There’s much to like about the new Mariah Carey single “#Beautiful” — the hashtag in the title being, in fact, the least dignified thing about it. First off, the track features Miguel, hip R&B cat and maker of objectively great music; second of all, Mariah’s vocals are on point; and third of all, well, it’s just completely beautiful — pun intended, obviously, but also that just seems like the right word to use, doesn’t it? There’s a little throwback flavor but in a repurposed way that feels completely modern, as a twangy guitar loop and a kicking backbeat provide a frame for their layered tones: Somewhat surprisingly, Miguel takes the lead on the front end of the song, while Mariah’s voice is sweet, then powerful.
“#Beautiful” (ugh, I can’t believe that for the rest of history people are going to have to type out a hashtag when talking about a song this good) isn’t a big pop stormer; it might be better than that. And if it feels like more of a whimper than a bang to fans gunning for another “Obsessed,” “#Beautiful” it’s still an airily gorgeous whimper, and its sweetness is its greatest asset.
Mariah Carey & Miguel — “#Beautiful”