Mariah Carey - Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel

2009-10-16 15:21
 
Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel
 

Almost twenty years into an enviable career, Mimi still seems to be operating on the assumption that she needs to prove herself. How else to explain her sometimes cringe-worthy diva antics, her all-consuming struggle for perfection, her unwillingness to really show us the vulnerable woman she hints at but never shares? Instead she's hiding her magnetic persona behind disingenuous and cheerless attempts at keeping up with the younger crop stepping on her turf – the Ciaras, Rihannas, Jennifer Hudsons, and the subject of her darkest nightmares, Beyoncé. Mariah just doesn't know how to have fun anymore.

Blessed with a spine-tingling vocal register, she does the unthinkable on "Obsessed" – shredding her gift through Auto-Tune, that harbinger of creative death. The song also marks her attempt to be crunk, a year after the whole sorry thing phased out. Opener "Betcha Gon' Know (The Prologue)" is an epic narrative along the lines of R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" opus. It's the type of dramatic entrance she is renowned for.

"H.A.T.E.U." is the first (and only) sign that the Mariah of old is still inside there, somewhere. Pulling punches as she wades through the wreckage of a painful break-up (I can't wait to hate you/Make you pain like I do) it's a thing of beauty, the type of world-beating ballad that launched her career. Sadly this is but a brief glimpse of the 'real' Mariah, the one who is above the grand-standing of "Candy Bling" and "Up Out My Face". But sussing out what's real and imagined about her is like trying to play the stock market.

On "It's a Wrap" she comes over all James Brown, harmonising with a band of back-up Mariahs like they're her Pips. It's also notable for the use of the word "acquiescent" like it's a new toy. Her newfound joy as Mrs Nick Cannon gets its compulsory spotlight on "The Impossible". Boy, does she love her boytoy, like those tell-tale signs of 'forever' – milkshake, a high school girl on her first date, muscle cars and shooting stars. It comes from the heart but hardly feels like a love song that instills confidence. But the lovebirds listen to Jodeci like the 21st century never happened, so… to each their own.

Sounding more like the Memoirs of a Spoiled Talent, Mariah Carey's latest lacks the energy, direction and confidence of E=MC2. And her cover of Foreigner's great hair ballad "I Want To Know What Love Is" shows just how far her own new songs are from achieving iconic status. It's time for Mariah to lose the act, learn to show her ugly side, and get raw. Trust us, Mimi, we would love you even more if you did.


"Why are you so obsessed with me?" asks Mariah on the first single from Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel. Well, let's see… There's the way your bosom seems to be looking for an escape route in the skin-tight things you wear on the red carpet. The way your voice still command's attention even when the songs are below par. And well, you seem a little obsessed with yourself, no?

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Sean 2009/10/19 10:36 AM
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Beyonce is the subject of my darkest nightmares too. She even scares me when I'm awake. I think Mimi should go back to pure pop. Her voice used to be up there with Celine's and if Celine can still sing her heart out I believe so can Mimi. She should leave the whispery vocals behind and record an album out of her comfort zone. She could get Max Martin to produce a track or two.
saleh 2009/10/19 1:33 PM
her new cd is absolutely terrible ..... boring and monotonous ... i am really disappointed.
saleh 2009/10/19 1:34 PM
her new cd is absolutely terrible ..... boring and monotonous ... i am really disappointed.
Siven 2009/10/19 2:15 PM
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big-ups! thats pretty much everything thats wrong the music industry in general! hope someone out there's listening!
Ayoba 2009/10/19 3:50 PM
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I heard the track "obsessed", and I was so disappointed... the auto-tuning thing is crap, i hope artists who can sing can just stay away from it,it sells them short. Lately this girl is a whisperer, even with touch my body, she's just whispering..but she's gonna sell, its all in the hype. U need to first prove yourself, afta that u can do wateva ish u wanna do, ppl will just buy! Nxa...undeserving!
PRESHEN GOVENDER 2009/10/21 4:24 PM
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Mariah Carey are her boobs real ?
Zane 2009/10/23 9:42 PM
How dare you people hav the nerve to judge the ULTIMATE DIVA. Sure M.O.A.I.A is nt perfect, but she is the greatest female talent of all time. Mimi has nothing to prove to you haters. Preshen Govender screw you, what music background do u hav!
Mimi FANATIC 2009/10/29 4:11 PM
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OH PLEASE... MARIAH IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE GREATEST ARTIST OF ALL TIME! Next article please...
Ben 2009/10/29 11:42 PM
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Mariah paid her dues, so now she can experiment abit. She still have the most interesting and versatile voice of all the female singers out there. She does more with her voice than Celine, Whitney or any of the more recent pretenders can ever dream of. She is alround a greater artist, songwriting, producing, etc. Much more interesting than the rest.
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