Is it too much to suggest that Mariah Carey has now transitioned from a one-woman, five-octave range hitmaker into a diligent ‘album artist’? All signs since her 2004 renaissance The Emancipation of Mimi seem to suggest so. And now, with her 14th studio album – Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse – Carey shows us the breadth of her musicality.
The Elusive Chanteuse is the work of a consummate and knowledgeable fan of R&B music. Mariah doesn’t only serve as high priestess of vocals here, she is the album’s executive producer. Together with close collaborators Jermaine Dupri and Bryan Michael Cox, the diva captures significant trends in hip hop, R&B and soul on every track.
Here’s the deal with Nelly Furtado‘s new album. It’s thoroughly irresistible yet in parts, strangely inaccessible. But it is this interesting push and pull dynamic that keeps you coming back for more of The Spirit Indestructible.
This opus is the Canadian singer/songwriter’s first English-language album since 2006’s Loose.
The game plan wasn’t to replicate the mainstream sounds of her last effort, but rather have The Spirit Indestructible be a reflection of all the best flavours fans savoured from Furtado’s previous studio albums.
The raw juxtaposition of hip hop beats and pop melodies purveyed in the her debut Whoa, Nelly!, the sentimental lyricism of Folklore, and the sense of creative liberation she took with Loose – they’re all embedded in the DNA of The Spirit Indestructible.
It is positively one of the most enjoyable albums I have heard this year – bringing to the table real personality, depth and variety.
Much like all the best albums, The Spirit Indestructible grows on you. Some songs you’ll gravitate to in the first two plays, others will emerge from the background in subsequent listens.
However, the one resounding concern some fans have expressed with this album is the distinct lack of radio-friendly singles. To date, Furtado has despatched three solid numbers – all I would endorse to be the right choice – but none have stuck with the mainstream media.