I don’t think Mariah Carey is back. Not quite yet. With “Triumphant”, her new single, she is merely teasing the audience, to give a glimpse of what is to come in a few months time, her grand entrance. Remember how she released “It’s Like That” from MiMi album and then unleashed the more powerful, “We Belong Together” and took the world by storm? I bet she is pulling that strategy again with her upcoming new album which is expected to be dropped later this year. Plus by the time American Idol in which she will serve as one of the judges, starts airing later this winter, she will use it as a platform to launch the album and generate publicity; I can’t think of a better timing.
Rihanna-GaGa generation kids are already calling this track an old school Rn’B. The truth is, it isn’t, in the true sense of word, old school but it sounds very 2002. Far from being labeled as spanking new or innovative, “Triumphant” is something that she’s been doing for the last ten years but she still does it well. Even for the cover art, she recycles some of her old looks; her hair, a reminder of #1s album cover, color inspiration drawn from “Emancipation” and “Butterfly” albums and she tops it off with a dated Toni Braxton’s 1996 hole dress. Meek Mill and Rick Ross are listed as featured artists but it’s more like she’s guesting on the two rappers’s record singing the catchy chorus. Nevertheless, she sings in full voice, her golden instrument which only a few in the world possess and her high belted notes towards the end of the song, although they sound a bit screechy and forced which by the way is no longer news since “Charmbracelet” album, will certainly delight her hardcore fans. And her signature window-smashing whistle note can also be heard during the song’s bridge and a few more at the end (treats for Lambily).
Stay on your toes
Get off the ropes
Don’t let em ever count you out
Realize all things are possible
In your heart who's the greatest
Reach for the stars
Be all that you are
And make em all fall down
Motivational yet a bit cliché message, appropriately in time for the London Olympics, MC has been writing anthems like this since “Hero” but none of these new materials could come close to her enduring classic. I personally wish there was a clean version with her vocals alone sans rappers. These hip-hop verses, I am afraid, don’t have a global appeal. Let’s be honest; many of us who are not black or don't live in the States can’t really comprehend or relate to what they are saying. “Triumphant” is of course already on heavy rotation as I am die-hard MC fan but I’m not too sure if this track could be her 19th number one. Fingers crossed for “We Belong Together 2012”
Here's the audio. Check it out.