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Released: 26th May 2014.

Mariah Carey - Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive ChanteuseIt's been a long road to Mariah Carey's fourteenth studio album - her first non-Christmas studio release since 2009's 'Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel'.

This time around Carey offers a surprisingly pleasant album that even non-Carey fans can listen to with ease. Of course there are the usual crop of ballads such as "Cry.", "Camouflage" and a cover of George Michael's "One More Try", but where this album really shines is in its mid- and uptempo songs with Carey offering full throwback diva-esque tracks, something that she hasn't given us in years. Her renowned 5-octave range is also heard here, admittedly not what it once was, but on this album in particular you hear it in its purest form as Carey gives an album that is full of honesty and confidence - something that's hard to find in her previous work. A solid effort overall and definitely worth the wait.

* * * * (SG1401)

Mariah Carey - Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive ChanteuseFor its lengthy title and overindulgent track listing, 'Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse' falls short of delivering anything worth listening to. The album fails to replicate the effortless brilliance found in past MC records such as 'E=MC²' and 'The Emancipation of Mimi'.

A lot of the album epitomises laziness, as a theme of 'I really can't be bothered' transcends through the album. Lowlights include "Cry", "Meteorite", and "Dedicated". You'll have to look to previous singles "#Beautiful" (featuring Miguel) or "The Art of Letting Go" to find a track with real replay value. Finally, "Faded" answers the elusive question: can Mike WiLL make a dismal track? The answer is a resounding yes.

"You Don't Know What to Do" is about as good as it gets, which, quite unfortunately, speaks volumes of the overall quality.

* * (kushi)

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