Urban Contemporary, 2008
E=MC² is very similar to Mariah Carey’s last few CDs. If you have listened to those CDs, you will know what to expect here: a few ballads, a few heavily-produced uptempo tunes, and plenty of riffs and hooks that are recognizably hers even if the names in the production crew list change. That’s one thing I give Ms Carey credit for: she, at least, stay true to her musical styling even when she switches co-writers and co-producers. Unlike, say, Madonna, she doesn’t sacrifice her musical identity for the sake of hopping on bandwagons.
The best track here is easily Side Effects, although I must admit that it resembles Breakdown, still her best track ever in my opinion, probably too much. That one is way too catchy for its own good right down with an “Oh oh, oh-oh-oh!” riff that I can’t get out of my head. That song is also easily her darkest to date, lyrically, as it contains some scathing insinuations that Tommy Mottola, her ex-husband, beat her during their marriage:
Waking up scared some nights still dreaming ’bout them violent times
Still little protective ’bout the people that I let inside
Still little defensive thinkin’ ’bout me tryin’ to run my life
Still little depressed inside, I fake a smile and deal with the side effects
However, bubblegum fun tunes like Touch My Body and I’m That Chick are nearly as good. There are plenty of good pop tunes here to herald the coming of summer and that is never a bad thing if you ask me.
The ballads are pretty dull compared to the uptempo tunes here but they are easily overlooked so there’s that.
While there is nothing here that I haven’t heard before from Mariah Carey, I feel that E=MC² is a pretty solid effort for both casual and die-hard fans.