Lost Hit: Mariah Carey’s “Standing O” Should Have Been A Single
Mariah Carey’s entire Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel album deserved more, but one song was particularly slept-on. And that’s “Standing O.” When it comes to breakup anthems, Mimi’s pen is sharper than a razor blade (“Thanx 4 Nothin,'” “GTFO” and “You Had Your Chance”). However, she’s rarely as vulnerable about being lied to and used as she is on this gem. “And your words they had no meaning, how didn’t I foresee this?” the living legend sings forlornly. “Happiness and congrats and all that, I’ll pretend I mean it.”
That takes us to the refreshingly bitter and sarcastic chorus. “So cheers, toast, bravo to you,” Mariah laments over The-Dream and Tricky Stewart’s polished production. “‘Cause you’re the man of the hour, I’mma have to send you some flowers.” But hold on, she isn’t done with her final send-off just yet. “Cheers, toast, bravo to you, the man of the hour,” Mimi mocks. “You played the one that loved you the most, so here’s your standing O.” All in all, this is the ultimate breakup mood for anyone who has been played by a clown.
After the success of “Obsessed,” Island Records opted for Mariah’s cover of Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love Is” as the second single from Memoirs. As lovely as her version is, it gave a warped impression of the album’s R&B/hip-hop sound and ultimately torpedoed the whole project. It’s a shame because songs like “Standing O” and (third single) “H.A.T.E.U.” would have ticked the ballad box, while staying true to the album’s overall aesthetic. Revisit one of Mimi’s best album cuts below.