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  NIGHTSPOTS

With You in 4/4
by Peter Mavrik
2005-05-04

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Peter Mavrik's Clubbin Tip #18: Fashion mavens of the world, put your polo collar down! I will repeat: flip your polo collar down. The next time I see you with your collar up, I'll flip it down for you. Trust.

Well, it's here. Mariah fans far and wide have been waiting for her latest creation, and I'm pleased to say 'The Emancipation of Mimi' is alive and well. With over 400,000 copies sold during it's first week, something told me I needed to get out there and get mine.

And let me just say, given Mariah's track record, I was skeptical about her latest offering, much less the promise of 'The Return Of The Voice'. But after skipping around 'Mimi' for only 5 minutes, I knew this time around she was doing it for real. This is the Mariah I love.

'The Emancipation of Mimi' is a mix of things that at the end of the day can only be really called Pop music. Gorgeous Pop. plifting Pop. Sure, there's R&B, Hip-Hop, a ballad or two, but it's the soaring Pop sounds that most of us instantly recall when we think Mariah. Remember when you first heard 'Vision Of Love' or 'Emotions'? It was Pop bliss back in the day, and this album brings you right back to that same good feeling.

Kicking off with the Hip-Hop single 'It's Like That', the album progresses in a steady fashion, moving up-tempo and down ( the way a good disc should ) . Along the way, there are detours into the close-sounding Mariah on 'Shake It Off' ( lookout Beyonce ) . Snoop Dogg kicks back with Mariah on 'Say Somethin''. Soul is resurrected on 'Stay The Night' complete with a 'Betcha By Golly Wow' Stylistics loop.

Jermaine Dupri hangs out with her on 'Get Your Number', a mid-tempo song that wants to be Hip-Hop but is blissfully Pop. 'Circles', a ballad that showcases her famous stratospheric vocals, is followed by 'Your Girl' which has the catchiest rolling hook of the collection, with a hollerin' Mariah and lots of backup singers screaming. Hit the repeat button for that one, it's worth a couple listens. ( Again, lookout Beyonce )

There's a track with Nelly, 'To The Floor', and one with Twista called 'One and Only', which is far better, styled as a good R&B ballad, but his vocals muck it up. Where's the dub?

In my spotlight is 'Mine Again', THE jam on this album. 'Vanishing' used to be my favorite Mariah song, but it's been kicked out of the way. 'Mine Again' has soft horns, a tiny flute, an organ, and a bass line that's deep and totally 70's Soul. The song is about wanting to reclaim a lost love, with the best line that asks if 'maybe we could make the dream for-real like way back then'. It'll give you chills as she starts to holler. Trust.

With Mimi in 4/4,

Peter Mavrik

peter@windycitymediagroup.com


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