affair. It’s listenable end to end which is a rarity these days.
One of the mid-tempo standouts is ‘A No No’; Mariah is taking control of the situation and the answer is no. It’s clever writing, something I’ve always admired with her. She’s at her best when she’s being subtle but not so subtle that you can read between the lines.
Album closer ‘Portrait’ is a great ballad to close out this collection of songs. Speaking openly about the challenges of the past several years, it feels like a classic Mariah ballad, pouring her heart out on the page. It doesn’t sound like a typical Timbaland tune, but I love the hints of his work coming through. It sounds relevant, not dated.
Compared to her last full length studio album, ‘Caution’ is an impressive collection of tunes.
While she is known for her Christmas albums, she’s also known for her great R&B tunes and this long player is a prime example of that.
There’s no standout radio hit, but I honestly don’t mind; it’s cohesive and consistent.
It’s not often that artists edging 30 years in the industry can continue to create exciting pieces of work, but ‘Caution’ is classic Mariah.
Welcome back Mimi.
VERDICT : 4/5.
MUST LISTEN : GTFO, A No No, Portrait.