• Record Label: Island
  • Release Date: Apr 12, 2005
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. Emancipation works the kind of pure-pop magic that sets us all free.
  2. Despite its grim title with its visions of messy self-absorption, The Emancipation of Mimi is - mostly - cool, focused and urban.
  3. Vibe
    80
    Mariah gets back to her winning formula with Mimi. [May 2005, p.139]
  4. Blender
    80
    Sets the gold standard for diva records in 2005. [May 2005, p.118]
  5. Entertainment Weekly
    75
    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]
  6. 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]
  7. 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.
  8. But whatever the songs lack, they make up for in restraint--brevity keeps you wanting more, which is really Mimi's virtue.
  9. Carey does not completely hearken back to her old days, but The Emancipation of Mimi does prove her staying power.
  10. It’s easily the strongest album that she’s made in this millennium, but suffers from the fact that her vocals have deteriorated.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Los Angeles Times
    50
    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]
  14. A set of predictable, plastic, street-tough R&B jams.
  15. New Musical Express (NME)
    20
    'Mimi' manages the unique trick of being self-indulgent without actually ever sounding much like Mariah. [16 Apr 2005, p.51]
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 346 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 346
  1. 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 toThe 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.
    Full Review »
  2. 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 AgainAn 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 »
  3. Mar 14, 2015
    9
    The album's title is taken off the lead single lyrics 'It's a special occasion, Mimi's emancipation, A cause for celebration I am not going toThe album's title is taken off the lead single lyrics 'It's a special occasion, Mimi's emancipation, A cause for celebration I am not going to let nobody's drama bother me' I love Mimi's formula and with this album she came back to the throne after such 2 bad albums, the mix of club tunes + R&B classics is - mostly - cool, focused and direct. The return of the singer with strong vocals, brilliant gospel shot, 0 fillers, the limelight went back straight to Mariah after releasing such powerful singles with potential. 1 of her best albums and the highlight of the 05's. The album starts with the lead single "It's Like That", produced by Jermaine Dupri (the production is the right key to the albums success along with Mimi's voice), with the line 'I came to have a party'. Mariah would definitely party-it-up with her comeback album, returning to her golden pedestal of the nineties. The bridge, which victorious claims 'Cuz it's my night No stress, no fights I'm leavin it all behind No tears, no time to cry Just makin the most of life' refers to the previous albums that ruined Mariah's non-stop success. Continues with the 2nd single (the highlight of the album and Mariah's 2nd most successful single) the 3rd song was meant to be Mariah's 17th number #1 but was actually blocked by the previous single and peaked at #2 the chorus claims 'I got to shake it off - because the loving is not the same, And you keep on playing games like you know I'm here to stay' but fortunately the last song of the album and most lowkey no - single potential Full Review »