Album: The Emancipation of Mimi

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Album:

The Emancipation of Mimi

Artist: Mariah Carey
Honors:
Genres:
Label: Island

Early buzz on The Emancipation of Mimi predicted that this would be the disc to mark “the return of the voice”—the voice being that glass-shattering instrument that propelled Carey to bestselling female artist of all time status—and mostly it is. But because of the small army of talent involved in its assembly, the album is way more than just a comeback vehicle. For proof, try straight-ahead, look-out-Beyonce-Mimi’s-still-got-it “Mine Again,” or ‘70s-soul cuddle-up, “Circles:” a don’t-attempt-on-American-Idol love song, or the gospel dazzlers “Fly…

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Early buzz on The Emancipation of Mimi predicted that this would be the disc to mark “the return of the voice”—the voice being that glass-shattering instrument that propelled Carey to bestselling female artist of all time status—and mostly it is. But because of the small army of talent involved in its assembly, the album is way more than just a comeback vehicle. For proof, try straight-ahead, look-out-Beyonce-Mimi’s-still-got-it “Mine Again,” or ‘70s-soul cuddle-up, “Circles:” a don’t-attempt-on-American-Idol love song, or the gospel dazzlers “Fly Like a Bird,” and “Stay the Night.” But for songs that steer this disc directly into 2005, no looking back, scan the jewel case for the tracks followed by the word “featuring”: “To the Floor,” with Nelly, bumps along to maximum booty-shaking effect, while Twista spins his natural-disaster-force vocals into “One and Only.” Snoop Dogg, Pharrell Williams, and Jermaine Dupri also pitch in; between them and the highwire vocals, Emancipation works the kind of pure-pop magic that sets us all free. —Tammy La Gorce

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