Heartbreaker

I don’t get it when people say Mariah Carey songs changed their lives, whichever songs that may be, because with the exception of Hero, I don’t see how Heartbreaker, Dreamlover, Fantasy, Honey and other boy-come-rescue-me songs of hers can change anyone’s life. But maybe I’m underestimating the power of such songs since no one speaks more effusively about boyfriend-longing than she does and maybe these songs really are life-changers in their own special ways. Her songs certainly haven’t changed my life but I will say that her album releases mark one of the highlights of my year, at least since the dawn of the blog, which is to say around the Emancipation of Mimi period, around the time when album information is updated at a pace approximating the speed of light. I don’t camp out of record stores in anticipation in the same way that Star Wars fans camp out of cinemas or Harry Potter fans camp out of bookstores although I think that doing so is romantic and crazy, but I certainly take a moment out of my life to relish a Mariah Carey album release, from the blog-stalking to purchasing to actual listening.

Today would have been the release of Angels Advocate, the supposed remix version of Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, but it’s not going to happen since allegedly, or perhaps matter-of-factly, the album was such a flop. My guess is that it didn’t sell because we are now in an age where music can be obtained for free, true at least for people who don’t care to own CDs anymore and multimillion selling singers such as she are the ones who stand to lose from this the most. Or it could simply be that people’s taste for pop has radically changed and some just simply don’t care anymore for those artists who at some point in their careers have been so successful and popular. It’s kind of sad.

But it’s okay that she puts a halt on the album’s release. I’ll move on. What’s annoying about it is that you just know that the scrapping of the album is due to the fact that her recent efforts (Angels Cry & Up Out My Face) weren’t the hits they were projected to be. Mariah is unabashedly a commercial artist whose fame was largely brought by commercial success. Memoirs the remix could have been a better version but the boardroom presentation of market statisticians and prognosticators at the record label which showed her sale’s steep decline must have prevented the album from being released. And that sucks! Selfishly, I thought it wouldn’t have mattered if she flopped again because flopping is all the rage nowadays anyway and it’s quite cool for Mariah to not care about sales and her songs charting just as long as she releases an album, because finally, people might shut up about her sales already and she can finally really be free artistically and maybe make the best music of her career, #1 on the Billboard Hot 200 or not. If only the decision had been on her instead of on record label executives.

I’d say it’s fine, her not releasing the remix album but it’s really not. If there’s any consolation to that, it’s that there’s not going to be a repeat of the flop fiasco and she’s spared the embarrassment of selling so few. I can live with Memoirs for the meantime since it’s for me one of her greatest, I could listen to it for years, but it breaks my heart just the same. It would have been nice to hear her trade verses with R. Kelly in Betcha Gon’ Know or diva off with Mary J Blige in It’s A Wrap which is one of the cancellation’s major heartbreaks, not to mention the Jump Smokers remix, but such is the state of album selling these days.

It’s weird that a very successful artist such as her is still constrained by record companies that she ’emancipated’ herself from so many times already. It kind of makes you think that all the emancipation proclamations were just in service of an album theme, the truest in essence of which is exemplified by Butterfly, not that other more explicit emancipation album, The Emancipation of Mimi. With her albums, you never really notice the ‘themes’ because they’re almost non-existent anyway because you obtain a Mariah album to hear her wail and sing with rappers and fellow divas. Personally, I’m glad that she’s sold a gazillion albums in her 20 years of singing but I wish she would just let go and really truly emancipate herself.

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