Sunday, 1 June 2014

Mariah Carey Returns As An Elusive Chanteuse

Mariah Carey is, and always, one of the superstars who defined the music of the 90s.

Blessed with eight-octave vocal range and the ability to kill high notes effortlessly – don’t forget the iconic shrill that oftentimes enlaced the songs in the background – without a doubt; Mariah is the undisputable R&B icon of our generation, subsequently befitting her newly christened moniker, “the elusive chanteuse”. 

And of course, with a new moniker comes a new studio album. Simply titled as “Me. I am Mariah ... The Elusive Chanteuse”, the record did not only create a huge tsunami of fanfare among her fans around the world, but it is also regarded as her best studio work to date. 

Packed with more personality compared to her previous release, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel”, the current release has more matured flavour and deep insight into her soul as a woman who had reached a full life circle – a wife and a mother to beautiful twins, Monroe and Morrocan. 

At a glance, the album cover seems to receive a lot of Photoshop treatment – the slim, elongated legs and the decreased curves. But heck, almost every artiste these days has their album covers and promotional photos Photoshopped like nobody’s business. At the back of the CD tray is a hand-drawn self-portrait that she drew when she was just three and half years old. Nevertheless, let’s keep that question aside because one should not judge an album from its physical packaging as it is the quality of the content that matters. 

Happiness is the main theme for the album, from the first track right to the end. Working with top notch producers and songwriters with herself as the executive producer, “Me. I am Mariah ... The Elusive Chanteuse” is a R&B studio effort that reflects a perilous journey she went through as an artiste throughout the span of her more than two-decade long career. 

Gone are the saucy lyrics of a woman who craved to be touched; dreams of sexually-charged escapades and man-bashing (think “Obsessed” from her “E=MC²” album). 

Also faintly present in this album is the hip-hop influence that used to overpower her vocal prowess in the previous albums. In are messages of love, positivity, hope and strength, all strung and juxtaposed with her unique brand of R&B music.

Albeit being in her 40s, Mariah’s vocal prowess remains unparalleled and flows mellifluously with most of the background vocals were done by the singer herself. As usual, there are a number of artists being featured in “Me” but not limited to rappers. 

For example, newcomer Miguel produced and sang a track called “#Beautiful”, a single that she had debuted last year and made its way up to prime positions in global music charts. 

Her cute twins were also featured in the track called “Supernatural” where she introduced them as “Dembabies” where they lent their vocals to the background.

With the exception of “Money ($*/...) featuring Fabolous” where the rapper dominates the track more than Mariah’s high-octave vocal, she let her vocal dexterity and eloquence govern every track – a major improvement compared to her previous efforts where, despite being the main star of the albums, her appearance in the tracks were seen more or less as the chorus provider. Also making its ubiquitous presence through the album is the legendary high-pitched shrill.               

Overall, “Me. I am Mariah ... The Elusive Chanteuse” is absolutely the album that true blue fans of Mariah Carey have been waiting for and yearn to own. “Me. I am Mariah ... The Elusive Chanteuse” is available now at all physical record stores, amazon.com and on iTunes.

*Photos courtesy of various sources.

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