Mariah Carey - Caution
Mariah Carey's legacy cannot be questioned. She has been a part of some of the biggest shifts in pop music. Her voice is one of the most unique and impressive out there, so damn near anything she does is going to have a legendary tag to it. However, this does not mean that she doesn't make some pretty tremendous mistakes along the way. As of late her private life has overshadowed her work, fewer albums and a bunch more tabloid headlines about diva-ish behavior have left some fans with a bad taste in their mouths. This new record Caution opens with a sample from Porter Robinson's "Goodbye to a World". That's right, the first song on this new record has a Porter Robinson sample just confusing the hell out of everyone. The song is one of Porter's gentler tracks so don't think Carey has gone full EDM, because this album is rather thin on the dancable tracks throughout. The first few tracks are really just rehashes of the same R&B she has done forever, Her voice hasn't changed much and neither has the lyrical content. Carey was an early adopter of using Hip Hop in pop music and was one of the first to feature rappers on her massive songs. This version of Mariah however plays it completely safe; the lyrics are the same as they have always been siding either with falling in love or the empowerment that comes with not needing a man. Those are the songs where you can actually understand the point while others like "A No No" are confusing and seem like a jumbled pointless word soup.
Mariah of course can sing, and if a great track is put in front of her I'm sure she would kill it, but she seems totally content to make the same songs over and over again. "The Distance" with Ty Dolla $ign is fine with it's 90's R&B bassy beat, but haven't we been down the road of Mariah singing a duet with a rapper a million times? "Giving Me Life" featuring Slick Rick and produced by Blood Orange should be incredible but Mariah barely shows up and the song ends up feeling like a total snooze. Slick Rick's delivery also sounds extremely dated almost dad rap personified in a feature.There is just not much to get excited about on this record, nothing that jumps up and demands your attention. She should be picking the best racks and working with the absolute best producers, but she instead feels content for mediocrity. She rarely even stretches her voice on this album and we are left with a lazy uninspired obligation. There is not one track that feels like a hit, or anything that feels connected to Mariah Carey what so ever. Anyone could have sung these songs, so why Mariah? She never answers that question and she never makes this album feel like her own. At some point reputation alone can't be enough if you continue to put out whack album after whack album and that's what Mariah Carey has done. The most boring track is saved for last with "Portrait" being a complete waste of time. I didn't expect to be blown away, but I didn't expect a record as weak as this. It's bad.
3.0 out of 10