Look. It's. Mariah. Carey....The. Elusive. Chanteuse.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Welp, it's not a ~* surprise *~ anymore...

After much speculation of a Beyoncé-styled surprise attack, Mariah Carey has officially released the artwork, title, and tracklisting for her upcoming 14th album the good old-fashioned way. Featuring Carey plastered on the cover scantily clad in a sexy-wexy pose in front of an iPhone wallpaper of a sunset, the diva's latest sound venture is set to be out quicker than expected on May 27th. Oh, and before I forget, the full album title is...

...wait for it...wait for it....

Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse. 

As much as I love my ellipses and periods, that mouthful of an album title has made my English degree twitch, burst into flames, and shrivel up into ash. Or maybe Mariah is getting her Ernest Hemingway on and being as simplisticly poetic as possible? Err. No. Maybe five years from now this will be a brilliant album title filled with deep cerebral meaning, I mean, kudos for using "elusive" and "chanteuse" ( ...has she been reading my reviews?), but right now it's a Thursday, I'm running out of cookie dough ice cream, and I just cannot. Okay, okay, she has a sweet little video explaining the reasoning for the title, but still, it's Thursday, and I cannot.

I have already gotten up in my feelings about Mariah's latest release tactic so I'm pretty much done explaining why this project can go one of two ways. Still as a long-time fan who still adores her amid criticisms, I truly understand her veteran position in music at current, have come to grips that I can't have the '90s back anymore, and will brace myself for the "diva-pause" period of her career. I mean, I asked for her to release the damn album and be herself in the process, and well, it seems she's doing just that.

The important thing in all of this is the music. Mariah hinted to Billboard magazine in an exclusive interview that she's going to be 'taking things back' for this set, and well, judging an album by its cover, title, and tracklisting at this point doesn't clue one into knowing the full melodic spread that'll happen. But seeing that some all-too-familiar songs ("#Beautiful", "You're Mine (Eternal)", "The Art Of Letting Go"), and two Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel tracks are present (why?), notes that we've heard this album before thus out the window goes the ~ elusive ~ part of her ploy. Her guest list is passable, but reads like a roll call for a '90s R&B/Hip-Hop Retirement Home block party (Mary J. Blige, Nas, R. Kelly, Fabulous) and to take it one more step vintage, Jermaine Dupri and Rodney Jerkins will once again be producing the whole she-bang as if it's 2005.

Everything just looks and sounds safe and predictable on the surface, but we'll just have to wait and see what's underneath the wrapping when the album drops near the end of the month. To be fair, I still hold a glimmer of trust in Mariah to work her butterfly charms and get me feeling emotions deeper than I ever dreamed of for her impending project, so there is that. Still, my one true criticism our of all this is Mariah deeming it a-okay to work with R. Kelly, as I guess the reasoning behind that is that she was in dire need to fill an asshole quota or something.

Elusive indeed.

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