NEW MARIAH CAREY!!! ARGGHH, ALMOST HOME IS HERE!! (That's an exclamation of excitement, not pain. Just saying!)
Taken from the soundtrack to the film Oz the Great and Powerful, the Stargate produced track maintains Disney's vanilla sound, but sorta contemporises it with the use of synths and urban drum patterns. The effect is that Almost Home sounds like Mariah vocally, but doesn't quite ring true, musically. Perhaps something not so surprising considering the different requirements and pressures recording for a motion picture must bring.
So how 's Mariah's voice doing on the track? The vocals sound strong-if a little thin on the top belts- and it's great to hear the Diva's midrange getting an airing on the verses. But what really caught my attention, and impressed, was the varied tempo and improved intricacy of the melisma she employs here. It's a styling we haven't heard from Mariah before, and the very fact she's trying new things- with her voice- at this stage in her career, makes her next album even more of an exciting prospect.
I need to give Almost Home a few more listens before I really make up my mind. I don't hate it, like I did Triumphant, and I haven't fallen in love with it straightaway like Bring It On Home. It sort of fits in with my feelings on all Disney songs: I love the musical numbers which appear in their films, but the tracks released by major artists to promote those films don't ever seem to float my boat in the same way.
Simply put, Almost Home is good but I don't think it'll be in heavy-or even light- rotation on my MP3 player any time soon.