Album of the Week: Mariah Carey's Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse

Mariah Carey's new album made its number 3 debut on the Billboard 200 this week thanks to tepid sales. It's unfortunate because Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse marks a creative renaissance for Carey. Though it is overstuffed, there is so much good material here you can't blame her for playing around with a variety of sounds. The best tracks are the 90s throwbacks, including the hip hop nostalgia of "Dedicated," summer hit "#Beautiful," and house jam "Meteorite." The slower material can be overblown ("Cry") or too sweet ("Supernatural"), but Carey still has a way with a romantic ballad, like can be heard on "You're Mine (Eternal)." The last time she creatively reset her career with The Emancipation of Mimi, radio warmed to excellent tracks like "We Belong Together;" many of the songs here deserve equivalent attention.

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