Mi Me Mi Me Mi Me Miiii…
Mariah Carey is one of the few musicians able to drop their last name, and on The Emancipation of Mimi she demonstrates why she has earned that diva rank.Not every song on the album is a winner. Actually Emancipation is about twice as long as it should have been. But Mariah delivers her particular brand of pop R&B with a mellowed confidence that suits her well. And when paired with collaborators such as Snoop, Jermaine Dupri and Nelly, the funky beats compliment her lighthearted style for some excellent pre-party tunes.
The disc never gets serious enough for actual party play, but the getting ready stage of any night will benefit from “It’s Like That” as well as “Say Somethin'” – as long as listeners don’t mind hitting the skip button frequently. The ballads tend to drag the album down, except for “We Belong Together,” which manages to be sad without being slow. “When you left I lost a part of me/It’s still so hard to believe/Come back baby please/Cause we belong together.”
Long a standard for her, Mariah actually shines more on the sexy but not oversexed dance tracks. And that’s an important distinction. The Emancipation of Mimi seems to be a return to class, as Mariah asks for attention via her commanding voice.
The exclusive class of divas Ms. Carey belongs to just won’t fade away, and they receive adoration in return. That seems a bit too much for her latest effort, but Mariah fans will be pleased. Maybe not the fans from the pigtails and plaid stage in Mariah’s career, but they learned to live with disappointment long ago.