Every time Mariah pries open her Botox-lined mouth to speak, a part of my soul dies. There's something about the way she delivers her words that disturbs me. After watching interviews with this woman, I left myself wondering if Mariah Carey had anything relevant to say that wasn't about how her body looked or how her new album was the hottest thing since the dawn of freaking time. After all the hype of the Mariah/Madonna album battle between Hard Candy and Ms. Carey's latest E=MC2, I had to check this album out. I've never been a true fan of Mariah's, mostly due to the abundance of sappy ballads that just aren't my style, but occasionally she's had some cool dance tracks like Honey and Someday that peak my interest. My expectation for the follow up to 2005's The Emancipation of Mimi was such that I would hopefully find a superficial pop album that, though devoid of any musical merit, would be a non-stop party that I could turn on to dance to.
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What I got, though, was a catastrophe of boring, generic hip hop tracks that came directly from the Whitney Houston left-overs bin. Everything that I hate about music today came in form of Mariah Carey's 2008 Mimi-after thought. Just about every beat on this record has been recycled from Kelly Rowland, Timbaland, Flo-Rida, Keyshia Cole, Michelle Williams, Beyonce, etc. etc. etc. And for an artist who has been on the market for such a long time, it's tragic how shoddy this material is. After decades in the business, you think Mariah would be a little more intelligent.
Out of the 14 tracks that make up E=MC2, I can't pick too many that I can get into. One of the few songs that I can, however, enjoy, is the album opener Migrate, which falls into the same category as Vanessa Hudgens's Sneakernight, meaning that it's 100% misleading. This album starts off with the ultimate statement that, in case you forgot, you are listening to a Mariah Carey album: a high-pitched wail that slightly mocks her crazy vocal range before thumping into the perfect low-riding, bass-heavy beat to blast from your car down the main drag. When I first sought this album out, this was what I expected. This was the kind of cool dance music that I was so hoping for. Very much hip hop heavy, it reminds me a little bit of Janet Jackson; this means that it's gonna make you groove. Now if we could get T-Pain's cameo erased from the middle of this track, I could give it 5 stars!
Unfortunately, there isn't a single song on this album that I enjoy as much as I enjoy Migrate. I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time comes pretty close, though. Disregard the song's porn-ish title and you'll find a really catchy mellow track in the same vain as her earlier work. The song does a great job of showcases silky-smooth voice, but compacting it into a cute, short, 3-minute pop song. It's one of the few songs on this record that doesn't have a typical hip hop sound, but rather it takes the mid-1990s style and updates it for 2008. So, kudos to the producers, since I'm sure Mariah had little to do with that.
Where do I begin? This album is an absolute track wreck. 90% of the songs sound the same: drippy, slow, stupid, cheap, generic hip hop songs that could have come from any wannabe rnb singer. Last Kiss is a prime example of the tragedy to my ears that I speak off. It starts off with a cheezy cameo before lazily bringing Mariah's droning vocals into the picture. For those of who read my scathing review of Keri Hilson's In a Perfect World, I must say that I feel like I'm listening to that album all over again. How many times can one artist use a handclap sample mixed with a really, really slow drum machine beat on repeat? Well, a lot of freaking times, I'll tell you that right now: most of the songs on E=MC2 start with this typical "production" that could have been done in your bedroom with your outdated laptop in about five minutes.
There's a way to create good pop music. You take a bunch of fun beats and mix them together so that they interestingly compliment each other. Then you add just the right amount of bass (unless we're in 1985). Mariah, however, took a different right. Rather that use the formula that kept her dance music hot over the past decades, she chose to try all too hard to get into a youth culture market. Go to any bus in the United States and wait for any girl age 12 and up to get on. Then wait for her phone to ring. You will hear an obnoxiously loud ringtone that sounds like anything from this album-- though I'm sure the production values are 1,000 times better there than on Mariah's so called masterpiece, that's "chock full of hits."
There's nothing here that Mary J. Blige didn't do a million times better with a million times more passion and soul back in 2001. If you're looking for a scorching hot dance album, don't look here. If you're looking for a mellow album filled with classic ballads, don't look here. If you're looking for crappy generic teeny-bopper type of crap, then here you go: Mariah Carey's E=MC2, fit only for those who hang outside Baby Phat at the mall.
Migrate (4.5 Stars)
Touch My Body (2 Stars)
Cruise Control (1 Star)
I Stay in Love (1 Star)
Side Effects (1 Star)
I'm That Chick (2 Stars)
Love Story (1 Star)
I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time (4 Stars)
Last Kiss (1 Star)
Thanx 4 Nothin' (1 Star)
O.O.C. (3 Stars)
For the Record (1 Star)
Bye Bye (1 Star)
I Wish You Well (1.5 Stars)
OVERALL SCORE: 2 STARS (1.7+)
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