September 20, 2001

All That Glitters

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Does Mariah Carey’s latest musical effort, Glitter, sparkle or fade? Chances are, the controversy surrounding the release of this album will keep Carey in the spotlight for some time to come.

One reason for the controversy is the drama of the physical and emotional breakdown suffered by the singer, which was speculated to be in part due to the failure of Glitter’s fist single, “Loverboy,” to be a chart-topper. New controversy surrounding Glitter concerns the accusation that Jennifer Lopez sampled the same Japanese techno song found in Carey’s “Loverboy” for her hit single “I’m Real.” All of these matters have brought negative focus on Carey’s new album, but this collection of music should get its deserved attention and praise.

Sagas aside, the songs found on the Glitter soundtrack are strong. The album is successful in doing what Mariah Carey does best — combining a series of slow, heartfelt ballads that showcase her talented vocals with poppy tunes that make you want to throw on your dancing shoes — to make the album a cohesive listening experience.

One unique aspect of this work is that it is not an hour of nonstop Mariah Carey vocals. She has collaborated on six out of the twelve songs with a variety of artists, most of which are rappers. Da Brat, Ludacris, Mystikal, Eric Benet, and several others are featured artists on Glitter. The guests create a mixed sound in their cameos without making the songs sound like one continuous rap track.

A highlighted song on Glitter, “If We,” features Ja Rule and Nate Dogg in conjunction with Mariah’s powerful vocals. If the fact that everything Ja Rule touches has turned to gold lately has any implications for this track, we should be hearing plenty of “If We” on the airwaves soon.

“Didn’t Mean to Turn You On” is a good example of Carey’s ability to combine sassy lyrics with strong vocals to create an energetic song that is very contagious.

Carey’s remake of “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life” is also a high point to listen for. The aid of Busta Rhymes, DJ Clue, and Fabulous help to create a tune with the potential to become a dance club favorite.

“Reflections” displays the softer side of Mariah. The song is both one of internal sorrow and personal strength that showcases Carey’s ability to connect with her audience through the power of musical storytelling.

If you are already a devout fan of Carey, this collection of songs will not disappoint you. Mariah delivers as always. However, if the pop diva doesn’t already have a home in your CD collection because she does nothing for your musical taste buds, Glitter won’t make you a new addition to her fan club. But coming from one who was not already a hardcore Carey groupie, I was thoroughly impressed with Glitter and am sure it will not fade away fast.

Archived article by Kristen Jones