Thursday, 19 April 2012

[Rant] Mariah Carey And Jermaine Dupri Working Together Again. Yawn!



Am I the only one slightly disheartened by the photos of Mariah Carey back in the studio with Jermaine Dupri? Yes, any new music from the star is a blessing- I’m am literally palpitating at the thought of it- but I feel since the stellar success of We Belong Together,  the pair have been stuck chasing past glories with song after song of similar sounding material:





Love Story

I Stay In Love

In my opinion, Mariah Carey needs a new sound, a new direction, and certainly not another rehash of the mega selling album The Emancipation of Mimi- which I fear is the course we are on . Mariah took a risk with her last secular album, 2009's Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel, and though it didn’t pay off commercially, critically it garnered great reviews.

For those who never heard “Memoirs” I urge you do so. The production was cohesive throughout- if a little flat- due to the Dream's 80's inspired electronic “style", but it showed a different side to Mariah Carey and her voice. Toned down was the "diva" voice and instead Mariah gave some of her most unique, relaxed, unpolished- but most importantly- emotive vocals too date.

A taster:

Opening track Betcha Gon Know (The Prologue) was utterly convincing in its delivery of a woman scorned. As with much of the album, Mariah Carey left the breathy voice on the bench and sang in a direct and fuller tone. It was a revelation for those who said she'd damaged her mid-range.


The attitude of Standing O and It’s a Wrap-which should be noted is one of the few songs Mariah has written entirely on her own of late- is palpable, and displayed an edge often missing in the singers voice.




And for the whistle register lovers, Angels (prelude) had its vocal entirely formulated by the layering of those super high notes to create a magical lullaby.


 "Memoires" flopped- compared to Mariah standards- because it was very niche in its sound, but I beleive it is possible for her to retain the critical acclaim and remain commercial without reverting to type.

Even if Mariah decides she wants to stick to RnB music with this album, she should at least mix it up by working with other producers. We've already heard how this approach can get more from her than when paired with Jermiane Dupri. Just listen to Migrate, Joyride, I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time or I'm That Chick to get a flavour of what I mean.

My dream collaboration would be for Mariah to work with Emile Haynie- responsible for most of Lana Del Rey's album- or the team, bar Ryan Tedder, who worked on Adele's 21. I think they could intelligently navigate Mariah's sound to a maturer middle ground. Effectively helping her continue the artistic growth she started, and stopped, with on Butterfly .

There is some good news about the new, as yet untitled, fourteenth album, though. Its been revealed Mariah Carey will once again be teaming up with Marc Shaiman. She said of the broadway producer, who she worked with on Merry Christmas II You, that he had been her favourite collaborator since Walter Afanseiff ( a man many thought got the best out of Mariah Carey). It's an exciting prospect as the pairing produced some beautiful music together:

Christmas Time Is In The Air Again [it feels so wrong to be listening to this in April]


This wasn't supposed to turn into such a rambling post, but this is what happens when I go on a rant. My point is Mariah needs to grow. If she comes back with the same sexy, schtick she's been peddling for the last decade she is going to flop. People want to see growth and change, especially now that she is a mother, and if they don't they'll probably react in the same way they have to Madonna's new music. Not at all.And we don't want that for Queen Carey.



Thoughts, Devotees.

35 comments:

  1. Ahh DD I get you here, personally I wish she would tag up with Walter again. Unfortunately there is only so much even he would be able to do for her at this point though, especially vocally.

    I have (totally bias to the limit) genuinely enjoyed all of Mimi's releases, even the floppy Glitter and Charmbracelet, but yeh I dont think he really pushes her very far, a lot of the songs she has done with him have been of generic RnB fare that have only been interesting because of the vocal she has delivered.

    I just hope as you say she at least tries to surprise us somehow, I am not saying that she should totally change her sound radically but I think she does need some refreshing musically. I will buy the next record regardless anyway!

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  2. I'll buy anything Mariah does, because her voice is usually the thing that keeps me coming back to her. She is probably my favourite DIva- I Know I shouldn't admit that- and its her who got me interested in the female voice. But I'm thinking more in terms of mainstream success. If she wants that she's going to have to evolve.

    I don't think mainstream buyers are going to buy a 40+ year old woman- yes its wrong to say it but its true- doing what shes been doing for the last decade. She needs to find a new musical fit and that's not with Jermaine, I think.  They had a great run from the "Always be My baby remix" onwards but his stuff is tired. 

    On the topic of  Glitter I was listening to it yesterday and considering making a post on how underrated that album was! WEIRD!! "Lead the way" has one of her best vocals ever.

    And charmbraclet was great too. "Through the Rain" is one of only a handful of Mariah songs which features no background vocals! Its amazing how she creates the build up in that song with her voice alone. I also love "Yours" "The one" and "subtle invitation"

    The only album of Mariah's I'm not too enamoured with is Rainbow. That album sounded rushed. Though I did manage to see her on a tour of that album, so it's not all bad ;)

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  3. Oh how I miss the days with Walter :'(

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  4. I really think she could find something like that again if she just worked with more producers in different fields. Me personally i found their work a little too saccharine in their early days. But they did make this gem :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-t8KimgGY0. They really hit their stride- for me, personally- on Butterfly, which is where Ironically they parted ways after. 

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  5. Ahh you are so right! And yes, Lead The Way is one of the main reasons I adore that album, her voice is truly flawless on that track, I also liked its free abandonment kinda sound and the 80's feel.

    I understand your thoughts on Rainbow too, it felt like it was forced into a sound to be more commercial than it should have been, although I loved Mariahs Theme (that song got me through some s**t lemme tell ya lol).

    I struggle to think about what producers would fit her, but she definately needs a more appropriate fit for where she is now. I am glad she will be working with Marc again though, he brought out glimmers of what she is all about 'being the voice'.

    And ps no, its no way a bad thing to admit, she is by far my fav diva. Nobody can match what she has and is capable of vocally, a mesmerising talent who even to this day puts 99.9% of this generation of singers to shame!

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  6. I think having Emile Haynie behind the wheel of her next album would be a great career move. I do like some of her collaborations with Mr. Dupri but there are times were you have to take some risks and try something new. As long as Mariah has been in the buisness she should know better, that you need to stay fresh. Not grow stagnant trying to recreate the magic of a smash hit. Not saying Mariah has to go diving head first into the thriving dance-pop genre or dubstep fields (XD), but doing something different while maintaining a sense of artistry while showing some growth and maturity wouldn't hurt.

    And I'm not a really big fan of the Walter/Mariah collabs, I agree that they did get a bit saccharine back then. But they did produce some real gems.

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  7. Amen. and Yep, "Mariahs theme" was an inspirational glimmer of sun shine on that album as was the beautiful "rainbow interlude".  . The very telling "Petals" was also a great moment in her career. Much more effective than the way she handled the same themes on "Side effects"

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  8. Agreed, my fav collab (or one of them anyway) of theres would be 'Anytime You Need A Friend', vocally when I first heard that song it was like I had been delivered to auditory heaven! Truly superb, she put all other singers out of the picture at that point...but yeh she needs something to liven up her sound whilst remaining mature and credible (by no means an easy mix)

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  9. Very true, although I do love Side Effects too and again E=MC2! Its a bit unfair as I would really prefer not to run her down lol it merely makes anything I say throwaway itself. I think thats the another thing she excels in - her songwriting (for the most part) she is very talented when it comes to producing songs with a message serious or not (there's got to be a way, right up to touch my body lol)

    I believe that if she is clever and has learnt from the whole flop era she wont allow for that to happen again, maybe at this point JD's involvement is minimal (being optimisitic here) and she will go down a more interesting and fresh avenue.

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  10. Oh GOd yes!  The remix of that song I still sing- terribly to- on a weekly basis.

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  11. Yeah, I think if shes creating music just for the fun of it then she should just do what she wants, work with JD till the cows come home. But if she wants hits and big numbers shes going to have to switch it up.

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  12. Only time will tell . But I am itching for new stuff, and will eat it up whoever she works with!

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  13. My sentiments exactly, btw, what was your fav track on Memoirs? I have to admit to having more than a soft spot for H.A.T.E.U., Languishing and Candy Bling. Although the album as a whole is one of her finest!

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  14. Hahaha, they really did do many a spectacular ballad together....so many to choose from. If I however tried to tackle on I think I would prob get arrested by men in white coats :s

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  15. I don't know all Mariah's songs actually I don't think I know more then 15 but my top three Mariah songs are:

    1-Emotions: one of her most amazing vocal performance and song writing.

    2-If It's Over: her most amazing vocal performance and it's were you can find her solidest belts ever and slightly lacking but still great song writing.

    3-We Belong Together: great song writing, emotive belts and amazing held C5.

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  16. I'm sure that Mariah confirmed somewhere that her new album would be a "Current" take on her original pop debut so Im hoping we get some grade A material that isn't riddled with elements of Elctronica and Hip Hop.

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  17. In my personal opinion Mariah needs to go back to her roots. Meaning heartfelt ballads with catchy pop lead singles. Her albums that focus purely on these two types of songs have always sold well (minus Glitter unless you accumulate the sales as of now). Hip Hop hasn't really worked for her since Emancipation of MiMi. I LOVED Memoirs of an imperfect angel. I didn't understand how it sold so little. If she would release more stuff like Rainbow, Emotions, heck even some Vision of Love her fanbase will come Pouring back in. Of course some would call that "reductive"

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  18. I think thats the problem with going backwards instead of forwards. People will say you're getting desperate. But mariah is a great musician and I'm sure she can bring something new to the table while remaining true to herself.

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  19. I can tell by your selection you love the "Classic Mariah" sounding tracks! I really like "more than just friends". The harmonies on that are so fresh as well is the way she tackles the main melody. 

    Really like "inseparable" too - the little whistle note she jumps into mid-track is so playful. Also like how as the song is ending she jumps  up an octave on the word "Inseparable" . I love when she does stuff like that. She does the opposite in one of my favourite songs of hers "Melt Away" but instead of going up an octave[from the notes at 3.02] she goes down [at 3.30] I always look forward to that part when it comes on my ipod. lol 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnjOBDu7aYk 

    H.A.T.E.U is an awesome song too. Such a tough song to sing live. Goes all over the place . I could talk about Mariah all day...lol

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  20. How do those songs exhibit great song writing? 

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  21. Because they are brilliantly wrote.

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  22. I do indeed, although I do love the newer stuff to such as 'Say Somethin' (which I am sure people will be like huh??) Yep all of the songs you listed I also enjoy!

    Haha about the octave jump, thats one of the reasons that I started to get into her, she was the only singer I had ever heard that could do such inhuman vocal activities, make it sound good and do it with stupedious ease!

    And yes unfortunately I have heard her murder H.A.T.E.U. on many an occasion LOL but I have also heard her sing other songs of hers to a far superior version to that of the official recording!

    Lol I know what you mean, a Mariah convo for me could last an eternity, and this is the only place I can entertain it, my friends think I am loose in the head loving her (the fools lol)

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  23. It's obvious that you think that. I mean how are they brilliantly written? Honestly, I don't know much about songwriting but they seem kinda less than basic to me. I was wondering if you could explain. 

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  24. Not even the power of my love could break through and forgive the travesty that doing an electronic album would have! Although one of my favourite club remixes of hers is...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIKFAfwjT34

    I play this when I am gettin ready to go hit the town, I however don't sing I when I get out, otherwise I might come across all wrong lol

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  25. Hmm...going back to your roots doesn't necessarily mean rehashing old material (like "Judas" or "Dance Again"), so I don't think people would call it "reductive." Then again, it depends on how she does it...

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  26. Memoirs came out in 2009, NOT 2008

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  27.  Glitter sold well, people blew it out of proportion but it was still a platinum selling album.

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  28. I think you need to cut out the word "mini" from the title, HAHA! 

    Better Jermaine Dupri than David Guetta! 

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  29. Will do! You can tell I wrote the title before I wrote the post! lol. 

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  30. I want a daydream/butterfly album i still believe she got what it takes i mean like we all know she still can sing forever from daydream and butterfly from butterfly.her song hate u proves that she still can...

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  31. Nick Cannon said on twitter that Mariah is recreating her 90's sound style, so she can beat up the whole eletric pop trash we hear these days. I guess JD is producing just one or two R&B tracks, just like he did on Daydream album. I Think Mariah will go back to the old style.

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  32. Thats great news! Also, saw Mariah's twitter picture with a set of drums and Randy Jackson- amongst others. so hopefully they'll be live instrumentation on this album too!! 

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  33. To be quite honest, with the new-aged equipment and growth of the creative processes in the studios I'd love to see Mariah work with a majority of older collabs, like Walter Afanasieff, and Babyface, to see what NEW magic they can come up with. And yeah, Jermaine can have a window seat for this project, not saying I dislike him as a producer, he's a HUGE influence on the music industry, but like you said, we like growth, and for some reason, he is still trying to produce music like he did back in 2005, and honestly I think Mariah is with him for the nostalgia. As for Memoirs...I think I disliked that CD because the title put my expectations in a completely different place than what she gave me, so I'm hoping she doesn't give us THAT rehashed. And also, she needs to make legendary music now, not forgettable commercial pop fluff, she's a living legend at this point, and her music should be BIG to accompany her big voice and legacy.

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  34. I agree with a lot of what was said here. Can't wait to here what she serves with this new album.

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