Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mariah Carey ~ "The Art Of Letting Go" (Single Review)

“I'm making a statement of my own opinion, just a brief little reminder to help myself remember, I no longer live in your dominion”,

Mariah Carey sings in the opening line of her new single, “The Art of Letting Go”.

“You're just trifling, nothing more than a liability. Gotta lay all your possessions outside the kitchen window right now”, she continues.

At first glance, the ballad could easily be a break-up anthem with the universal message of ‘moving on’, which many could easily relate to but there has gotta be more. The famously private singer never truly reveals. Even with her most autobiographical songs, it’s always read-between-the-lines; somewhat vague and oblique.  Her very controversial diva persona is merely a façade, a protective shield in fact. Her little known album cuts such as “Looking In”, “I Am Free”, “Close My Eyes” and “Petals” may serve as windows to the complex and vulnerable person that she truly is. But only her true hardcore fans know and appreciate these little gems. She remains misunderstood in the eyes of general public.

“Letting go ain't easy, no it's just exceedingly hurtful. Cause somebody you used to know, is flinging your world around and they watch as you're falling down”

Considering Ms Carey has been happily married and raising two adorable twins in the last 6 years, this can’t possibly be about a lover who wronged her nor does this reflect her current state of mind. 

So… if this isn’t exactly about letting go of someone, could she be indirectly singing about “letting go of no one but her old self? In other words, “growing older gracefully” and facing the facts. To be more direct, not having any desire to compete with the young and crispy such as Miley Cyrus or Katy Perry for the chart domination or the pressure to come up with hipster music that guarantees a frequent play on the radios. Well, judging the musical direction that she has taken and the very minimal production by Rodney Jerkins, who is no longer the trendiest hit-maker these days, staying current or being number one again is the least of her worries. (Her record of 18 #1 hits is still unmatched even today).

The last few years saw Carey’s struggle with her vocals especially when performing live prompting many to accuse her of lip-syncing. She has clearly lost her stage presence and confidence that she displayed in the 90’s. Instead she looks rather nervous and uncomfortable when appearing on stage as of late because the voice she once could count on is not always fully there today. So… could she be metaphorically hinting that she has finally accepted her deteriorating voice, an instrument still very much in tact, but no longer effortless and agile as it once was. If this is true, this is huge for a singer famed for her glorious pipes that it almost overshadows her equally impressive song writing skill. (She writes and produces 90% of her songs) To be fair though, Carey, even today, is a master class singer, which she proves here once again with an incredibly raw and emotional delivery.  Especially towards the end of the song where she lets loose and simply soars to incredible heights, reminiscent of her previous fan favorites such as “Outside” from “Butterfly” album or “Vanishing” from her debut. Furthermore, how many notes can one warble out of a one-syllable word “down”? Simply let the songbird supreme show how it’s done at 2:20 mark of the song.

"I like to leave things very ambiguous so my fans can interpret the songs in the way that they choose to, and that's why I never really say, 'Well this happened to me," she says. "Sometimes it's a true story, every single word of the song, and maybe this one is, too, but you'll never know." 

It seems she’s ready to keep it real; unafraid to show flaws and all. Her recent top 15 hit “#Beautiful” and this new track promise there will definitely be a new sound, a more matured Carey and a yet another metamorphosis to expect from this upcoming album.

Hear it on her Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151983009103180 or stream it here on Vevo. 

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