Track-By-Track Album Reviews

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Postby Brad » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:21 pm

Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse
It may not have been a surprise release album, but Mariah did surprise with the quality of this album. It's her best work in years and you have to give her credit for that. It's not perfect but it's good and that's what matters.

Mariah starts the album with a mistake by having this as the opening track. An average ballad lasts for almost five minutes without leaving an impression. It would have fared better by turning up later, towards the end of the album. The layering of airy whispers singing, "Cry" does not sound pleasant, but that is one of the few flaws here. Although it isn't her best work with James Wright, it's still listenable and by no means a bad song. One of its strengths is the cracks in her voice towards the end. They highlight her vocal decline over the years, but they also add to the feeling behind her words at the same time, proving it isn't necessarily a disadvantage. 6

When I first heard this, I wasn’t impressed but it managed to grow on me within a few days. I could do without the producer tag at the beginning as it always cheapens a song. The first half of the song is largely uninteresting and sounds like typical filler included on every album since Charmbracelet but the last half makes up for it with a line that sticks in the mind like an adhesive. “You’re always somewhere but you’re not there for me” could well be the most memorable line of the entire album especially when the “me” is repeated at the very end. She finally managed to repeat that We Belong Together formula of belting it all out somewhere in the last minute with some success. Let’s forget the failures to do so, which plagued her previous two studio albums. All is forgiven. 7.5

I’m surprised it took her this long to sample that line from Da Mystery Of Chessboxin', but she did it and it fits perfectly. The album finally takes an interesting turn with this ‘nostalgic’ tribute to hip-hop. It’s one of the highlights of the album and not even Jermaine Dupri can bring it down with is insufferable voice. It manages to sound fresh while being old school at the same time and Mariah sounds right at home. This is her real comfort zone and I would not be sad to hear her stay there if she releases a future follow up to this album. 8.5

Miguel brings that guitar and breathes life into her discography. This is a perfect song for summer and it hasn’t aged a bit since it was released. There’s nothing else to say that hasn’t already been said in praise of this song. 10

That sh*t cray? No, not quite. This is a weak ugly sister without much going for it. I like some of the lyrics but there’s no denying that it sounds messy and all over the place. 4

Make It Look Good
Stevie Wonder’s harmonica and backing vocals add to a brilliant song and I can only be glad she didn’t decide to make it a duet. (His voice is not what it was when it cemented his status as a legend, as Céline Dion must have learnt from her own headache-inducing duet with him.) This track is a ride from start to finish, from low notes to high notes, and the smooth to speedy delivery of lines. 9

You're Mine (Eternal)
Low expectations for the album were justified from this. While it’s not bad, it’s not great either. The beat sounds completely out of place and it suffers from overproduction in general, much like Love Story from E=MC2. To give it some credit, the “I can’t give you up, you’re mine” line is somewhat catchy and I’ve had it repeating in my head after listening to the album a few times. 4.5

You Don't Know What To Do
This is an album highlight right here. Where has disco diva Mariah been hiding? She nails it. A song by Mariah Carey hasn’t been this much fun to listen to for years. My only problems with this are that we don’t get to hear her sing that outro for a few seconds more and we have Wale drawling all over the intro. Who needs Wale anyway? 9.5

There’s a decent song here but the creepy baby giggle that cuts in throughout distracts from it. I know it’s meant to be cute but it’s not. If only she had just kept it to the whole moment at the end of the song. I’m not sure where the beat can be going on a ballad either. It’s all very strange and interrupts the flow of the album. As with the opening track, this one should be somewhere else. 5.5

We have another album highlight. The simple-yet-driving production, the pitch-perfect delivery, and the lyrics make this a clear standout. This sounds unlike anything else she has ever released on an album other than The Remixes compilation. Since the album was released, I’ve listened to this track more times than the rest. 10

I can’t keep up with the layers in many parts of this song and the fade out on the last line bugs me. If you’re going to sing so much at the same time, at least finish the line you’re singing at the end of it all. This is not her best work with James Wright either. I expected much more from the two tracks they did together and both disappointed. I understand that this is meant to be a personal song but its lyrics, in the lines it’s possible to make out, sound cliché. 5

Money ($ * / ...)
“I can’t leave it like that.” Good, I should think not. The album is unexpectedly brought back to life here. Rhyming “holidays” with “hollandaise” is only something Mariah Carey could get away with. I didn’t like it when I first heard it but it only took a second listen to grow on me. The sped up brass sample from Alabeke mixed with Rapper Dapper Snapper is a stroke of genius. I’m glad “$ * / ...” actually stands for something. It can be forgiven in a way the infamous # cannot. 8

One More Try
The original version by George Michael is not something I’ve listened to many times but it’s easily remembered. After hearing this version, I also checked out Beverly Knight’s cover and Mariah should have taken notes from that to perfect this. I’d love to know the story behind why she chose this particular song to cover. I was worried she would fail to capture the longing sound of the original but she didn’t. It’s a great cover. 7

Heavenly (No Ways Tired/Can't Give Up Now)
The sermon excerpt annoys me on so many levels. I’ll not rant about it but being still and expecting a fictional character to fight your battles for you is going to get you nowhere in life. Moving on, the Can’t Give Up Now part of the song is decent, but you have a man repeating “heavenly” repeatedly to the point where you want to jump into the track and gag him before it suddenly jumps to the No Ways Tired section. It sounds disjointed and could’ve done with more development in the time they wasted overproducing You’re Mine (Eternal) perhaps. 6

The Art Of Letting Go
The album could have opened with this song; it would have flowed into the track we’re stuck with as the opener perfectly. If Mariah wanted one moment on the album where her voice had a time to shine, this would be it. The last half of the song is some of the best work on the album and it’s a shame it only became a bonus track, it truly is. As for the two bonus tracks preceding this, I went to them and pressed delete. 9.5

America The Beautiful
I’m not sure whether it’s a nod to the beginning of her career when she sang it live back in 1990 or whether she genuinely wanted to share some pride in where she comes from. She does a great job with her take on it either way. 7


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
Disappointing after the first two soundtracks.
  1. Stromae - Meltdown 4.5
  2. CHVRCHES - Dead Air 6
  3. Tove Lo - Scream My Name 5
  4. Charli XCX - Kingdom 6
  5. Major Lazer - All My Love 2
  6. Raury - Lost Souls 5.5
  7. Lorde - Yellow Flicker Beat 7
  8. Tinashe - The Leap 2
  9. Bat For Lashes - Plan The Escape 5
  10. Grace Jones - Original Beast 8
  11. Lorde - Flicker (Kanye West Rework) 6
  12. XOV - Animal 4.5
  13. The Chemical Brothers - This Is Not A Game 1.5
  14. Lorde - Ladder Song 6

This is their most consistent-sounding album to date.
  1. Steal My Girl 4.5
  2. Ready To Run 8
  3. Where Do Broken Hearts Go 9
  4. 18 6
  5. Girl Almighty 6
  6. Fool's Gold 7
  7. Night Changes 7
  8. No Control 9.5
  9. Fireproof 10
  10. Spaces 8
  11. Stockholm Syndrome 8
  12. Clouds 7
  13. Change Your Ticket 6.5
  14. Illusion 5.5
  15. Once In A Lifetime 9
  16. Act My Age 7.5

The Pinkprint
A strange mix of tracks, but not too bad. I was expecting something better after the first three tracks.
  1. All Things Go 7.5
  2. I Lied 7
  3. The Crying Game 7.5
  4. Get On Your Knees 3
  5. Feeling Myself 4
  6. Only 2
  7. Want Some More 2.5
  8. Four Door Aventador 7
  9. Favorite 5
  10. Buy A Heart 5
  11. Trini Dem Girls 5
  12. Anaconda 6.5
  13. The Night Is Still Young 4.5
  14. Pills N Potions 6.5
  15. Bed Of Lies 8
  16. Grand Piano 7
  17. Big Daddy 3
  18. Shangai 4
  19. Win Again 7
  20. Mona Lisa 3.5
  21. Put You In A Room 4
  22. Truffle Butter 6
  23. Wamables 5.5
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Postby DarrylSog » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:09 pm

Good article
wish to
publish it on your online .
You agree?

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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014

Postby DarrylSog » Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:11 pm

Interesting post
wish to
post online .
You agree?

Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014

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