Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. It might not be as hip as it thinks it is, nor is it as catchy as it should be, but it's smooth and listenable.
  2. Emancipation works the kind of pure-pop magic that sets us all free.
  3. While her voice has lost some of its power through the years, "Mimi" deftly showcases her still-considerable pipes with strong lyrics and slick production.
  4. 80
    Sets the gold standard for diva records in 2005. [May 2005, p.118]
  5. A set of predictable, plastic, street-tough R&B jams.
  6. Heavy on ballads and midtempo love songs, it always keeps at least one foot (more often both feet) planted firmly in comforting old-school diva soul. [15 Apr 2005, p.76]
  7. Her sadly depleted voice is again propped up by multi-tracking, and the occasional dog-deafening shriek hardly proves she's recaptured her early acrobatic power. [10 Apr 2005]
  8. 'Mimi' manages the unique trick of being self-indulgent without actually ever sounding much like Mariah. [16 Apr 2005, p.51]
  9. Carey does not completely hearken back to her old days, but The Emancipation of Mimi does prove her staying power.
  10. There aren't any great songs among Mimi's club tunes and pop-chart-conscious tracks, and Carey is still suffering from a serious crisis of confidence.
  11. But whatever the songs lack, they make up for in restraint--brevity keeps you wanting more, which is really Mimi's virtue.
  12. It’s easily the strongest album that she’s made in this millennium, but suffers from the fact that her vocals have deteriorated.
  13. Despite its grim title with its visions of messy self-absorption, The Emancipation of Mimi is - mostly - cool, focused and urban.
  14. On "The Emancipation of Mimi," she disciplines herself into coherence, using fewer tricks and sounding more believable. She also finds what lesser singers can take for granted: a certain lightness that eases her constant sense of control. [11 Apr 2005]
  15. 80
    Mariah gets back to her winning formula with Mimi. [May 2005, p.139]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 249 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 168
  1. Jan 30, 2012
    An amazing R&B retro 70s through back album!!! Every single song is literally perfect. Her vocals are very through especially on Mine Again which she really show case it. Full Review »
  2. Nov 17, 2013
    I have never really been impressed by Carey, but her songs are indeed enjoyable to listen to. I believe her success has more to do with lack of competition rather than pure talent. And this albums proves it. It's good, but not as special as anyone would've expected from the so-called diva. If some random female singer records this whole album instead of her, it wouldn't have achieved success as she did because people are so easily influenced by what Billboard and other magazines and popular critics are saying. In short, this album is a complete mediocre. Full Review »
  3. Jul 1, 2013
    The best album I've ever heard. The best comeback by one of the greatest vocalists of all time. You can never count talent out. Everyone thought Mariah was done, & she proved them wrong. That's a living legend. Full Review »