The Emancipation of Mimi

Studio Album by released in 2005
The Emancipation of Mimi's tracklist:
It's Like That
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We Belong Together
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Shake It Off
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Mine Again
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Say Somethin' (feat. Snoop Dogg)
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Stay the Night
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Get Your Number (feat. Jermaine Dupri)
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One & Only (feat. Twista)
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Circles
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Your Girl
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I Wish You Knew
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To the Floor (feat. Nelly)
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Joy Ride
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Fly Like a Bird
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The Emancipation of Mimi review

Whether people like it or not, Mariah has placed her mark on the world map of artists whose names are immortalized by what success they have accomplished. Of course Mariah's success is indisputably legendary and unmatched. And this album hails a triumphant return to what we've all been waiting for musically and lyrically. This is probably one of the best Mariah products in years carrying credits as Singer, Song Writer and Producer which is something only Mariah can do.

The titular "Mimi" of The Emancipation of Mimi is an alter-ego of Mariah, a persona that captures Carey's true feelings and emotions. In case you didn't know what "emancipation" means, Mariah helpfully provides a dictionary definition of the word in the opening pages of the liner notes for her eighth proper album: it means "to free from restraint, control, oppression, or the power of another" or "to free from any controlling influence" or "to free somebody from restrictions or conventions." Carey's emancipation is drenched in hip-hop and old-school R&B ballads, and it smartly focuses on her strengths.

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. Highlights include the best dance cut Snoop Dogg-spiced thump of “Say Somethin'”, some gorgeous old-school '70s ballads "Mine Again", "Circles" and "I Wish You Knew", the bouncy hit "Get Your Number" and gospel closer "Fly Like a Bird". The main story of The Emancipation of Mimi: since the reserved, tasteful adult contemporary pop of 2002's Charmbracelet failed to revive her career, she's done a 180 and returned to R&B, in hopes that maybe this will create some excitement. And it was not a bad idea!

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. The Emancipation of Mimi still works, it's smooth and listenable, which is enough to have it qualify as Mariah Carey's most satisfying album since her 1997 collection, "Butterfly". The latter disc spawned multiple hits and has sold 3.7 million copies in the United States. "Mimi" has already notched a hit with "It's Like That", and a second single—the midtempo ballad "We Belong Together"—is ascending the charts.

Varvara Dobroselova (13.04.2005)
Rate review4.60
Total votes - 1583