With the success of The Emancipation of Mimi, Mariah Carey made a comeback that many artists at their crossroads could only dream of, from being on the brink of being written off as a tragic story to returning with one of 2005’s best R&B albums. So to follow up the groundbreaking LP, Carey returns with the E=MC2, a poppy album that takes the listener on a roller coaster of classic material that one is used to hearing from the songstress to the lower dips of experimentation and attempts of crossover appeal, while not living up to its predecessor.
The album starts with the bounce on Danja produced “Migrate” featuring T-Pain and the albums lead single “Touch My Body.” But soon after is where Mariah stumbles with the reggae influenced Damien Marley featured “Cruise Control.” Both artists are great in their own right, but this mix does not fare well as Carey is clearly out of element, but she manages to come back with the strong ballad “I’m Stay In Love,” but once again followed up by the hip hop-esque “Side Effects” featuring Young Jeezy. This pattern continues throughout the album with where she has her ups and downs as seen on tracks like the strong “Love Story” and “Thanx for Nothin’,” mixed in with the terrible “I’ll be Lovin’ U Long Time” and “O.O.C.” The “wish you were hear” “Bye Bye” does not fare well as the whole notion of discussing individuals who are gone is more of a hip hop trend as opposed to R&B, let alone Mariah. It are these inconsistencies that really take away from the LP as the listener would more than likely have to skip from track to track to hear a more cohesive album.
By sticking to what you know, to what help to redeem you position as one of the top artists in your profession is sometimes hard to do, especially when you have a lot at stake and a lot of hype to live up to, but it is not necessarily a bad thing either. There was a reason that you excelled the way you did, for it was the talent that you had that took you to that next level. So one would only want to keep striving off of the elements that got them there, as opposed to taking risky moves that won’t garner you any new fans or accolades. This is a wise lesson for Mimi to learn by that she really did not have to stray too far from the path, but just rely on the way you got there. - Ryan Harrison
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