Showing posts with label mariah carey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mariah carey. Show all posts

Friday, November 23, 2018

video review: 'caution' by mariah carey

Okay, so this was better than I was expecting, I dug this! Glad I got a chance to cover it... and I already know the Mariah Carey stans will tear it apart, but such is the world.

Next up... hmm, not sure, schedule looks pretty flexible, we'll see!

album review: 'caution' by mariah carey

So I got a lot of backlash the last time I reviewed Mariah Carey.

And while there are times I've gone back to old reviews and winced, this was never one of them, mostly because I'd like to think my opinion on Mariah Carey isn't that controversial! She was great in the 90s, four or five excellent albums, and then it went awry in the 2000s. You can argue where and when things went wrong, but even fans had to realize that by the end of the decade, it was not looking or sounding nearly as good as it once did.  So she did the smart thing and took some time off to recharge for her 2014 album... and look, it was not a bad project, but through the combination of poor guest star choices, haphazard writing, and production that rarely lived up to her promise, it was a comeback that felt abortive, and while '#Beautiful' remains a great song, you can make the argument nobody is going back to that album in the same way they do her 90s or even 2000s work. And when you couple it with that New Year's Eve performance a few years back... look, you can't tarnish Mariah's legacy, but beyond the diehard fanbase, I don't know who was asking for another album.

But hey, we've got another one - and I'll admit I was really curious. It didn't seem too long, the production credits were all over the place but potentially promising, and while I was dreading the Gunna collaboration deep in the track list, the critical reviews haven't looked this good since the 90s. In other words, I was looking for any excuse to like a new Mariah Carey album, and I'd certainly prefer it if Ariana Grande got some competition, so what did we get with Caution?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - february 25, 2017 (VIDEO)

This was certainly a less excruciating week than last time - more diversity here, for one - and I'm fascinated to see how the Grammys impact things going forward. Until then, back to my schedule and... hmm, P.O.S.. Well, this could be fun, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - february 25, 2017

So folks, did you have enough of me talking about Big Sean when the review dropped last night? Well, it's not over - because to replace Migos and as a lead-in to the expected chaos that'll come with the Grammys, Big Sean brought in six new songs to the Hot 100 to an already busy week. Yeah, believe it or not, I'm not sure he's the biggest story here, from some major shifts in our top ten to a swathe of new arrivals peppering the rest of the Hot 100.

Friday, May 8, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - may 16, 2015 (VIDEO)

Overall, it was a better week than expected. Shame most of hip-hop is in the shitter in the mainstream right now, but you can hope for the future.

Next up, probably Chris Stapleton and finally - finally - Sufjan Stevens. Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - may 16, 2015

So remember when I was lamenting last week that the expected chaos after the collapse after a long-running #1 didn't happen? Turns out I should have just waited one week, because we might have one of the busiest weeks on the Hot 100 I've seen in a long time. Massive gains, sizeable losses and dropouts, a slew of new and returning tracks, and even new entries to the Hot 100 that show that even if the #1 slot might be safe, everything beneath it sure as hell isn't. And in some cases, that instability might end up being a good thing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

video review: 'me. i am mariah... the elusive chanteuse' by mariah carey

Huh, I wonder which video will get more hate, this or the Special Comment. Either way, I'm glad to have gotten two birds with one stone here.

Next up... well, it's a bit of a slow week, so we'll see. I might surprise you, so stay tuned!

Monday, May 26, 2014

album review: 'me, i am mariah... the elusive chanteuse' by mariah carey

What do I say about Mariah Carey? What can I say?

Because at this point, Mariah's career has spanned almost twenty five years, a dozen albums, and more than her fair share of acclaim and influence. She's a performer whose iconic vocal delivery defined a decade of singers in R&B and pop, and whose range could rarely be matched if at all. And over a decade since her critical heyday in the 90s, her fans are still as devoted as ever. And yet for me...

Well, it's complicated. It's pretty much unquestioned that Mariah made four or five great albums in the 90s and then things kind of went awry. I can't say that I've ever really liked any of the material she released in the 2000s, even the hit singles that somehow managed to dominate the charts again and again. And yet even on that note, Mariah has never really evoked a lot of strong feelings in me other than admiration for her incredible voice and technique. What makes Mariah special is that she makes it all look so easy and fun, and it shows off her prodigious talent for emotionally compelling delivery every time. But on the other hand, Mariah Carey is not exactly an R&B act who I can say I really love. I'm not denying there's a place for her vocals, but there's also a fine line between making it look easy and looking like you're not trying, and there are albums where that line blurs more often than not, especially in the early 2000s. And as a fan of strong lyrics, I've never found Mariah to be a stellar lyricist, and I often find her songs underwritten in favour of vocal histrionics. And the fact that she popularized vocal gymnastics for their own sake in songs throughout the 90s was a large reason that that era of R&B never stuck with me.

But even acknowledging that she's an icon, she's not one that's been at her best for over a decade now. The days of Daydream and Butterfly are long gone, and frankly, I'm a little surprised she's continuing to put out music. Given how many records she's sold and the fact that's she's in her forties and has kids, she doesn't need to keep making albums, especially if they aren't going to be anything as ambitious as her earlier material. But since she decided to put out a new album with a monumentally misleading title, I figured it was time I checked in to see if our 'elusive chanteuse' was going to delivery anything close to her old brand of quality. Did that happen?