Mariah Carey’s ‘Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse’: Review Revue

Rachel Sonis | May 27, 2014 9:12 am

Five years after the release of her last album, Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel, pop queen Mariah Carey has returned with new LP. And ever since the superstar revealed her album’s slightly oddball title, the emergence of Me. I am Mariah… the Elusive Chanteuse has been accompanied by just a slight sense of… huh? Straying away from her usual synthy, sparkly numbers, Mimi is trying out a more laidback R&B approach this time around, which fans are finding either pleasantly surprising or a bit baffling.

Our own Mike Wass helps weather some of the confusion, explaining, “It’s a concept album of sorts, a loving stroll through the history of R&B — from the Motown era to the ‘90s, with detours through disco and early hip-hop… There’s little instant gratification but, if you’re patient, the songs become richer and deeper with each listen.”

But, what does the rest of the Web have to say about it? Check it out below.

:: The Daily Beast felt a little underwhelmed by the album, stating “The beginning echoes the starts of those sultry Carey torch songs of the old days, but it’s just foreplay that doesn’t go anywhere. Those orgasmic key changes that defined Carey’s classic ballads, the soft belting that builds and builds until there’s nothing left for Carey to do but wail in vocal ecstasy, they’re nowhere to be found.”

:: The Boston Globe agrees with the Daily Beast, noting that “what is unfortunately not elusive on the album are a clutch of interchangeable slow-to-midtempo tunes long on pulsating atmosphere — several with distractingly fidgety rhythmic tracks — but short on melody or verve.”

:: New York Daily News, on the other hand, gave the disc a 4/5, raving, “Contrary to its title, the new album may be Carey’s least elusive work. Rarely has she made her talent more clear.”

:: Newsdaygave the album an “A-,” simply stating, “Once again, Mariah proves she thrives on drama.”

:: Digital Spy gives the album 3.5 stars. “Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse is a finely-poised balance between the two; touching moments of personal insight mixed with peaks of glittering over-the-top pop.”

:: Billboard thinks that Mimi is staying a bit on the safe side with this LP: “The usual, more or less. Musically, it’s her typical mix of pop-classicist balladry and hip-hop-tinged summer jamming, and if Carey doesn’t exactly go strutting into new territory, it’s because she knows most people like her right where she is.”

:: The Los Angeles Times agrees with Billboard: “No one doubts Carey’s ability as a belter, but now she’s cut a perfectly modest, sonically contemporary album without any need to show off her glass-shattering range.”

Enough of these guys — what are your own thoughts on Mimi’s latest record? Let us know below!

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.