It’s mid-November, therefore, it’s almost expected that the only Mariah Carey track you’ll be hearing is ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’, albeit prematurely. This year is different, however, due to the release of Carey’s 15th studio album ‘Caution’.
Mariah Carey is an icon. A legend even, and you don’t need to be part of the Lambily to acknowledge that. With an unknown birth year (either 1969 or 1970, depending on who you ask) and a penchant for some quite specific demands, from dog chauffeurs to white roses, Carey is enigmatic to say the least.
After a few viral live performances and personal matters that became tabloid fodder, it would be easy to write Carey off, however, ‘Caution’ puts her back in the driving seat, armed with that signature sultry Mariah sound and a ‘fuck you’ attitude.
This icon does things on her terms, as always, perhaps most evident on singles, ‘A No No’ and ‘GTFO’, both effectively calls to action for people romantically involved with trashy men. With the latter coupling perhaps one of the catchiest refrains of 2018 with cutting lyrics ("You took my love for granted/You left me lost and disenchanted/Bulldoze my heart as if you planned it/My prince was so unjustly handsome..."), Carey aptly taps into an experience that is unfortunately all too common for people in toxic relationships.
With tracks produced by Timbaland, Skrillex and DJ Mustard, Carey duly pays homage to the sounds prevalent at different stages of her career whilst remaining fresh and contemporary. Featuring guest vocals from serial featured artist Ty Dolla $ign, as well as Slick Rick and Blood Orange, a partnership that sounds odd in theory but works, this could be looked at as a new chapter for Mariah Carey.
With a critically acclaimed Las Vegas residency and a number of Christmas shows coming up, it’s safe to say that she’s back on top form.
Words: Jumi Akinfenwa
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