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Mariah’s latest release should inspire ‘Caution’

Mariah’s latest release should inspire ‘Caution’

The iconic pop-star Mariah Carey has arguably fallen off in recent years, marred by a string of underwhelming albums and a particularly disastrous New Year’s Eve performance.

The public loves a diva. Even better, it loves someone who cranks out hits and receives the pinnacle award given to female stardom: being deemed a “gay icon.” This is arguably the highest honor in entertainment and can result in unyielding career longevity. 

Consider the staying power of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé and Lady GaGa. While they do not stick around solely due to their status as said icons, it certainly helps them retain an avid and energetic fanbase. 

Of the many pop stars out of the 1990s we still talk about, one name is noticeably absent: Mariah Carey. To be sure, every holiday season “All I Want For Christmas Is You” gets paraded in front of the masses, and on any given episode of “Wild ’n Out,” Nick Cannon is sure to get Carey’s name tossed his way. 

But it is curious we talk about her so little, given that she delivered bops like “Emotions” and “Someday,” just to name a few. It seems that her best chance of starting a conversation is when she delivers a rowdy New Year’s Eve performance, which is hardly a trait artists want on their resume. 

Luckily – or perhaps unluckily – her new album, “Caution,” is slated to release this Friday, Nov. 16, finally giving audiences some new music. 

It is with caution that we should approach it.

The 10-track album has seen four of its songs released as singles: “GTFO,” “With You,” “A No No” and “The Distance.” Condensed, the songs are rather disheartening. It becomes somewhat apparent that Carey’s signature awe-inspiring vocals have largely fell victim to age and over-use, and the artist struggles to make it out of one octave. 

Given that Carey’s trademark was an uncanny ability to run up and down a scale, it is odd to hear so little of that talent remaining. 

Naturally, the artist cannot be blamed for the trials of time, but the obvious use of auto-tune does not serve the songstress as well as it has Britney over the past decade.

So far, the highlight track seems to be “A No No,” which owes much of its strength to some catchy production. It straddles the line between trap and Ariana Grande, and is precisely the mixed bag you would expect from that description. 

The song seems to echo the troupes of the young “thank u, next” artist but simultaneously misunderstands just what makes Grande’s songs infectious. 

What is worse, an outro to the track features someone articulating, “I think that was it,” in reference to the song being good. Carey can be heard saying, “Yeah,” with a knowing chuckle, something that seems to suggest even she might not know what is required anymore.

It is doubtful that this album will do anything remarkable on the charts, and it will probably come and go without a second thought. 

A Mariah Carey comeback continues to seem more and more unlikely, with the star seemingly fated to be behind the camera instead of in the recording booth. 

A travesty? You bet.

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