Celebrating 6 years Of Mariah's "The Elusive Chanteuse"

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Celebrating 6 years Of Mariah's The Elusive Chanteuse |
Mariah Carey released her 14th studio album, the amazingly-titled Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse, on this day in 2014. And it underperformed commercially - at least by the vocal legend's lofty standards. The absurdity of the project's fate has only become clearer with the passage of time. Few records released in the early 2010s have aged as gracefully as The Elusive Chanteuse. The album's old-school approach to R&B - namely, songs that focus on atmosphere and vocals - has rendered it timeless.

One of the reasons for the lukewarm reception (apart from people not having taste) was the chaotic rollout. The Elusive Chanteuse suffered from delays, musical chairs at the label, curious single choices and rumors of a surprise drop in the wake of Beyoncé's self-titled LP. By the time it arrived, the general public was confused and the album's lead single, Mariah and Miguel's exquisite "#Beautiful", was already a year old. I can't help but think how different things might have been if "#Beautiful" was followed by "Faded" or "Thirsty".

But that's beside the point. Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse is an artistic triumph. Songs like the aforementioned "Faded", "Dedicated" (a stone-cold classic) and "Camouflage" stand toe-to-toe with any in Mimi's iconic discography, while "Cry." is the closest you will get to hearing God's voice while still breathing. And then there are the bops. "Thirsty" still goes hard, "Meteorite" is a party-starting jam and "You Don't Know What to Do" spreads good vibes like a virus. There isn't a dud on the whole album.


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