Mimi’s back. It’s been longer than I thought, you have to go back to 2009 before you get to her last normal studio album “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” (though she had a Christmas album a year later). Since then she’s had twins so has taken some well-deserved time out from her career.
But this year she’s on the move again, after a season of American Idol and a few buzz singles that didn’t amount to much, it feels like the push towards another album has begun with a collaboration with one of the biggest new artists in the USA at the moment, Miguel.
I won’t pretend to know anything about him, frankly he seems like the sort of artist I wouldn’t normally be that interested in anyway, let alone with the acclaim heaped upon him. But I can at least acknowledge that this is a significant duet.
So “#Beautiful” (why the hashtag? Yuk!) is the result, and it’s really growing on me. It doesn’t quite have the punch to sit amongst her huge back catalogue hits, but it’s got this quiet magnetism about it. Far from the slow-jam I though it would end up being, it’s got quite a retro soul sound to it – it’s an RnB song but that guitar and percussion throughout it really gives it a gorgeous vintage feel. That moment halfway through the first verse when the chords kick in is just wonderful.
Miguel’s smooth tones might not be technically anything to shout about, but he keeps it low-key for the good of the song. Mariah squeals out a few whistle-notes but otherwise keeps things on the slow-boil. It’s one of those songs that grows on me but I don’t know quite why. I mean it’s not a genre I’d normally pay much attention to, but it’s won me over.
She looks gorgeous in that video too, how well is she ageing?? I might still have my reservations about putting myself through another studio album (if you click “Music” at the top of the page you’ll find links to my reviews for all her albums), this marks a change in direction that’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.