LOST IN THE EQUATION

When Mariah released E=MC², she was once again on top of the pop world. After two underperforming albums and a well-publicized mental health breakdown, “The Emancipation of Mimi”, reaffirmed Mariah’s talent and hit-making status. Unfortunately, since Mimi’s been let out of her cage, things have gone slightly awry.

IDJ handled “The Emancipation of Mimi” era almost flawlessly. Backed by a slew of high-profile appearances, the album spawned three consecutive smashes, including: “We Belong Together”, “Shake It Off”, and “Don’t Forget About Us”. With the first single off “E=MC²”, it looked like Mariah was going to continue her reign at the top of the charts. “Touch My Body”, a bouncy, sing-a-long track, became her 18th #1 on the Hot 100. However, her #1 streak ended there and Mariah fell back off the bandwagon…

“Bye Bye” was released as the second single off “E=MC²” on April 14, 2008. By mid-April, I’m shopping for bathing suits, switching over to my Starbucks summer drink, and getting myself ready for sunshine and summertime. I can’t even imagine what the people behind this single release were thinking…. “I know. Let’s release a song about everyone dying! It’s perfect for summer.” Seriously? I understand that it sounds like “We Belong Together” and has the same subject matter as “One Sweet Day”, but I want mindless fun in the summer. I mean do I really want to hear someone singing about losing literally everyone important in their life (your best friend, your baby, your man, or your lady, mamas daddies, sisters, brothers, friends and cousins, etc.) while I’m floating in the pool or riding with the windows down? No. I want to hear Fergie chanting something completely ridiculous and Pitbull counting down in both English AND Spanish. That’s all I can handle during the summer months, when I all but almost completely shut my brain down.

Obviously, this was quickly realized by someone at IDJ, as they rushed to release “I’ll Be Lovin’ U Long Time”, a much more appropriate tune for the season. But, it was too late. The damage was done and the album era was over for Mariah, leaving two gems unreleased. “Migrate” would have been the perfect follow-up to “Touch My Body” and could have even scored Mariah her 19th #1. IDJ wasted two huge promotional appearances on “Bye Bye” (Oprah and American Idol), when they could have been used to promote a much better second single choice. Follow “Migrate” with “Side Effects”, a ballad that isn’t just one of Jermaine Dupri’s attempts to re-make “We Belong Together”, and you have another 1-2-3 punch with “E=MC²”. Except, things didn’t go that way, so on to the next era…

Mariah kicked off “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” with “Obsessed”—a catchy and clever song, that obviously wasn’t destined to go to #1, but still good enough to get things going (a la “It’s Like That”). Then came “I Want to Know What Love Is” followed by “H.A.T.E.U.”. Did anyone honestly think a Foreigner cover from the 1980s, slowed down to an almost sleepy pace, would be a hit on pop radio today? I don’t really need to go into more detail, but obviously that didn’t go well. So, what happens next? Mariah releases an even slower song that isn’t even remotely radio friendly. The two best songs on the album, “Up Out My Face” and “Angels Cry” were quickly rushed out simultaneously, but once again it was too late to salvage the album. So, I guess now all we can hope for is that Mariah has another amazing Christmas song up her sleeve?

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1 Comment

Filed under Mistakes

One response to “LOST IN THE EQUATION

  1. Brandon

    loved this article, and i love this blog. 🙂

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