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E=MC2 by Mariah Carey
Released: Apr 2008
Label: Island Records
The album title may be a nod to physics, but the songs aim for voyeur physicality. "Touch My Body" is self-conscious sexual fantasy hung on a golden hook. Throughout, Mariah forgoes the octave-scaling, roller-coaster melisma of earlier work in favor of restrained phrasing that puts the emphasis on her voice. Check the vocal layering on mid-tempo ballad "I Stay in Love" or the bouncy BBQ jam "I'm That Chick." These more classic R&B forms are where Mariah shines. When she ventures into R&B/snap hybrid ("Migrate," "Side Effects"), her beauty is lost in the claptrap.
Sam Chennault
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