Mariah Carey has spent 25 years on top of the charts, thrilling music listeners with her multi-octave range and pop classics.
Someone should reiterate this to Mariah, particularly the 25 years bit.
At the tailend of the week, the diva announced details for her long-awaited 14th studio album (once again, numbers are important here). It’s been a rocky road to its release; after the relative success of her duet with Miguel “Beautiful”, she famously broke her wrist and failed to land smash hits with “The Art of Letting Go” and “You’re Mine (Eternal)”. Honestly, as big of a fan as I am, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the album was shelved indefinitely.
Alas, she announced the title of the album, available on May 27th and for pre-order now.
The title? Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse.
Yes, that is indeed the album title.
At first I thought it was an internet joke. It has all the makings of one: three titles in one, each one more obnoxious than the next. Unfortunately, it wasn’t some excessive trolling. Mariah, one of the most iconic artists of the last quarter century, seriously named her album that. What made the whole thing even more horrifying was the video that accompanied the announcement, where she insisted that the title was inspired by a self-portrait from when she was three years old and asked for people not to judge her.
Sorry Mimi, I am judging you, big time.
Can someone please remind Mariah that she is not, in her own words, “eternally twelve”? She’s not even 22, an age when behavior like this officially becomes old. She is a beautiful woman in her early forties with two children, a husband (who is making enough of an ass of himself for the two of them) and a storied career that has made her virtually untouchable. Why would she cheapen herself and her legacy by releasing one of the most unintentionally hilarious album titles in history and acting like a mindless cheerleader? It would be mildly excusable (mildly) if she was still releasing material as brilliant as “Vision of Love” or “Honey” or even “We Belong Together”, but her output has been tepid at best. Her new album doesn’t seem to be offering anything better, with song titles like “Thirsty” and “Faded”. To make matters even more dire, she’s managed by Jermaine Dupri, the man partially responsible for the downfall of another pop titan, Janet Jackson.
But it really all comes down to image, especially for the pop diva landscape, and Mariah’s is plain awful. She is simply too important to pop music to be running around waving a doodle she made nearly four decades ago. She is also too talented to be releasing songs firmly entrenched in the most base of an era she doesn’t even really belong to. It’s one thing to be current; it’s another thing to be desperate for relevancy.
I am a huge fan of Mariah Carey, which is why it pains me to be criticizing her so harshly. That said, it doesn’t pain me at all to say this to one of the Queens of Pop.