Carey Comeback Is On Right Track

Mariah Carey
Island Def Jam

Mariah Carey has had a tough couple of years, being dumped by Derek Jeter, watching her movie flop, suffering a near-mental breakdown and then being bought out of her $100-million dollar contract by EMI.

A little more than one year after releasing "Glitter" and the accompanying soundtrack, Carey has released what her new label, Island Def Jam, is calling her "comeback album," "Charmbracelet."

Carey does make a concerted effort to go back to the ballads that brought her so much early success in the 90s. Songs like "Through the Rain" and "Saving Grace" are simple and powerful, like her earliest hits. "Sunflowers For Alfred Roy" has the chance to be Mariah's biggest hit since her pre-"Butterfly" days.

Unfortunately, the album suffers from the same maladies most of Mariah's recent albums have been afflicted with: too much "MC," not enough "Mariah."

Despite her claims that she wanted to get back to what first made her a success, Mariah still clings to her hip-hop desires on this album. The low point is "Boy (I Need You)" a remake of Cam'ron's "Oh Boy," featuring none other than Cam'ron himself. There's also a track with Jay-Z, and a "Through the Rain" remix featuring Kelly Price and Joe. Fortunately, these tracks are the exception, not the rule.

If Carey can build on the success that this album's stronger songs are likely to achieve, she could truly be on the road back. Just so long as she doesn't make any more appearances on DJ Clue mix-tapes.

Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)