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Best Albums 2014 # 16: Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse

Best Albums Of 2014 # 16

Best Albums Of 2014 # 16

Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse is a 78 minute wander through modern r&b, a mix of soul and slow jamz and hip hop and deep jams, it  hits, it misses, it feels bizarre even when it isn’t, it sinks in for awhile then goes for a wander into the sort of music you expect from K. Michele. It didn’t sell well but that was because people didn’t want to deal with the terrible album title.

This isn’t the eccentricities you might expect, guests, big guests like Mary J. and Nas, come and go, Miguel lends his voice to what should have been a mammoth hit in the summer of 2013 “#Beautiful” and whenever things feel a little too generic, there is a topnotch sizzling r&b track round the corner.

The sheer length makes it a hard slog, however having said that, it keeps on pulling you up short, early on there is “You’re Mine (Eternal)” followed by the Wale rapped “You Don’t Know What To Do”, later “One More Try” matched with “Heavenly”. The sound is generic, manufactured, but the voice sounds pretty darn good and the songs consistently announce themselves.

The album was an epic disaster and a PR flop, people thought Butterfly, people though here Mariah goes again, but this was a perceived flop not a real one and her best music since 2006. If it lacked consistency that was as much about the production values and the overall sound and not the songs, and certainly not Mariah’s voice.

If they had called it Beautiful and cut it to 40 minutes it would have hit big time, as it is it keeps on delivering the goods to people who don’t want to hear it. Take off Mariah’s name and put in Beyonce’s name. What would happen then?

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