Mariah Carey’s career was once thought to be over with disasters such as Glitter and a mental breakdown. Some thought Carey could never rehash the success of the past; that was disproved with her last studio release Emancipation of Mimi, with hits such as “We Belong Together.” Carey has now released E-MC2 with her hit single “Touch My Body,” on the airwaves.
The Emancipation of Mimi, 2005’s highest-selling LP, put Carey on the map, while E=MC2 pushes her to the next level. Carey has adopted a new persona with more upbeat albums, every track accessible and listenable. Mariah has crafted an album that nearly plays like a greatest hits compilation. Her voice is full of passion, vigor and purpose.
Carey is out to prove that Emancipation of Mimi was not a fluke, and that she is officially reclaiming her throne as the queen of pop and sales. She does not stray away from the hit-making producers and guest artist such as Jermaine Dupri, T-Pain, StarGate, Damian Marley, and Young Jeezy but rather creates more hits with them. The result is a mix of flirty dancehall jams and airy ballads.
The resolute melodies and stimulating ballads share no commonalities, which may discourage those with set expectations, but continuous listening reveals treasures.
With the joyously and sexy “Touch My Body” Mariah has reinstated her position as a true pop genius. Carey now has an overriding sense of being herself rather than the manufactured hit factory of her early years.
Songs like “I’ll Be Loving You Long Time” and “O.O.C” have a wonderful 70’s theme. “O.O.C.” has a more playful riff, while the albums finest hour, “Side Effect” is a winner with a harder and darker edge that works. This is a claustrophobic and emotionally moving ode to Tommy Mottola.
Carey still remains the Mariah we are used to with love ballads such as “Love Story” and “Love Kiss,” which reunites her with producer Jermaine Dupri. E=MC2 does have a few mishaps with the somber “Bye Bye,” which unusually follows the hit single “Touch My Body.”
In usual Carey fashion there is a preachy, gospel hymn “I Wish You Well,” which is just part two of “Fly Like A Bird,” from Emancipation of Mimi. But as a whole E=MC2 keeps to the script and mixes in the perfect balance of love and pop that makes Carey the artist we all love. The final two tracks are the only misfortunes of the album, if those were omitted this album could be a classic Carey.