Thank God for #Beautiful! I was starting to lose faith in Mariah Carey after Triumphant (Get Em) and Almost Home failed to illicit much, if any, of the love I usually feel for an MC release. For some of you who are not so hot on her, not liking two songs might not be a big deal. But for someone like me, who can listen to her back catalogue pretty much straight through, it was more than a little disconcerting to have two strikeouts (in a row, no less) after more than a decade of consistent home runs! It was pushing me to thinking I'd fallen off the Mariah bandwagon completely, but #Beautiful has given me faith a new in Mariah! Phew!
As good as #Beautiful is, it's not perfect. But let's start with the positives. It's great to hear Mariah tackle a new sound, and though still Rnb, like most of her hits, it definitely has a more indie infusion than the Pop or Hip-hop she usually dilutes the genre with. Excitingly, it gives the singer a freshness that she hasn't enjoyed in a long while, making her sound relevant and current. Hopefully it'll help the Diva generate the buzz needed for a hit by appealing to- and surprising- critics and non-fans alike.
Of course Mariah's voice, though more nasal, sounds stunning. Adopting an earthier/rawer timbre, the singer refrains from excess ornamentation for much of the song, adhering to a concise melody that is sensitive to the retro feel and Miguel's vocal style. Sure, she does let loose towards the end of the song, but it's totally called for, and she still manages to sound restrained (by Mariah standards) and sympathetic to the laid back air of the track- this is despite some gloriously quick melisma. Ultimately, it's a slight change in style for Mariah, but it should appeal to the current music listener who - if the success of Adele, Taylor Swift and P!nk is anything to go by- seems to have grown tired of showy vocals.
However, like Triumphant, there is too little Mariah on the song- I mean, she doesn't even sing the first verse! It's also too short, feeling like by the time the Diva does join in, it's already fading out to its end. This was either a really smart move to make us crave more Mariah, thereby building excitement for a follow-up, or they just plain forgot to add the bridge that the song is clearly crying out for! Whatever the case, it's not long enough and I needed MOAR Mariah!!
As it stands, yes the song sure is #Beautiful, it's just not #Perfect.But I'll settle for that right now.