• Record Label: Island
  • Release Date: Sep 29, 2009
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. The album was composed by R&B's best songwriters of the late 2000s, Terius Nash (The-Dream) and Christopher Stewart (Tricky); they give each song the intelligent mid-tempo bump-and-grind they've made into a specialty.
  2. The result is Carey's most sonically and tonally coherent release, a mix of love ballads ('Inseparable') and sassy breakup anthems ('Standing O') that might have been her best album had it been several songs shorter.
  3. The album itself reveals she’s also got a penchant for exhuming the sickly-sweet memory of Minnie Riperton’s ‘Loving You’ and setting it to 17 different slow jamz drenched in studio gloss.
  4. Though it's commendable to stick with one set of producers to give a sense of cohesion, Memoirs could have done with some variation.
  5. Memoirs is Carey’s least pyrotechnic album, its flow is as important as its tunes, and while Carey is still given to acrobatic vocal displays, her lattice of subtler vocal overdubs softens and strengthens those flights.
  6. Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel is a sprawling, 17-track epic with few obvious singles--but it is loaded with creativity.
  7. It's puzzling to hear one of music's most powerful voices continually corralled into a feathery R&B midrange; imperfections are nowhere to be found on Memoirs, but neither are many true revelations.
  8. Mariah is in fine voice throughout the album, and there are plenty of inspired moments to be found....Which makes it all the more disappointing that the album's final stretch devolves into a mess of old-school Mariah rehashes that should have been left in the past.
  9. The album reminds you that those budding superstars can’t beat Carey at her own game.
  10. That nuance is mostly gone on Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, Ms. Carey’s 12th studio album, which manages simplicity and clutter all at once.
  11. A return to core principles, which has produced a handful of pretty love songs and a solid overall, Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel certainly isn't the disaster we were promised, but then nor is it a triumph.
  12. Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel will stand out in Carey's catalog as an experiment that illuminates her place in the pantheon without either boosting it or damaging it.
  13. Overall, Carey's throwback vibe on Memoirs is refreshing and much welcomed.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 166 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 51
  2. Negative: 8 out of 51
  1. TarekM.
    Oct 1, 2009
    10
    MC's latest doesn't disappoint but in fact proves to be a very refreshing R&B experience.
  2. ScooterC.
    Oct 5, 2009
    6
    This album is ALL over the place! The lyrics are fascinating, yet a bit forced. Mariah's voice is a whisper or high whistle notes. This album is ALL over the place! The lyrics are fascinating, yet a bit forced. Mariah's voice is a whisper or high whistle notes. Arrangements are intensely over produced or very simple, like my favorite LANGUISHING. H.A.T.E.U. is good, so is OBSESSED, but enough with the remixes BORING! Full Review »
  3. Nov 6, 2010
    10
    Boring after a few listens, but gets better and better each time you listen to it.
    Notable songs are ''Angel's Cry'', ''Obsessed'', ''I Want
    Boring after a few listens, but gets better and better each time you listen to it.
    Notable songs are ''Angel's Cry'', ''Obsessed'', ''I Want to Know What Love Is'' and ''H.A.T.E.U.''.
    Angel (Prelude) is amazingly amazing.
    Full Review »