User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 266 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 39 out of 266

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  1. Jan 30, 2012
    10
    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.
  2. Apr 16, 2011
    10
    This album is brilliant! Filled with potential singles, it cemented her comeback and showed that she wasn't just coming back with one song. Of course, We Belong Together is a standout, but It's Like That, Fly Like A Bird, Circles, Your Girl, Say Somethin', One And Only, I Wish You Knew, Joyride, heck I could name all the songs .... these are the standouts. A real strong album that threw her back into the limelight deservedly. Expand
  3. May 19, 2012
    9
    The album starts with the lead single "It's Like That", produced by Jermaine Dupri, with the line 'I came to have a party'. Unbeknownst to her, Mariah would definitely party-it-up with her comeback album, returning to her golden pedestal of the nineties. The singles are at the beginning (the aforementioned, "We Belong Together" and "Shake It Off") and they are definitely great songs. After that, Mariah lets "the voice" loose. On songs "Mine Again" and the Kanye-produced "Stay The Night", Mariah roars, proving detractors wrong; "the voice" is still there and very much present. She keeps her belting in check; she demonstrates exactly why she's placed in the upper echelon of vocalists, but doesn't over-do it (high-range whistles, melismatic thirty second pieces, etc..). After "Stay The Night", we get the light, poppy "Get Your Number". It's very reminiscent of her earlier nineties singles, based on a sample, but the theme is more mature. Mariah isn't singing about a dream lover taking her away or a guy that's making her feel a variety of emotions. Regardless, it's a very fun song. The next few tracks are all great with the exception of the other Neptunes-produced track, "To The Floor (Feat. Nelly)". We go from the beautifully written "Circles" ('but inside I kept repeating/'don't you let him see you cry'/and I casually turned my head/as the tears rolled down my eyes'), to the light, jovial "Your Girl". Tracks "I Wish You Knew" and "Joy Ride" are also pleasant to listen too.
    The gem of this album is the last track, the powerful "Fly Like A Bird". Words cannot describe the climax of the song, so it's best if you check it out yourself. 9. The two tracks by The Neptunes prevent this album from getting the perfect score, but they're not enough to give this album less than a nine.
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  4. Jul 1, 2013
    10
    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.
  5. Aug 6, 2012
    10
    The return of a great singer the mainstream! Highlight for'' We Belong Together'' and beautiful gospel song ''Fly Like A Bird.''
  6. Apr 22, 2014
    9
    Mariah Carey´s best album in the 00s decade. It is full of short, brilliant and to the point R&B and hip hop tracks, with a little bit of pop and also gospel. It was another important change of direction in Carey´s career. Her voice sounds almost inhuman. The woman sings in a way nobody else could replicate. She has the unique style many others have tried to copy. So different from her 90´s voice, now it is more divalicious and extremely sexy, but equally outstanding. Almost perfect album. Expand
  7. Nov 17, 2013
    5
    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. Expand
  8. May 5, 2014
    9
    This album is amazing. Truly Mariah's best. The success of We Belong Together just makes it so much of a sweeter experience knowing that great music was that successful.
  9. May 29, 2014
    10
    Mariah uses the retro sounds of the 70, easily making majority of the ballads instant classics. With her power house vocals, she blows the listeners away.
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. 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]
  2. 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.
  3. Despite its grim title with its visions of messy self-absorption, The Emancipation of Mimi is - mostly - cool, focused and urban.