Say what you will about singer/songwriter/producer Mariah Carey, but she is one of the most successful and influential musical artists of the last 15 years. (Looking at the last few years of American Idol hopefuls during try-outs is enough to confirm this.) Actually, with her sales and chart history, Carey is one of the most successful artists of all time. If The Emancipation of Mimi is any indication, her reign will continue.
Mimi is Carey’s best and most consistent album since Butterfly. Mimi is not a pop record; it’s very much a R&B/Soul record. Carey and her team of producers (Jermaine Dupri, the Neptunes, Kanye West, and James Poyser to name a few) have crafted great songs that linger with you long after their conclusion. There’s a familiarity about this album that reminds you of old school 70s (and possibly 80s) R&B/Soul music. The ballads like "We Belong Together," "Mine Again" and "I Wish You Knew" are heartfelt, touching and beautiful. Up-tempo tracks like "Say Somethin’," "Shake It Off" and "Get Your Number" are hypnotic, catchy and lyrically clever.
Besides the music and production, Mimi reminds listeners what drew them to Carey initially—the voice. The passion and emotion in Carey’s voice draws you in, making each and every song convincing. Mimi is an excellent showcase of Carey’s artistic growth. Carey should be commended. Mimi is gearing up to be not only one of the best selling albums of the year, but one of the best selling albums of her career as well. It’s nice to see Carey back on the top—where she belongs.