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Average User Score: 7.5Aug 31, 2010Mariah Carey's 12th studio album is perhaps her best effort since her 1997 release 'Butterfly', which is widely regarded as her best album toMariah 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.… Expand