Album Review: Mariah Carey - Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 1:10 PM

Artist: Mariah Carey
Album: Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel
Release Date: 9.29.09

The Good: Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel is an album that is reflective of a lot of Mariah’s previous styles and sounds. Betcha Gon’ Know is a strong album starter, vengeful and inspired. Similarly, Standing O bears that confrontational feel to it and both songs remind me of the confidence that emerged on The Emancipation of Mimi. Angels Cry is definitely one of my favorites, with a vulnerability that takes me back to the Rainbow album; same goes for Languishing. The Dream does some really good work on H.A.T.E.U which sounds inspired by Fourth of July, from the Butterfly album. Inseparable is classic new-age Mariah (an oxymoron, I know) – it gives you a great vocal but its simple and not overpowered. For the more sensual side, The Impossible and its reprise are excellent songs (loving the Jodeci interpolation!), sans some of the corny lyrics. Best vocal on the record is undoubtedly the Foreigner cover I Wanna Know What Love Is, and Ms. Carey puts out an excellent rendition.

The Ungood: There are some parts of this album that sound totally uninspired and beneath Mariah’s caliber in terms of quality. Up Out My Face gets my vote for worst track on the album… reprise included. It just sounds rather juvenile, and even in her younger days, Mariah didn’t do any songs that bad lyrically. Ribbon and It’s a Wrap sound like filler tracks, really uninspired and lacking a good push.

The Bottom Line: Even after allowing this album to grow on me it doesn’t do what I expect a Mariah Carey album to do for me. It’s not a FAIL, but it doesn’t blow me away either. This is the first time since her 1993 Music Box album that Mariah’s done an album with no guest appearances, and maybe that's what the project is lacking - versatility. Her return to glory may have begun with Emancipation, but it lost a little more spark with each of the two albums that followed. I won't blame Nick, but Mariah sounded better when she was living through something to sing about...

Sound-Savvy rates Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel with 3 out of 5 platinum headphones.

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