Mariah Carey briskly shook off the cold commercial response to Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse by switching out much of her inner circle, returning to the Sony family through a deal with Epic, holding a number ones-themed Vegas residency, and touring Europe, among a surplus of other undertakings. The rejuvenation of Carey continues with Caution.
Mariah Carey is synonymous with grandiosity, whether she's showing off her five-octave vocal range, arriving on the stage of Caesar's Palace via Jet Ski, strenuously denying her knowledge of Jennifer Lopez, or simply sighing "dah-ling" in a way that only a diva could. That penchant for over-the-topness can be a blessing or a curse, but it's always been there, whether it was used to propel "All I Want for Christmas Is You" to holiday-season ubiquity or to drag the 12th season of "American Idol" into a morass of Nicki Minaj-directed snippiness. But Caution, Carey's 15th album and first in four years, takes a different tack; instead, it derives its power from its central figure's chilled-out attitude.
Pure camp derives largely from its creator’s inability to discern between the good, the bad, and the so bad it’s good. Where Mariah Carey fits on that spectrum has always been so hard to pin down because she seems at once oblivious to reality and knowingly defiant of her place in it. Like Michael Jackson before her, Mariah appears increasingly intent on perpetuating the perception of herself as an artist in arrested development, often uncomfortably juxtaposing that notion with hypersexual imagery and a mercurial sense of self-awareness.
It's mid-November, therefore, it's almost expected that the only Mariah Carey track you'll be hearing is 'All I Want For Christmas Is You', albeit prematurely. This year is different, however, due to the release of Carey's 15th studio album 'Caution'. Mariah Carey is an icon. A legend even, and you don't need to be part of the Lambily to acknowledge that.