Mariah Carey’s “The Art Of Letting Go”: Hear Her Wail On The New Ballad

Sam Lansky | November 11, 2013 8:29 am

Okay! Mariah Carey is back with her new single, the long-teased title track from her upcoming LP The Art Of Letting Go, and it’s — well, it’s a ballad! It’s a ballad, and it has lots of words in it — SAT words like “dominion” and “audacity” and then silly words like “trifling” and the hilarious call-to-action “Go to Mimi on your contacts” — and it’s not entirely clear what Mariah is up to here, given that the Darkchild-produced track is slow and snoozy and borderline chorus-free. (The refrain announces itself so gently, you’d almost miss it.) Certainly it’s hook-bereft — there’s nothing to sing along to.

Mariah’s much-discussed fondness for polysyllabism aside, “Letting Go” is still heavy-handed and dreary. There’s a reason the best songs are often the simplest, and it’s because lyrics like, “Letting go is just exceedingly hurtful” don’t pack much of an emotional punch. Her vocals, as ever, sound great, but this type of slow-burning torch ballad feels old-fashioned and, frankly, irrelevant — a disappointing departure from the spare, lovely vibe of “#Beautiful.”

We deserve better, and so does Mariah. Listen below.

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