M.C., Willma M. Holla, Billie Frank, Lamb, or whatever you want to call her, Mariah Carey is a name that has long been heard around the world.
Her newest album “Glitter” was released on Sept. 11 in conjunction with her debut movie “Glitter” set in the 1980’s.
The album has an 80’s pop Prince inspired feel to it with such songs as “Didn’t Mean To Turn You On” and “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life.”
Her first single “Loverboy,” included a sample of Cameo’s 1987 classic “Candy.” The actual members of the band, Larry Blackmon and Thomas Jenkins joined Mariah to sing for her “Loverboy” single.
The original version of the song is very fun and upbeat to listen to, but the remix, which features Ludacris and Da Brat, can become very noisy. Mariah can barely be heard and there are way too many people singing all at once.
Other upbeat songs have the 80’s element mixed with a very urban hip-hop sound. Her songs “If We,” “Don’t Stop,” and “Last Night A DJ Saved My Life,” feature singers such as Ja Rule, Nate Dogg, Mystikal, and Busta Rhymes. Most of these songs are enjoyable to listen to, and they make you want to dance and lip synch to them, but how many times can Mystikal say “Shake your a** / Watch yourself / Get on the floor…”
Four of the tracks offer Mariah’s infamous ballads. These are the songs in which a person truly hears Mariah Carey. With barely there audible music playing in the background, sometimes just a piano joined with drumbeats here and there, Mariah sings stories of love, and loss. Relying on her voice instead of the music, she sings softly at first, and then offers a strong 20-second long note to show us what she is capable of. Every once in a while she brings out her high-pitched famous whistle notes and gives the listener an earful.
This album is a first in many ways for Carey. It is her first release with Virgin records, it is her first soundtrack to her first movie, and it is the first time she sounds relaxed. Instead of weak hip hop attempts and loud belting notes, she has strong urban beats and subtler tunes. Perhaps this comes from the fact that she could not wait to leave Columbia to join Virgin, but she is singing from a place where she is much more comfortable now.
With 12 new tracks and a flashback to the 80’s, this Diva is still shining. Although she denies being a Diva, Carey is one nonetheless in every sense of the word.