Will the surprise Mariah Carey album work?

Mariah Carey

(image: Billboard)

Remember that article from a month ago which told us that there was an exciting album about to be beyoncéd onto iTunes? Despite rumours suggesting the likes of Lana Del Rey and Madonna, it was confirmed by Billboard that the surprise album will come courtesy of the ‘Lollipop Bling Honey’ perfumer Mariah Carey (let’s be honest Madonna will probably do it too at some point).

The album will be her fourteenth, and at this point is untitled. She did tease in the article that the opus will be named after something that she has had since birth, which means it could literally just be called ‘Mariah Carey’. It is also unknown whether the singles ‘(#)Beautiful’, ‘The Art of Letting Go’ and ‘You’re Mine (Eternal)’ have made the cut, although Miguel isn’t on the list of collaborators so ‘Beautiful’ may not be.

Can a Beyoncé-style release work though for someone who is not Beyoncé?

Although this is a surprise release, it’s not a beyoncéd one. In fact, this album has been sat on the release schedule since the release of ‘Triumphant’ two years ago. Although the whole world had a sneaky suspicion that Beyoncé had something up her sleeve, there was no musical evidence. In contrast, Mariah Carey has given us five singles over the last two years, which realistically could be half the album.

But is the album coming the same as the one that has been on the release schedule for two years? Chances are that it probably isn’t. Aside from Miguel not being listed as one of the collaborators, some shoddy video content on YouTube suggests that ‘You’re Mine (Eternal) is the only single on this album. Which is quite exciting in a world of delayed and scrapped albums. Imagine if Mariah herself was the one pushing this back because it was a pile of shit.

However, does anyone really give a shit about a new Mariah Carey album? The reason why the Beyoncé’s album worked so well is that she is at the pinnacle of her career; people will buy a new Beyoncé album because it’s a Beyoncé album. In contrast, Mariah Carey doesn’t command such attention. She’s not had a legitimate worldwide smash since 2008’s ‘Touch My Body’, and her career since has been littered with missteps

Equally, could this album be marred by the amount of failed buzz singles? In many ways, this album has been ‘Lea Miceled’ into public consciousness ie so much shit has been flung at the wall in the hope that something sticks. In the case of Mariah, nothing has stuck so far so almost all the hype has fizzled out. Without any real promotion, there is a real risk that the album could limp into the charts and disappear without a trace.

On the other hand, Popjustice noted that this album could be a ‘TADA’ type moment, re-igniting some of the buzz. An ‘I’m here and you’re going to listen’ moment is what Mariah so desperately needs in 2014, but the music needs to command such attention. At the end of the day, the music will determine whether this album will work. If it’s a steaming pile of shit, it will be savaged by Twitter and the campaign will be over in a day. Likewise, if the music is good, word of mouth will sell the album.

Only time will tell.

As a side-note, writing this made me think: what if Lily Allen beyoncéd ‘Sheezus’ in November. She hasn’t hidden the fact that she doesn’t like the way it has been released (ie she fucking hates ‘Air Balloon’), so imagine if she had just chucked it out when the desire for new Lily was at a peak.

Also, instead of releasing albums, some popstars should just release fifteen-or-so singles followed by a greatest hits and then back to the singles. This would work for Calvin Harris. And The Saturdays.

Anyway, back to Mariah:

What a song.


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