This is the third of my unofficial series of "April Music Queens" and for me this is the weakest of the three. Now I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of Mariah in the world,but I can appreciate her contributions to the music scene and there's no denying that singing wise she could pretty blow any competition she has out of the water.But with E=MC2, I also have to admit that I was expecting something different from her mega comeback smash Emancipation of Mimi,and it seems that instead of moving forward and trying something new sonically,she took the formula(perhaps that's the reason she named this album what she did, eh?)of Mimi,added some new producers(StarGate and Nate"Danja"Hills)and was satisfied with repeating her success,which in my opinion is not the sign of a maturing artist.
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1. Migrate(feat. T-Pain):Does T-Pain have to be on everything? And is there any more overexposed artist out on the music scene right now? Now with those questions out in the open(and still waiting to be answered),Migrate is actually one of the highlights of the album. Starting with Mariah's opera like opening notes to the dark and subtle baseline, this is definently the club jam of E=MC2.....GRADE:A-
2. Touch My Body: is a perfect example of what Mariah can do as a songwriter. No one can accuse her lyrics of being complex or that deep,but she has that certain pop sensibility to craft a sure pop/R&B radio friendly hit and Touch My Body is one of her best....plus I love the fact that she actually dared to be frankly sexual with her lyrics(i.e.you know you like my curves...come on and give me what I deserve)something she had never really attempted before......GRADE:A+
3. Cruise Control(feat. Damien Marley):Including Bob Marley's son on this track could be seen as an act of desperation on Mariah's part to gain a new audience, but to me it's a stroke of calculated genious. With the reggae tinged background and MC's own carribean influenced flow is amusing and infectious at the same time,but my only beef with the song is that she felt that she had to go down the Fergie route with the spelling of "Cruise Control",which that gimmick has been done to death...GRADE:A-
4. I Stay In Love: is the first ballad on E=NC2 that Mariah is known for and to me it's strangely subdued. I was expecting something on the lines of "We Belong Together" and "Don't Forget About Us" and instead I'm plesantly surprised with this gem of a song about how Mariah can't let go even when she already knows that her ex is done and gone...the lyrics could be the afterthought to "Don't Forget About Us"....GRADE:A-
5. Side Effects(feat. Young Jeezy):is the first point where E=MC2 starts to lose it's way. Lyrically, it's about ten years too late to have any real impact, with it's not too subtle references to Tommy Mottola and their doomed marriage. If anything, it would have fit better on "Emancipation" than on here and musically the song sounds old too and Jeezy' distinctive growl like flow(which I rather like most of the time)is neither here nor there.....GRADE:B-
6. I'm That Chick: is a near perfect "going to the disco" song if Mariah had been recording in the later 70's early 80's. The Michael Jackson "Off The Wall" sample is cute and catchy and I especially adore the way Mariah held back on her vocals and left her singing to fit the theme of the song.....GRADE:A-
7. Love Story: tries way too hard to be a cutsy "boy meets girl" song. We get it Mariah...you're eternally twelve...but do you have to record songs to get that point across too? ........GRADE:C
8. I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time: uses the old worn out "Stay With Me" sample by DeBarge that both the Notorious B.I.G and Ashanti used to greater effect and to me Mariah's vocals sound very weird and strained in this song, not to mention the atrocious song title as well(what for five dollars?)....GRADE:D
9. Last Kiss: is so dull and boring that I almost fell asleep while I reviewed this song.....Mariah had a real chance to let loose with her legendary five octave voice and she settled for mediocrity with cookie cutter lyrics, and an uninspired background....most def the worst song on the album.....GRADE:F
10. Thanx 4 Nothin': is the third of three really bad songs that sounds like the outtakes of the "Emanicipation" sessions. Once again JD "provides" MC with a dull soundtrack for her to use for her fill in the blank lyrics bought wholesale at the "R&B Cliches Buy and Bag".....GRADE:D-
11. O.O.C: thankfully the album picks up back with this sassy, totally danceable jam about not being able to resist your ex(what else? this is Mariah after all)but Swizz Beats does a great job letting Mariah ride the baseline and the lyrics are easy to sing to....one of my favorites for sure.....GRADE:A
12. For The Record: Has anyone else noticed the opening note to the song are the same opening notes that Mariah used for her M By Mariah Carey fragrance commerical...talk about self promotion, but whatever....that song way better than it has a right to be and I love how in the album liner she point out how she uses her previous hits in the third verse.....too clever Ms.Carey.......GRADE:B+
13. Bye Bye: in my opinion was the wrong choice for the second video(I'm That Chick anyone?)but nevertheless it's a fantastic song because of Mariah's ability to convey simple emotions through simple lyrics....it's like One Sweet Day 2008 except way, way better.....GRADE:A+
14. I Wish You Well: is her prerequisite gospel song and it's not too much different from "My Saving Grace"(from Charmbracelet)and "Fly Like A Bird"(from Emancipation of Mimi). Gospel isn't my thing, so I can't comment too much except that the genre fits Mariah's voice like a glove.....GRADE:B
Now before all the Mariah fans out there read this and get the wrong impression, I do like Mariah to some degree and think she is super talented, but the reason I was so harsh on E=MC2 is because I know she can do so much better than this. She proved her doubters wrong with "The Emancipation of Mimi" so while I may not be a full fledged lamb, but I do appreciate Mariah for the extrodinary talent that she is.
Best Tracks(From 5 to 1):
3.I Stay In Love
2. I'm That Chick
1. Touch My Body
Worst Tracks(From 1 to 5)
2.I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time
3.Thanx For Nothin'