I think I'm finally ready to rate the songs and the album (after 13 album spins).
01. GTFO Bulldozed my heart as if you planned it
A more than good opener. I only wish it had a bit of an intro, not much though - maybe 5 seconds of an easier start to the song just not to start off the album a bit abruptly like it does. Overall it's a nice smooth, slick R'n'B song that represents the "sound" of the album.
02. With You And we all make mistakes sometimes but we muddle through
For me this is the type of song I associate with Mariah Carey. One of those tunes that she could make while sleepwalking. It's not bad, but part of the reason I never got into Mariah was because songs like these just don't do it for me. I do respect a slight vocal restraint she's showing here as it makes the song a bit easier to listen for me. But definitely far from the album highlight and such a misleading song to pick for the first single. I also find it's such a missed opportunity not to reference or make a spiritual sequel to Without You.
03. Caution If you wanna be more to me, you must proceed with caution
Caution wasn't a song that was an immediate favorite for me, but it did click with me after a couple of spins. I still don't find it to be among the strongest cuts of the album, but it's a good song that works well as an album (title) song.
04. A No No Off with your head, now slither out the door
I did like this one when it came out as a promo single, but it kind of doesn't work for me that well as an album track. I blame it on those high-hat sounding beats that sound out of place compared to the rest of the songs on the album. If those were a bit muddled and not that much in front it would be better IMHO - at least for the album flow as this one really kind of breaks it for me.
05. The Distance But the hate only made us get closer and closer
I don't think it gets much better than this for R'n'B in 2018. Great song from start to finish. Should've been the first single as it's a great representation of the "sound" of the album, it's very pop and radio-friendly and effortlessly cool sounding.
06. Giving Me Life Oh, my philosophy doesn't quite apply to you and me
Easily the album standout for me from the very first spin to every one that followed. This song is just in another league compared to rest of the songs. Amazing. And I just might check out Mariah's discography to search for another gem like this.
07. One Mo' Gen Addicted to you, come support my habit
This is another one that got better and solidified itself as a good track after multiple listens. Although I do feel like the song came from just wanting to use the title phrase because "yeah yeah yeah yeah one mo' gen" isn't exactly inspired writing - but it ended up being good, so it really doesn't matter I guess.
08. 8th Grade I'm that security when you're insecure
Not too crazy about this one. It's OK. It fits with the album sound, but I can't seem to find anything about this one that would separate it from the other tracks and give it something unique.
09. Stay Long Love You Do you mind if I try?
This one ended up as a sneak attack bop for me. I don't believe I even remotely payed attention to it in the first few listens, but it grew on me immensely and it's one of my favorite tracks now. It's probably the most fun track (along with The Distance) on the album and I'd love to see it get a single treatment.
10. Portrait Look the other way as I bottle myself up inside
I'm baffled by how much support this track is getting. It's easily the worst track on the album for me. I appreciate the nice lyrics, but as a song this is just cringey and bad and a terrible album closer. The only complete whimper on an otherwise strong album.
Album songs average: 7.7/10
Overall it's a strong cohesive album, with only odd songs being With You and Portrait (and A No No being slightly off for me due to production that partly doesn't follow the same setup as the remaining 7 songs).
Album overall impression: 8/10