I was recently given Mariah Carey’s new album “E=MC2” as a gift. I won’t deny that I could not wait to get the album and anticipated great things from the cleverly titled album that was released in April.
This is Carey’s 11th album to date, but after listening to it, I must say it was a bit disappointing and a little surprising at the same time.
The album is surprisingly predictable in the fact that many of the ballads reflect those of her previous album released in 2005, “The Emancipation of Mimi.”
Who could forget the up tempo love ballad “We Belong Together,” that had Carey crooning over a lost love that she desired to have back in her life?
In that same year the single “Don’t Forget About Us,” featured most of the same subject matter and rhythm.
For this album Carey enlisted long time friend and producer Jermaine Dupri, who helped to produce the hit tracks on her previous album.
On this album Dupri manages to deliver similar ballads using the same formula that made the previous album a success, with songs such as “Love Story” and “Last Kiss.”
While listening to these songs you can’t help but think that they sound like altered versions of “We Belong Together,” with somewhat different lyrics.
Not only do these ballads sound similar, but “I Stay in Love with You,” which was produced by Bryan-Michael Cox, an award winning American songwriter and record producer, has the sound and influence from the Dupri produced tracks.
This was surprising because Cox has produced and written great songs for various artists with unpredictable sounds. Maybe he stuck with the Carey formula for a successful ballad this time around.
Her second track released from the new album, “Bye, Bye,” which reflects on lost loved ones, has the same exact beat as all of the other ballads.
However even with these disappointments, it is not to say that the album is a total dud.
The songs, although similar, work for Carey and, if released, will more than likely become number one hits. I can say that the best ballad on the album is “For the Record,” which was coupled with her commercials to promote her perfume “M.” The song, in my opinion, stands alone from the other ballads by providing its listeners with a new sound.
But aside from the predictable ballads, the surprises come from collaborations with artists such as T-Pain, a well-known producer and hip hop artist who is featured on the track titled “Migrate,” and produced by Nate “Danja” Hills.
This song serves as an upbeat alternative with a melodic beat and auto-tuning of Carey’s voice, which is a classic trait that Pain uses on all of his songs.
Carey even teams up with Damian Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley, on the song “Cruise Control,” where she attempts to sing in a Jamaican accent on the second verse and helps bring the album some diversity.
The first track released from the new album, “Touch My Body,” when matched with the video, reveals a lighter side of Carey and has a catchy hook.
My favorite song on the album is “That Chick,” an up-tempo disco sound that makes you want to grab a pair of roller-skates and hit the rink.
Overall, Carey was pretty safe with this album and delivers a balanced selection of songs. Surprisingly, she doesn’t bring the vocal range that she has in the past. On this album she tones it down, only bringing in hints of her impressive high octave range on selected tracks.
In order to retain her title as a hit pop artist, Carey better mix it up on her next record.
Francine Gobert, a senior communications major, is news editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.