Def Jam CEO Steve Bartels Explains The Poor Performance Of Mariah Carey’s ‘Elusive Chanteuse’ LP
The poor performance of Mariah Carey‘s Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse album is one of 2014’s greatest mysteries. It’s arguably her best album since The Emancipation Of Mimi — a view supported by an avalanche of excellent reviews. So why didn’t it sell? Def Jam’s new CEO Steve Bartels was asked just that in a recent interview with Billboard and his answer is pretty simple.
“Sometimes an artist — and in the case of Mariah, an artist I’ve worked with for 10 years — makes an amazing album that just doesn’t connect with the audience,” the respected music exec explained. “Of course that is very disappointing, but it would be impossible to pinpoint that down to just one thing.” He then sang the iconic diva’s praises, saying: “I’ve enjoyed incredible success with Mariah and many of those hit songs and albums have made Billboard history. But this latest effort just didn’t go all the way.”
While that explanation certainly rings true, there were other factors at play. The continually-changing release date, botched surprise rollout, unflattering cover, confusing title, lack of a radio hit and bizarre promotion that found Mariah riding the subway around New York City certainly didn’t help. It’s also disappointing that we never got videos for potential hits “Thirsty” or “You Don’t Know What To Do”. Let’s hope everything falls into place next time because I really miss hearing Mimi on the radio.
Do you agree with Mr. Bartels’ assessment? Let us know in the comments below.
Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.