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Review E=MC² - Mariah Carey (2008)





So, this is it. This is the moment that nobody's been waiting for. This is my review, my explanation, my confession, my revelation.

I hate this album. I despise it.

Why? This was the album that produced one of Mariah's more recent hit singles. "Touch My Body" hitting number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was historic. It was difficult to get and not everybody can have that. But that's exactly the problem. There's nothing remarkable about this album other than adding another accolade on top of her already stacked accolades. It's really good to show numbers and stats, but when the music is this...misguided? Corrosive? Bad? Was it worth it? aura1

The first track that you'll come across on this album is a electro-pop imbued R&B jam called "Migrate." It started out pretty great until it immediately devolved into a hellish nightmare. From the astonishing whistle chirps of Mariah's out-of-this-world voice to a set of melodyned singing that is, simply put, bad. The lyrics that are just about the most uninspired thing in the world (bouncing back in the limo, going to the [gay] club, migrate bah!). The progression of each elements found in this song wasn't gelling well with each other. It also has a really dull rhythm/groove especially when you have listened to it for more than 70 times. Trust me, I've tortured myself all these years. The dullness won't even stop here; several songs in the back row also have variant shades of dull adorned on top, below and around Mariah's voice.

 The second track is the lead single and undoubtedly the only great track of this album. The aforementioned "Touch My Body" is sparkly. It's flirty and fun. It's a song that was always meant to be a hit. The songwriting is reminiscent of the more playful side of Music Box (there's not a lot of fun from that one unfortunately) and the cheekiness that made Rainbow worked pretty well. So is the next song, "Cruise Control," which would have been much better if the production wasn't so...faux. The Caribbean/Jamaican accent that she did was quirky, I guess. mad5

Fourth track "I Stay in Love" is not bad but it really just a rehash of a much better song that she had released before. You know, "We Belong Together" a.k.a. her biggest hit after "One Sweet Day." Both still fall below her current actual biggest hit ever however (read: "All I Want for Christmas Is You"). The next three tracks are all enjoyable in a "yeah, that sounds good I guess" music playing in the background as you're cleaning your house kinda way. Although, I would have appreciated if the production on "Side Effects" wasn't so "yeah this one's for ma gangsta" and if Young Jeezy (or now known as just Jeezy) had written better lyrics for his part.

I like the groove of "I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time" but that's it. Partly because of the brilliant sampled song, "Stay with Me," originally by DeBarge. I truly believe that the song should have been better than what it turned out to be. The background vocals are incredible, yes, but that's to be expected from Ms. Mimi. It's no surprise, really, which is why I was so surprised when she put minimum amount of background vocals to "Last Kiss." Minimum compared to "...Long Time," at least. This one's actually...good? Yeah. This should have been the second single after "Touch My Body."

Next songs are...ok. Boring, dull, sonic laxatives. The most egregious one is definitely a song called "O.O.C." which is so bad? Like, impossibly bad! Ironically, the production on this one is kinda good. It escaped that distinctly ugly 2008 atmosphere which have permeated all of the other tracks before it. It sounds somewhat timeless too. Still, the lyrics are just...what are those? "I get so o.o.c./Out of control, baby" like, what? Why? jj4

For some reasons, Mariah didn't end the album on the irrelevant yet somewhat fun "O.O.C." No, she continues on to the song "Bye Bye" which is nice for a tribute to the late loved ones. But "One Sweet Day" it is not! At least the latter stayed on topic with its lyrics, really delving deeply into that dramatic sadness thus making it a proper lament for funerals everywhere. "Bye Bye" on the other hand is about her being sad not having her loved ones who had passed away able to witness her rise back to number 1. That's literally [one of] the premise(s) of the song. It's even set to a sing-along arrangement (with beats cuz of course!) made for the arenas of the world which is just...WHY? And it was a single immediately after "Touch My Body" too? GORL?!?!!??! missj1

It doesn't help that this monstrosity ends with a....um, what is it? Oh, a drag? Towards Tommy Motorola and possibly J.Lo? So she does know her huh? Well, that's coo- wait a goddamn minute what is this?! A gospel song?!?!!

Yeah, it was. It was gospel. I mean, she quoted some Bible passages in it. She even told you–no, commanded thee–to read the exact chapters and verses. I-




This last song, "I Wish You Well," might be Mariah's campest (campiest?) moment ever. Forget that she didn't know Jennifer Lopez. Forget that she had appeared in that one TV show where she became a saleswoman for her diamonds and gowns. Forget that she didn't know Demi Lovato either so... No, this was peak Mariah. Only she would pull something like this. Bringing God into camp, bringing Jesus along with it at the LGBTQ+ community. YAS MAMA SLAY HUNTY CHARLI XCX *SMACKS THE FUCKING CAMERA!!!!* mess1


Anyway, clearly the brief was to make a hit album. If going by that assumption, then, she sorta succeeded? I mean, the album sounds like a proper 2008 made-for-the-charts type of album. This is what I always talked about every time I say that this album isn't even a good listening experience. It sounds like a playlist of materials that could, would and probably should have been hits for Mariah. Even I can't deny that the album contains enough catchy hooks and generic lyricism that would have been eaten up by general public in the year it was released! In conclusion, maybe my hate is exaggerated, but good Lord this one really tested my soul. From the astonishingly bad lyrics to the poor choices for some productions on some songs...




















































































...this was her ARTPOP.


Edited by Butterfly

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