Released: May 27, 2014
Label: Def Jam
Producer: Darhyl “Her DJ” Camper ・Mariah Carey ・Bryan-Michael Cox ・Jermaine Dupri ・Heatmyzer ・Hit-Boy ・Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins ・Miguel ・Mike Will Made-It ・Terius “The-Dream” Nash ・Q-Tip ・C “Tricky” Stewart ・James “Big Jim” Wright
Mariah Carey is truly one of the greatest musicians of all time. From her soaring vocals to her impeccable songwriting and production, Mariah has proved to be a force in the music industry in her odd 24 years into her career around the year of 2014.
The music industry was so different at this time. Beyoncé dropped her groundbreaking eponymous studio album as a surprise to her fans, and other veteran musicians were prospering, while the newer school were just dropping singles that were hot for the moment and went to the next.
Mariah Carey most recent studio albums at that time (2009’s Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel & 2010’s Merry Christmas II You) were successful on the charts, and in 2011, she & then husband Nick Cannon welcomed twins Moroccan & Monroe, which has been dubbed “Dem Babies.” Mariah began working on her fourteenth studio album in 2011, under the original title The Art of Letting Go. The album was originally scheduled for release in 2012, but after the initial lead single Triumphant (Get ‘Em) with Rick Ross & Meek Mill was not a successful hit on the charts, the album was pushed back several times in order to record new singles.
When the title of the album was leaked, the singer retitled the album: Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse. Released May 27, 2014, Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse, the two part title refers to Mariah’s first and only self-portrait from her childhood and a recent nickname that she adopted at the time. When explaining the title , Mariah stated that the album is a summarization of the peaks and valleys that made her who she is today. of course Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse is an R&B album with elements of gospel, hip hop, soul and disco, and is truly one of her most under appreciated works. The album peaked at number one on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Albums and number three on the Billboard 200 charts respectively.
Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you: Mariah Carey’s Me. I Am Mariah Carey… The Elusive Chanteuse.
Written by Mariah Carey ・James Wright
The album opens with the somber yet entrancing ballad, Cry. From a lyrical perspective, Cry is a song where the singer discusses the demise of a relationship and her wish to have a better solution from the situation. It is definitely one of the heavier moments on the album, where the singer desires to hold her significant other until they both start to break down.
Written by Mariah Carey ・Michael Williams II ・Denisia Andrews
You’re always somewhere, but you’re not there for me.Mariah Carey, 2014
Faded is definitely one of my favorite records from “Me. I am Mariah.” Lyrically, the song is about Mariah realizing her lover was never there by her side during the time frame of their relationship. She sings about him being “faded” because he is becoming more of a memory of the past than someone in the now and future.
I’ll never forgive Def Jam for not making this song a single. First of all, it was definitely a fan favorite. Even for people that aren’t die hard Mariah fans like I am. Lol. Faded had the potential to be the perfect single. Production from Mike Will Made It, who was the breakthrough producer at the time. Mariah sounded so good on the record. They truly fumbled the bag.
Dedicated featuring Nas
Written by Mariah Carey ・Chauncey Hollis ・James Fauntleroy ・Nasir Jones・Dennis Coles ・Robert Diggs ・Gary Grice ・Lamont Hawkins ・Jason Hunter ・Russell Jones ・Clifford Smith ・Corey Woods
& I just found out like she was like damn near a member of the Wu-Tang Clan..Jermaine Dupri, 2014
Dedicated is a song that is lyrically about Mariah & Nas discussing nostalgia and the past with friends. This also had the ability to be another single from the album. This would’ve went crazy on the radio no doubt. The song samples the Wu-Tang Clan’s Da Mystery of Chessboxin’, also containing an interpolation of Inspectah Deck’s verse “I set the microphone on fire. Rap styles vary and carry like Mariah.” Carey like Mariah..” get it?
#Beautiful featuring Miguel
Written by Miguel Pimentel ・ Mariah Carey ・Nathan Perez ・Brook “D’Leau” Davis ・Mac Robinson ・Brian Keith Warfield
#Beautiful was released as the lead single off of the album. Featuring Miguel, #Beautiful is a song that is lyrically about the singers expressing how much they feel about each other. The song has been said to be reminiscent of a song that could pass for a Stax/Motown record from the 60s. The song was a top 5 hit on the R&B charts, peaking at number three. On the Billboard Hot 100 charts, it peaked at number fifteen. The song has been certified 2x platinum by the RIAA.
Written by Mariah Carey ・Chauncey Hollis ・Denisia Andrews ・Maryann Tatum
You thirsty for a dream, leaving me drowning. Boy there ain’t no SOS.Mariah Carey, 2014
Thirsty is when Mariah is in her hip hop bag! Released as a promotional single, Mariah’s Thirsty was a song for the strip clubs and clubs period. The R&B yet hip hop influenced record is lyrically about the singer discussing how her love is so thirsty for fame and attention, that he’ll literally leave her behind to drown..and she has to remind him that without her, he wouldn’t be where he is. Period.
Make It Look Good
Written by Mariah Carey ・Jermaine Dupri ・Bryan-Michael Cox ・Walter “Bunny” Sigler ・Allan Felder
Make It Look Good is easily one of my favorite songs on the album. From the first listen of the album, I fell in love with this song because it is just flawless. From the sample of The O’Jays record Let Me Make Love To You, to the remarkable vocals from Mariah to the legendary Stevie Wonder having a harmonica solo on the track, it is truly one of her best records ever.
Lyrically, the song is about being enamored by a man and but being cautious cause of being played in the past. The singer goes along with it because he literally makes it look good.
You’re Mine (Eternal)
Written by Mariah Carey ・Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins
We love a love song from Mariah! Written and produced by Mariah & Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, You’re Mine (Eternal) has the singer reminiscing about a lover that she can’t seem to shake. The song received positive response and drew comparisons to Mariah’s 2005 We Belong Together record. The song peaked at the number one on the dance club charts.
You Don’t Know What to Do featuring Wale
Written by Mariah Carey ・Jermaine Dupri ・Bryan-Michael Cox ・Olubowale Akintimehin ・Patrick Adams ・Terri Gonzalez
You Don’t Know What to Do is my mf song, and truly deserved to be a big single for Mariah. With elements of disco, the song speaks to the singer going through a dilemma as to if she wants to stay with her lover since he is incapable of giving her the love she deserves. Featuring the rapper Wale, the song contains an interpolation of Inner Life’s I’m Caught Up in a One Night Affair.
Written by Mariah Carey・Jermaine Dupri ・Bryan-Michael Cox
Supernatural is a love letter to her children, Moroccan & Monroe (nicknamed Dem Babies). It is a beautiful song because seeing Mariah as a mother is truly the most heartwarming thing ever. The twins were featured on the song as well, and my heart truly warmed up!
Written by Mariah Carey ・Kamaal Fareed ・Allan Felder ・Norman Harris ・Ron Tyson
Andy Warhol said in “in the future, everybody will be famous.” No he said “everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes!”— Mariah Carey, 2014
Meteorite is a song I’ve grown to love as of recently, and whew it is truly one of the most amazing songs on this album! Another disco influenced record, Meteorite serves as an inspirational message to people, reassuring them they will “light up the sky.” The song contains a sample of Eddie Kendricks’ 1976 record Goin’ Up in Smoke.
Written by Mariah Carey ・James Wright
Now one thing I am going to do is bragggggggg about how perfect and underrated Camouflage is. From a lyrical perspective, Camouflage is a piano ballad about the singer trying to hide the pain from a romance that has ended. Mama had TIME and understood the assignment.
Money ($*/…) featuring Fabolous
Written by Mariah Carey ・Chauncey Hollis ・John Jackson ・Dan Satch ・Edwin Birdsong
Money ($*/…) is a hidden gem from the album and contains samples of Alabeke by Dan Snatch & Rapper Dapper Snapper by Edwin Birdsong.
One More Try
Written by George Michael
One More Try is an 80s classic from the legendary George Michael, that Mariah covered for the album. The cover sounds refreshing and sounds very similar to the original with enhanced production and Mariah’s vocals.
Heavenly (No Ways Tired/Can’t Give Up Now)
Written by Mariah Carey ・Curtis Burrell ・George Clinton, Jr
The album closes with the remarkable Heavenly (No Ways Tired,) which was a touching tribute to the Reverend James Cleveland. The song contains a sample of his sermon God’s Promise, Mary Mary’s I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired & Funkadelic’s Good Ole Music.
Mariah Carey is truly a musical genius, and this album is truly a testament to that statement. Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse is a record that I feel is a very personal album from the singer and gave us a glimpse into her life.
With bops, thrilling ballads and immaculate vocals, it is proof that Mariah is the greatest of all time. Period.