User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 154 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 154

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  1. Aug 31, 2010
    8
    Mariah Carey's 12th studio album is perhaps her best effort since her 1997 release 'Butterfly', which is widely regarded as her best album to date. 'Memoirs' sees Carey, for the most part, blend her trade-mark 'hip-pop' with old school RnB vibes, more reminiscent of her earlier work. The opening track, 'Betcha Gon' Know' demonstrates this mindset. The piano driven track could almost play out like an early 70s soul classic, telling the tale of a cheating love and planned revenge, were it not for the thumping beat and lyrics - "you gon' get what you f***ing j**k".
    Carey attempts to caters for all her fans with this release. There are the more urban and upbeat tracks like the lead single 'Obsessed' and the witty 'Up Out My Face', the big ballads 'Angel's Cry' and the cover of Forginger's 'I Want To Know What Love Is' alongside slow-jams like 'Candy Bling'. This variation makes 'Memoirs' a pleasant listen, with each song seemingly flowing into the next. However the sequencing does let the record down slightly as it clusters tracks together which can then overshadow. For example the slow-jam 'Inseparable' is one of the strongest tracks on the album, yet coming in after after the finger-clicking 'Candy Bling' and 'Ribbon' you can find yourself ready to skip to the next track just to break-up the mood.
    Mariah Carey is widely regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time, famed for her impressive 5 octave voice. on 'Memoirs' her voice is in full-use and to great effect. That is not to say that every line of each song is belted as was typical for many of Carey's earlier recordings. Here we see Carey use her powerhouse tool with great care and accuracy. On 'The Impossible' Carey almost whispers with soft and breathy tones that gives a feeling a great intimacy, that is until the tracks outro where she turns the vocal power up and reminds you that this is in fact a Mariah Carey cd. This happens on most tracks, Carey starts softly and leaves the vocal blasting until near the end. The famous high note is also in good health here and is used almost like another instrument on many of the tracks which makes it fade into the track rather than stand out - depending of your love of the whistle register this will either be a slight disappointment or a brilliant compromise.
    To rap-up 'Memoirs' is a really strong and solid effort from Mariah. Listening to the album from start to finish you gain an appreciation for the fact that this is a coherent album, not just a collection of radio ready tracks as is arguable becoming the norm with new artists. While the album will not do what Carey hoped - please all hardcore fans and casual listeners alike - it still demonstrates her versatility as a singer and songwriter and makes for a really enjoyable listen.
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  2. Sep 21, 2010
    10
    WELL DONE MARIAH!!!! When I first heard "Obsessed" I couldn't wait for the album...I do admit that at first I didn't like it ..."Up Out My Face" was the one that grabbed my attentiona dn i listened over again...and BAM!!! I loved it
  3. Sep 27, 2010
    10
    Love The Songs.. Love The Album.. Life Is not perfect..and so is love.. but still enjoying life end love right??? Go Mariah.. waiting for the next one....
  4. 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 to Know What Love Is'' and ''H.A.T.E.U.''.
    Angel (Prelude) is amazingly amazing.
  5. Aug 21, 2011
    2
    Mariah continues to trow boring, repetitive, artifical and superficial beats & lyrics at 15 tracks. The album as 17. High notes don't save the lack of "life" that more than half of the songs have. The only , honestly, good song in the album is Obsessed.
  6. Nov 21, 2010
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Quest'album è sicuramente uno dei miei preferiti di Mariah, forse il migliore dopo Butterfly. Ogni canzone è speciale e piacevole da ascoltare. Ad un primo ascolto l'album può apparire "noioso", ma dopo un po' ti prende e ti trasporta in un altro mondo. Sono davvero soddisfatto di quest'ultimo lavoro di Mariah. Expand
  7. Feb 13, 2011
    6
    This is a mature, solid album with a few surprises (her 'ode' to Eminem) and plenty of old school r and b... my favorite is It's a Wrap, so classic yet so inventive... Mariah is at the top of her game.
  8. Jun 13, 2011
    8
    Wow! "Obsessed" seems like it is trying to pander too much to pop music standards, and "H.A.T.E.U." is kind of boring and doesn't have much of a beat. However, the rest of the album, especially "Up Out My Face" and "I Want to Know What Love Is", is solid. The former, with a remix featuring Nicki Minaj, is the best original track on the album. Her cover of "I Want to Know What Love Is" by Foreigner is absolutely perfect and the pain in her vocals match the sad lyrics immaculately. I would go so far as to say it's an improvement over the original. Expand
  9. Sep 21, 2011
    1
    She's the living proof that you can be an amazing singer and a terrible artist. Mariah's voice will never save this album for falling into cliche and dumbness.
  10. Nov 24, 2013
    10
    All 17 songs are beautifully crafted and smartly track listed starting with The Prologue with a good heavy beat and ending with a new short and charming version of I Want to Know What Love Is. Lyrics are a precise description of emotions, the vocals are sweet and strong accompanied with R&B/Hip-Hop/Soul beats. Memoirs succeeds as an empowering album for those with something to let go. Easy, soft and beautiful. Favorite tracks: Obsessed, H.A.T.E. U, Candy Bling, Inseparable, Standing O, It's a Wrap, Up Out My Face, More Than Just Friends, Angels Cry and Languishing (and the reprises and interludes). Expand
  11. Aug 1, 2012
    8
    It's impressive how Mariah has rised again into her music quality since the mess of Glitter and those, however this is a great R&B recording, proving she's not defeated and she can do great songs with great lyrics and amazing music.
  12. May 4, 2014
    7
    It is certainly honest about being "imperfect", yet even with the imperfections you'll find on this unnecessary album, its raw talent remains unbreakable.
  13. Oct 26, 2014
    8
    The album shows how mariah is that time of his career. An album of personal burden since "The Emancipation of Mimi", this album shows a more mature Mariah, though not contain a new sound, this album very personal, so I admire him.
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. Overall, Carey's throwback vibe on Memoirs is refreshing and much welcomed.
  3. 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.