Saturday 15 September 2001
At this point, everyone knows that Mariah Carey is the singer, actress, and primary auteur
behind the delayed, trouble-plagued Glitter, an '80s-based film about the rise of an ambitious
club singer who seems to resemble Madonna as much as she does Carey. Given Carey's recent
Troubles, any criticism of Glitter (either the soundtrack or the movie from whence it came)
seems like piling on, but still: As anyone who has heard its uninspired, hook-free first single,
"Loverboy", has likely already guessed, Glitter isn't exactly gold.
Glitter is filled with the requisite stormy ballads and pop/hip-hop tracks that are Carey's stock
in trade. As has increasingly become her wont, Carey enlists rappers (here Mystikal and Busta
Rhymes, among others) to do much of the heavy lifting while she sings in the background, which
has the curious effect of giving her a supporting role on her own record.
When Carey does show up, she can't help but over-sing: "Lead the Way" is a perfect example of
the adorned, decidedly un-hip balladry that Carey does (or overdoes) best; "If We" is a great,
mid-tempo track, even if guests Nate Dogg and Ja Rule make more of an impression than she does.
Elsewhere, Carey's funky, '80s-ish re-workings of "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life" and "I Didn't
Mean to Turn You On" are misguided at best.
Glitter feels strung-together and tentative, like a welded-together collection of Emotions-era
barn burners and more recent, hip-hop-heavy tracks. It's better than, say, anything Jennifer
Lopez has done lately, but anyone looking for her best work would be better served by 1997's
Butterfly, the closest Carey has ever come to a tour de force.
Many thanks to Mariah News.
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