The Emancipation of Mimi
Released: April 12, 2005
Charted: April 30, 2005
Peak: 12 US, 15 RB, 7 UK, 2 CN, 6 AU
Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 0.62 UK, 11.4 world (includes US and UK)
Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
Total Running Time: 50:10
4.026 out of 5.00 (average of 29 ratings)
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
“The titular ‘Mimi’ of The Emancipation of Mimi is, by all accounts, an alter ego of Mariah, a persona that captures Carey's true feelings and emotions.” AMG “Mariah frees herself from the constraints of being herself, revealing herself to be – well, somebody that looks [and sounds] startlingly like Beyoncé.” AMG
Her “last couple of albums had only attained platinum status, paltry by her usual high-flying standards.” RS’20 “The reserved, tasteful adult contemporary pop of 2002’s Charmbracelet failed to revive her career” AMG so Carey did “a 180 and returned to R&B, in hopes that maybe this will create some excitement. It's not a bad idea, particularly because Mariah could use any change at this point, and it's not executed all that badly either, as all 14 tracks — heavy on mid-tempo cuts and big ballads, with a few harder dance tunes featuring big-name guest rappers scattered along the way — all follow the same deliberately smoky, late-night template.” AMG “While the tunes aren’t always memorable, it does make for a consistent album, one that’s head and shoulders above the other LPs she's released in the 2000s, even if it doesn’t compare with her glory days of the ‘90s.” AMG
“The Neptunes provide the best dance cut here with Say Somethin’” AMG but there are also “some nice old-school ‘70s smooth soul flourishes” AMG on the “deliciously sleek Mine Again,” AMG I Wish You Knew, and Fly Like a Bird. Even so, there are “times that the mixes slip and don’t hide the flaws in Mariah’s voice.” AMG
“But the vocal acrobat swept away the naysayers with We Belong Together, a chattering, heartbroken ballad that interpolates two R&B classics (Bobby Womack’s ‘If You Think You’re Lonely Now’ and the Deele’s ‘Two Occasions’), then followed that song’s huge success with Shake It Off, a dismissive, vengeful cut for all the jilted lovers.” RS’20
The biggest problem “is that Mariah never sounds like herself on this record. When she’s not sounding like Beyoncé, she sounds desperate to be part of the waning bling era, dropping product placements…or bragging about her house in Capri…all of which sounds a little tired and awkward coming from a 35-year-old woman in her 15th year of superstardom.” AMG “The Emancipation of Mimi still works, at least as a slick, highly crafted piece of dance-pop – 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, which is enough to have it qualify as” AMG “a sextuple-platinum return to form.” RS’20
Notes: The “Ultra Platinum Edition” added “Don’t Forget About Us,” “Makin’ It Last All Night (What It Do)” (with Jermaine Dupri), “So Lonely (One & Only, Pt. 2” (with Twista), and a remix of “We Belong Together.” The UK edition included the song “Sprung.” Still another version of the Ultra Platinum Edition had a bonus DVD with videos for “We Belong Together,” “It’s Like That,” “Shake It Off,” and “Get Your Number.”
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First posted 3/26/2008; last updated 4/25/2022.
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