Archive for ‘Mariah Archives’

May 10, 2014

Where Do I Start With Mariah Carey?

Took a lil walk through Times SquareSlate

Musically, Mariah Carey’s had a tough run of late. Her long-delayed upcoming album, now titled Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse, was slated to come out last spring before being pushed back several times. With one exception, its would-be lead singles failed to make a significant dent on the charts. Just a few weeks ago it sounded like Carey might pull a “Beyonce”, and spring the album on us unawares, judging from a confusing interview she gave to Billboard.

Then last week, the album’s release date, May 27, was finally confirmed by a teaser that is as strange and rambling as the album’s title. The announcement has been called “weird”, “insane”, “bizarre”, and “ridiculous”, descriptors that are rarely far away when Carey comes up these days. If you’re not a long-time fan, or are only familiar with Carey’s current public persona, it’s easy to see how such an awkward promotional move would elicit little more than an eye roll.

And we should chuckle at her weirdness, to be sure. But Carey deserves to be taken seriously as an artist as well, and, unfortunately, she hasn’t always gotten her due in that regard. Carey’s popular accomplishments – she has the second-most No. 1 songs of any pop artist, for instance, behind only the Beatles (and possibly tied with Elvis, depending whom you ask)- are often downplayed by critics who don’t take her influence on the music world seriously, as Jody Rosen pointed out in Slate several years ago. She’s long been credited – or blamed – for spawning a breed of “over singers”. (Rosen called her “the most influential vocal stylist of the last two decades”.) Her vocal acrobatics are frequently dismissed as “passionless”, her songs scorned as fluff.

But don’t blame Mimi for the diminishing returns represented by her impersonators. She’s better than all of them. Not only has she co-written the overwhelming majority of her hits since her career began almost 25 years ago, she’s also proven capable of switching up musical styles effortlessly. After taking creative control of her career, she went from a pop singer with a big voice to sultry diva who sang with Ol’ Dirty Bastard (on the excellent, Puff Daddy-produced “Fantasy (Remix)”), Bone Thugs ‘n’ Harmony (the slow-jam deep cut “Breakdown”), and Jermaine Dupri (her smash hit “We Belong Together”, among several others). Her label assumed this would be career suicide. But she was a pioneer for the hip hop-pop hybrid that is now inescapable, paving the way for Rihanna, Beyonce, Katy Perry and others to embrace a more hip-hop sound.

But back, for a minute, to her weirdness. One of the things that makes Carey so endearing to fans is that she wholeheartedly embraces her idiosyncracies. She’s not afraid to get goofy with her lyrics (“If we were two Lego blocks even the Harvard University graduating class of 2010 couldn’t put us back together again“) or her music videos, signaling to everyone that while she may take her work seriously, she’s not afraid to poke fun of herself.

There’s much more to Carey than her feuds with rap stars and her heavily Instagrammed marriage to Nick Cannon. In fact, a remarkable number of her songs hold up beautifully.

UOMF Nurse

May 7, 2014

Mariah Carey Puts Finishing Touches on ‘The Elusive Chanteuse’

Mariah Carey Puts Finishing Touches on ‘The Elusive Chanteuse’The Honesty Hour

It’s a wrap!

Mariah Carey puts the finishing touches on her new studio album Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse, slated for release on May 27.

Perhaps offering an explanation for missing Monday’s Met Gala in New York City while still in dire need of promotion, the diva shared a photo from the recording studio with the caption “Done!”

Last week, Mariah unwrapped the album cover for The Elusive Chanteuse in addition to its track listing, which features collaborations with Nas, Miguel and Mary J. Blige,  and several others.

Can’t wait to hear the album!

April 25, 2014

Mariah Carey’s Still Untitled New Album NOT Coming On May 6th (?)

Prepping tracks for mixingShowBiz 411

I don’t know where Mariah Carey’s new album is, but it’s not coming out on May 6th. Postponed from last July 2013, the still untitled collection was scheduled in February for May 6th. A single, “You’re Mine,” was released to promote it. But now the album has been removed from all release schedules. Promo tie-ins for it have been upended.

One insider says it’s because DefJam is still clearing samples and guest stars. But who knows at this point? Mariah released two other singles and a fan club single in the last year, all of which were disappointments. Originally Randy Jackson was managing and producing, then the job skipped to Jermaine Dupri.

What’s going on? This is just a guess: continuing to patch together songs from various producers, as in the past, gets harder and harder. I’ve said this a million times: why, after 25 years, isn’t there an album of Mariah Carey singing standards, produced by a real producer (Tommy LiPuma, Richard Perry, etc). Carey is known for her Voice, yet the Voice never gets to sing real songs? It’s mystifying.

Will the album appear in the month of May? There’s no title, no marketing, nothing. This kind of surprise release worked for Beyonce last winter. It didn’t work quite the same way with Pharrell Williams, even though he has a hit hit hit single with “Happy.”

Here’s crossing our fingers for Mariah. The waiting is the hardest part!

April 25, 2014

Mariah Carey ‘spent £70,000 on one-way flight’

On top of the Empire State BuildingBelfast Telegraph

Mariah Carey reportedly splashed out tens of thousands to ensure fans won’t disturb her on a British Airways flight to France next month. The 44-year-old singer has an estimated net worth of £297 million, and she reportedly splashed a fat stack of cash on a flight to France for the Cannes Film Festival next month.

Mariah apparently rented out an entire first-class cabin on a British Airways flight because she doesn’t want to be disturbed by fans as she flies from New York to Europe for eight hours. “Over the years Mariah has grown accustomed to travelling in ultimate style so she doesn’t think twice about paying such a crazy amount to ensure her privacy,” a source told British newspaper The Sun.

Apparently the gorgeous diva is planning on relaxing while she’s in the air. It is claimed Mariah will be pampering herself throughout the flight. “At least she’ll be able to stock up on the missing passengers’ complimentary eye masks and hot towels,” the insider said. “Let’s hope she doesn’t demand that British Airways lays out fluffy carpets for her, kits out the upper deck with puppies and paints the interiors cream. To be honest, it would be cheaper for Mariah to just hire her own private jet.”

The songstress has been active in the music business since 1988. Mariah has confessed to throwing diva strops before, but she says this was done so she could establish professional autonomy. “I never had a mental breakdown, I had a diva fit and it was because no one wanted to let me have a say. When you start so young in the industry people are used to controlling you and then they realise, ‘Oh this person has an opinion. OK it’s different now’,” she said of the early nature of her career while conducting an interview on New York’s Power 105.1 The Breakfast Club show.

January 7, 2013

Mariah Carey Finishes Tour On High Note

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The Telegraph

After a bumpy tour opener on the Gold Coast last week, Mariah Carey managed to cap her mini-Australian tour on a high when her final show in Melbourne received improved reviews. The 42-year-old diva, whose opening show was hampered by technical difficulties, appeared to make an extra effort on Saturday night, performing songs not previously included in her two prior shows and making attempts to endear herself to the 15,000-strong crowd – at one point claiming she had taken a liking to VB.

“I figured I had a little Vegemite last time (I was here), so I’d have a splash,” she told the crowd while holding up a can of Victoria’s famed brew. “I love Melbourne and it’s about time I came back.” Carey also showed her generous side, providing VIP fantasy packages for staff from her hotel, the Park Hyatt.

She added a song Fly Like A Bird, which she didn’t sing on the Gold Coast or in Sydney, and again introduced the audience to her 18-month-old twins Monroe and Moroccan. It followed varying reviews for her previous two shows, when critics called her first tour in 17 years everything from “spectacular” to “shallow”. Despite what appeared to be an attempt to make amends for the lacklustre response, fans still took to Facebook and Twitter following Saturday night’s closer in Melbourne, with many citing the limited set list.

“8 songs… unbelievable. Between my wife and I we paid over 60 dollars a song. Not impressed, really disappointed. Expected so much more,” wrote concert goer Joe Alessi. Another wrote: “Disappointing evening. She sang beautifully but I have never seen an artist leave the stage so many times.” But another added: “I was at Melb and Sydney shows and thought they were both amazing in their own way.”

January 5, 2013

Mariah Carey brings 6-year-old girl onstage at Australia concert

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Aol Music

Mariah Carey brought a 6-year-old girl who shares her name onstage at a concert in Australia last night (January 3). Contact Music reports that after discovering that Mariah Cini would be attending her show in Sydney, the singer brought her namesake onstage as a special guest at her Allphones Arena concert.

When the “Fantasy” singer was on tour in the land down under in 1998 she met Chris Cini, who subsequently named his daughter after the pop star. Carey shared the spotlight with the young girl during a rendition of “Close Your Eyes”, which she also dedicated to her young fan.

Cini’s dad said he was thrilled that the “Glitter” star chose to honor his daughter and praised her generosity. “Mariah Carey is truly a beautiful, genuine person. She’s protective of her fans and she’s not above herself at all. I knew when we were having a baby girl that she would be my Mariah Grace,” he said.

Despite being only 6 years old, Mariah Cini also voiced her appreciation for the gesture, calling herself “the luckiest”. “I’m so excited because I finally get to meet my namesake. I’ve always liked her, from when I was born, basically… Dad always said if she came back to Australia we’d go to visit her and I couldn’t believe it. I know I’m one of the luckiest fans in Australia,” the child said.

Carey finishes her last of three shows in Sydney tonight (January 4) and will finish her current tour in Melbourne tomorrow night.

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January 4, 2013

Diva Fails To Deliver At Bland Concert

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Stuff

Well, the diva has turned into a downer. The blurb promised a night of greatest hits and holiday songs from one of the greatest female voices of our time, performing in Australia 14 years after her last visit. She’s the original pop diva – famous for requesting all white foods, climbing the charts with soaring pop songs about love and scooting around in glittery mini-dresses with windswept hair.

But Mariah has become a caricature of herself – and not in a lovable Dolly Parton kind of way. On stage in Sydney, the diva qualities had morphed into something stranger and flatter. Mariah seemed too absorbed to give us much at all. She hobbled around the stage in heels, escorted by mystery males, touched her hair incessantly and disappeared backstage three times while back-up dancers and singers entertained a yawning crowd.

She sat on a chaise with a blanket to sing Close My Eyes. She brought half a band (despite charging up to $190 for tickets) that coated everything with the same bland sound. She flailed amid poorly refined production with awkward silences, unrehearsed lighting, uneven levels and a backdrop of graphics more suited to a 1998 Windows screensaver than a multi-million-dollar worldwide tour.

She barely sang into the microphone and instead left the incredible vocal acrobatics of Shake It Off and My All to fade into the ether. And, to top it off, she didn’t even play the hits! Oh Mariah. You’re killing us here. We Belong Together, her final offering, was a glimpse of ecstasy; an eleventh-hour atonement. Windswept hair, big-bang lighting, show-stopping vocals, perhaps even a bead of sweat on her brow as she belted out the lyrics sung into many a hairbrush.

The rest was dated, shallow and unsatisfying. Most galling was the fact her voice was still phenomenal. It was still in there somewhere but for reasons unknown the diva didn’t want to let it out.

January 2, 2013

Mariah Carey Hosts Family Affair

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The Australian

For all the diva demands and high-profile fallouts, Mariah Carey can still hit the high notes when it comes to the real business of singing. The 42-year-old star showed her unique vocal range as she delivered her first Australian concert in 15 years at the Gold Coast Convention Centre on Tuesday night.

After husband Nick Cannon warmed up the crowd with a DJ set, Carey made the occasion a family affair by bringing on her two young children, Moroccan and Monroe. Visibly shy in the spotlight after spending their New Year’s Eve on a luxury yacht, the pair left it to mum, one of the greatest female artists in history with 200 million album sales, to entertain the sellout audience.

Opening with the upbeat Can’t Take That Away and Touch My Body, Carey moved through classics from her 22-year career, including fan favourite Hero and the rarely performed Close My Eyes from her Butterfly album. While the voice has matured from her heyday, the Grammy winner turned American Idol judge was still able to reach her famous “dolphin squeak” – the hard to master G#7 – during the song Obsessed.

She also gave a spine-tingling performance of the Michael Jackson classic I’ll Be There alongside Trey Lorenz, who duetted on the 1992 hit cover. Stopping for several costume changes throughout, Carey also showed off her diva side, complaining about bad sound and bizarrely breaking into song between numbers to vent her frustration. “There’s like two hundred of you, can one of you just fix the ear thing,” she called to her sound crew. “I hope I’m not asking for the moon and the stars.”

Mariah Carey’s concert tour continues to Sydney and Melbourne with tickets still available to the Melbourne show.