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Youth
 
Rainbow
By Steph Bourassa
Rainbow

I have an apology.  The album that I’m going to review has been on the market since 2.11.99 and only now, a month and a half later, have I made up my mind as to my position on this…?  Well, I’ll leave you guessing for a little while longer as to whether I think it’s a masterpiece or a fiasco.

The album?  Rainbow.  The artist by association?  Mariah Carey.  It’s a shame, so young yet so worn out!

Mariah’s latest concoction of vocal over-achieving is at its best a collection of recycled Mariah Carey material and at its worst dull, uninspired and (is boring too strong a word?)…  From its opening track “Heartbreaker” to the last scorching ballad, I had to force myself to listen, to be objective the way a trained producer should be.  I found objectivity.  And well, as a trained sound designer, I find it to be a collection of music for the musically challenged.

I’m assuming that you have all figured out by now that I am leaning towards the fiasco side when it comes to my opinion of Rainbow, but for this review, I strongly believe that the aid of multimedia will demonstrate, even back up, my claims.  It is so that with the aid of mp3 technology we shall have ourselves a session of show and tell.

My first beef:  Mariah has become the queen of artistry by association.  That’s basically a fancy way of saying she seems afraid to carry an album out on her own, causing her to work with a handful of other famous voices.  Why all the guest appearances on her songs?  Click any of the links below to hear the audio samples:

Jay-Z  (175 KB, 40 sec at 56K)
Usher  (167 KB, 38 sec at 56K)
Da Brat & Missy Elliot  (443 KB, 100 sec at 56K)
Snoop Dogg  (238 KB, 53 sec at 56K)
Joe & 98 Degrees  (464 KB, 104 sec at 56K)

The tenth listen leaves me with the impression that there are a mere four songs on the album.  "Heartbreaker" (which is repeated twice), "Against all Odds" (yes, a cover), a slew of ballads, and a pair of imitation TLC tracks.  This mp3 is the bulk of the tracks on the CD to demonstrate the similarity between the songs.  Listen!  (2293 KB, 8 1/2 min at 56K)

Being on the topic of lack of creativity, am I the only one to have noticed that "Heartbreaker" sounds exactly the same as her previous number one hit "Fantasy"?  There’s more to this trickery…  You’ll notice the striking resemblance between Mariah’s song and a well-known TLC hit, "No Scrubs."  (320 KB, 72 sec at 56K)

Another big deception is the lack of emotion with which Ms. Carey interprets possibly the CD’s highest ranking on the “potential scale”, "Against all Odds", a beautiful ballad by Phil Collins with the right amount of emotional grasp that find itself embarrassingly emotionless.  Want a short listen?  (1503 KB, 5 1/2 min at 56K)

As I may seem harsh throughout this review, I must admit, it is most certainly going to please the markets it is aimed for:  14 year old girls and drooling men of all ages.  Both for their obvious respective reasons.  However, from what I gather, the musical elite will frown upon this body (of work).

I find it such a shame that Mariah Carey would lend such a beautiful talent to such uninspired music.  I believe she needs a little break.  At least…  We do!   I will leave you with the one song I found myself wanting to hear more of.  Ironically, it’s a 1:32 interlude.  (1449 KB, 5 1/2 min at 56K)

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me.

Music excerpts are for demonstration purposes only.