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Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse: Mariah Carey’s Long Journey To Her 14th Album

Me I Am Mariah Resized
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It looks like Mariah Carey is finally going to be releasing her 14th album this month after years of delays. That album, now being called Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse is scheduled for a May 23rd release by Def Jam Recordings. This will be Mariah’s first album on the Def Jam label, since the announcement of the disbandment of The Island Def Jam Music Group in April of 2014. In that announcement it was revealed that Island Records, Def Jam Recordings, and Motown Records would be re-launched as separate entities. Mariah first signed with Island Def Jam in 2002 after the commercial failure of her film and soundtrack, Glitter.  (September2001)

Glitter (2001 Trailer)

Laurence Mark Productions/20th Century Fox/Columbia Pictures

With the help of Island Def Jam, Mariah has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity. She continued to dominate the Pop and R&B/Hip Hop charts with hits like “We Belong Together”, (2005) “Don’t Forget About Us” (2005), “Touch My Body”, (2008) “Obsessed” (2009) among many others. However, despite all the consistent success, the production of her latest album has been met with delays and changes in creative direction many times for a variety of reasons. The first of these reasons was the biggest and most personal, her family.

Mariah Carey

“We Belong Together”

From The Emancipation Of Mimi

Island Records/IDJMG

Mariah Carey

“Don’t Forget About Us”

From The Emancipation Of Mimi

Island Records/IDJMG

Mariah Carey
“Touch My Body”

From E=MC2 

Island Records/IDJMG

Mariah Carey
“Obsessed

From Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel 

Island Records/IDJMG

 

Mariah began the early stages of working on the album in February 2011 while she was still pregnant with her twins, Moroccan Scott, and Marilyn, The progress on the album got put on the back burner when  Mariah began to suffer from complications caused by the pregnancy. In an October 2011 interview with ABC’s 20/20 Mariah revealed that her pregnancy was very difficult on her. She suffered from high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, and gestational diabetes. She would say, “I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to walk properly again, It was a huge strain. I would sit and then someone would have to help me up. I couldn’t go even to the loo by myself. It was just like, ‘What are we doing? Are we going to the hospital?’ No, I’m gonna stick it out, I’m gonna keep taking this medicine to keep these babies in… I made it to 35 weeks and then the doctor said it wasn’t safe anymore” With complications like that it is perfectly understandable why Mariah became distracted from the creation of an album.

However that was just the beginning of her personal struggles that would slow down production. The next came in January 2012 when her husband, host/actor/rapper/producer, Nick Cannon suffered from what she called “minor kidney failure.” Nick’s health troubles continued in February 2012 when he was hospitalized again for blood clots in his lungs. In March, 2012, he announced that he had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, lupus nephritis, which was the cause of his previous health problems.

In August of 2012, Mariah revealed in an Island Def Jam phone conference that Clizbeats participated in, that those issues served as a source of inspiration for what was intended to be the first single from her 14th album.

That single was the appropriately titled, “Triumphant (Get Em).” With production by frequent collaborators Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox, and guest appearances by Maybach Music Group’s Rick Ross and Meek Mill, it had all the makings of a perceived hit. However since the song had two verses from two different guest rappers, many critics felt  that Mariah was taking a backseat to Ross and Meek on the track, as a result the song underperformed and was scrapped from the album.

Mariah Carey Featuring Meek Mill And Rick Ross 

“Triumphant (Get Em)”

Island Records/IDJMG

Despite “Triumphant’s” inability to live up to it’s title Mariah did not take it lying down. She quickly made up for it by releasing “Almost Home” in February of 2013. That song may not be on the album, but it did certainly make an impact. It was released as a promotional single connected to the Disney film, Oz The Great And Powerful starring James Franco. She used the momentum gained from the film to release what ended up becoming one of her biggest single connected to her new album. That single was her duet “#Beautiful” featuring Grammy Award winning R&B singer, Miguel.

Mariah Carey

“Almost Home”

From Disney’s Oz: The Great And Powerful Soundtrack

Walt Disney Records/The Island Def Jam Music Group

Released to radio a year ago today(May 7, 2014), “#Beautiful” was an infectious tune with a retro feel, and gave Mariah the traction she so desperately needed to lead the way for her new album. With co production by Mariah, Miguel, and Miguel’s frequent collaborator Happy Perez, “#Beautiful” was a soulful track with a Motown feel. It highlighted Mariah’s incomparable vocal ability, and combined it with all the aspects of the sound that led to Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dream album getting rave reviews. The combination proved to be successful one. It became Mariah’s biggest single in years both critically and commercially.

Mariah Carey Featuring Miguel 

“#Beautiful”

From Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse

Island Records/IDJMG And Def Jam Recordings (2014)

“#Beautiful” made an impact on an audience of all ages and demographics. It became Mariah’s first top 10 digital single since 2009, it also became her 33rd Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, while doing even better on the R&B/Hip Hop and R&B/Soul charts, being held up by only Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z’s “Suit And Tie.” That success led to “#Beautiful” making an impact on the top 40 on both the Billboard Adult Contemporary and Adult Top 40 singles charts. It was no surprise when the song sold over one million downloads. Mariah was back in a big way, reaching the wide audience her career and legacy had become known for. If there was any time to release her 14th album, it was during the wild ride of “#Beautiful.”

Sadly, despite the success of “#Beautiful”, the album’s momentum would become derailed from health problems once again. In July of 2013 when filming a music video for one of “#Beautiful’s” many remixes, it was reported that Mariah had dislocated her shoulder after a fall on set. In October of 2013 she revealed how painful how painful that experience was in an interview she did with CNN. In that same interview she talked about how writing the song that would become the second single was a big part of helping her recover as she learned to deal with the pain of physical therapy. That song, was the Rodney Jerkins co produced, “The Art Of Letting Go.” When it was originally released as the then intended title track of the album on November 11th, it was met with universal praise and was seen as Mariah returning back to her roots as it got many comparisons to her 1990 debut, “Vision Of Love.”

Mariah Carey 

“The Art Of Letting Go”

From Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse

Island Records/IDJMG And Def Jam Recordings (2014)

Mariah Carey
“Vision Of Love”
From Mariah Carey 
Columbia Records
 
As we all now know, the album info changed once more when the title was changed for the last time to Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse. Mariah took to YouTube last week to explain the personal meaning behind the final title  of her 14th album. With that last final change to the album, the next logical question to ask is, what actually made the final cut of the final version of the album? Well to answer that question, you can take a look at the final track listing below. The album does contain the previous hits, “#Beautiful,” and “The Art Of Letting Go”, while also including the album’s re-launch single from this year, “You’re Mine (Eternal)”, and it’s remix featuring Trey Songz. Other guest on the album now include Nas, Wale, Fabolous, Mary J. Blige (Deluxe Version) R. Kelly, (Deluxe Version) and evin Mariah’s twins! As if that wasn’t enough the album includes a powerful cover of George Michael’s 1988 #1 hit, “One More Try.”

Mariah Carey 

“You’re Mine (Eternal)”

From Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse

Def Jam Recordings 

Mariah Carey 

“You’re Mine (Eternal)” (Remix)

From Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse

Def Jam Recordings 

 

Related Media

George Michael

“One More Try”

From Faith 

Columbia/Epic Records

 

It may have taken a while, but at the end of the day this elusive album may turn out to have the music that shows Mariah at her best. Her friend and frequent collaborator, Jermaine Dupri has stepped up both as her manager (Replacing Friend/Former American Idol Judge/Producer, Randy Jackson) and co-executive producer of the project. This is exciting because JD, Mariah, and JD’s protégé, Bryan-Michael Cox have come together on multiple occasions to create some of the stand our songs in her discography. Who knows, after so many false starts for so many different reasons, Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse may be worth the wait after all.

 

Track listing

Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse – standard edition[27]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. “Cry”
  • Mariah Carey
  • James Wright
2. “Faded”
  • Carey
  • Mike Williams
  • Denisia Andrews
3. “Dedicated” (featuring Nas)
  • Carey
  • Chauncey Hollis
  • James Fauntleroy
  • Nasir Jones
  • Dennis Coles
  • Robert Diggs
  • Gary Grice
  • Lamont Hawkins
  • Jason Hunter
  • Russell Jones
  • Clifford Smith
  • Corey Woods
4. “Beautiful” (featuring Miguel)
  • Carey
  • Miguel Pimentel
  • Nathan Perez
  • Brook Davis
  • Mac Robinson
  • Brian Keith Warfield
  • Carey
  • Miguel
  • Perez
3:22
5. “Thirsty”
  • Carey
  • Hollis
  • Andrews
  • Maryann Tatum
6. “Make It Look Good”
  • Carey
  • Jermaine Dupri
  • Bryan-Michael Cox
  • Allan Felder
  • Walter “Bunny” Sigler
7. “You’re Mine (Eternal)”
  • Carey
  • Rodney Jerkins
  • Carey
  • Jerkins
3:42
8. “You Don’t Know What to Do” (featuring Wale)
  • Carey
  • Dupri
  • Cox
  • Olubowale Akintimehin
  • Patrick Adams
  • Terri Gonzalez
9. “Supernatural” (with special guest stars “Dembabies” a.k.a. Ms. Monroe & Mr. Moroccan Scott Cannon a.k.a. Roc ‘N Roe)
  • Carey
  • Dupri
  • Cox
10. “Meteorite”
  • Carey
  • Kamaal Fareed
  • Felder
  • Norman Harris
  • Ron Tyson
11. “Camouflage”
  • Carey
  • Wright
12. “Money” (featuring Fabolous)
  • Carey
  • Hollis
  • John Jackson
  • Dan Satch
  • Edwin Birdsong
13. “One More Try” George Michael
14. “Heavenly (No Ways Tired / Can’t Give Up Now)”
  • Carey
  • Curtis Burrell
  • George Clinton, Jr.
Deluxe edition – bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
15. “It’s a Wrap” (featuring Mary J. Blige)
  • Carey
  • Barry White
16. “Betcha Gon’ Know” (featuring R. Kelly)
  • Carey
  • Wright
  • Terius Nash
  • Christopher Stewart
  • Robert Kelly
17. “The Art of Letting Go”
  • Carey
  • Jerkins
  • Carey
  • Jerkins
3:44
18. “Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse” Carey 1:12

 

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