Thursday 29 September 2016

Mariah Carey Sounds Great on Empire-featured "Infamous"

Strictly speaking, this is actually a duet. Taken from Mariah Carey's stint on hit show Empire, the Jermaine Dupri and Bryan Michael Cox produced cut also features Jussie Smollett. Full disclosure, never seen the show but this dude sure does sound like Usher.

Vocally, Mariah's midrange is where this ballad keeps it locked, and it sounds good! Staying away from the breathy, "whisper" register, Infamous sees the Diva FINALLY giving us clear and direct vocals. Don't get me wrong, I love the airy voice when filling out a harmony or used sparingly to add texture to the vocal line. But more often than not, it's unnecessary, distracting and gives the false impression the voice is more damaged than it is.

Truthfully, I actually like Mariah in this gear. Not only is she using- what is most likely- the most consistent parts of her range, but she's doing so in an unfussy way. And that's what she should focus on with the next LP if she wants hits, baby! People (not us) don't want showy vocals any more. They want vocal lines they can at least believe they can sing with lyrics they can understand and relate to. All things fussy and showy vocals detract from this.

Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse saw Mimi pushing the vocal envelope to new heights. Maybe it's now time to show us what a restrained Mariah is capable of. I bet my bottom dollar not focusing so hard on melisma and hitting every key on the piano would give her brain the processing power to effectively channel more emotion into her delivery.

The last frontier for a singer oft lauded as a technician, but not an emoter.

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