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Mariah Carey: Are we 'Obsessed'?

MARIAH_CAREY_OBSESSED_300_ What: Mariah Carey's "Obsessed," the first single off her upcoming album.

How is it: This is a feistier Mimi than we're used to, as she comes out firing in the song's opening moments. "Why are you so obsessed with me?" questions an obviously irritated Carey. 

Is she lashing out at Eminem? The gossip hounds? A simple scolding at a new breed of pop divas? It doesn't really matter. Either way, it will help Mariah stay in the headlines for weeks to come -- long enough to fuel hype for her album "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel," which will be conveniently released (on Aug. 25) in time to make the cut for the new Grammy eligibility rules

With The-Dream and Tricky Stewart sharing production credits, Carey has been molded to fit current trends. The still-ubiquitous Auto-Tune is here (a look she played with on "E=MC2's" "Migrate); this time, it's used to bring a slight electronic manipulation to her trademark wails. No need to worry about hitting high notes when computers are all the rage these days, and the thick, pointed keyboards will allow Carey to fit comfortably on Top-40 play lists that are currently obsessed with Lady Gaga's "Poker Face."  

Ultimately, that's the point here, as this seems like a tune pointedly designed to get radio play and provide us press types with some new topics to try to get Carey to address on the red carpet, which she will artfully deflect from now until mid-November. 

The song is put-down after put-down, with Carey declaring that she "ain't gonna feed you / Gonna let you starve," and the hard-not-to-quote, "You're a mom and pop / I'm a corporation." She doesn't really sound angry -- just a little bemused at her attackers, even if the high road would have been to ignore them. But the sophisticated route doesn't always generate hype, and "Obsessed" is certainly more lively than her earlier work with The-Dream (the bedroom slow-dance "My Love"). 

Unfortunately, it's an even more anonymous Carey than ever before. One of the biggest selling points of "E=MC2" was Carey dropping the over-the-top howling, and learning how to sing with a more restrained range. She thankfully left the showboating to the "American Idol" kids, and stayed closer to the rhythms. Yet "Obsessed" again sells out the songbird to her producers. 

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Island Def Jam
Comments () | Archives (17)

Go Mimi!!
Go Obsessed!! Go 19th #1!!!
Go Grammy Payback !!
Boo haters!!! Booo Todd!! :D

After reading this scathing review I feel the writer loses sight of one big fact. Mariah has a large body of work/songs that many people like. Using auto tune on some songs does not diminish her talent in any way . It's just a song! One of many she has recorded. I personally like the song and don't care who it is about. Writing derogatory comments about such an artist does not show you are very intelligent or a good writer. When you listen to the whole album all the way through, then make a comment, people will respect your opinion more.

it's ok, mariah has rarely been a critics' darling anyway (except lately for emancipation & that album's star single, we belong together). the music fans will decide whether they'll buy it & if it goes to #1 or not.

but my guess is, just as lady gaga & her sex-provoking songs are being talked about & bought by the millions, so will this.

To be honest, I am not obsessed with this single from Mariah's latest album "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angle".

I do love Mariah but this song doesnt give her justice as far as her real talent is concerned. It remind me of a leftover from one of her songs from E=Mc2.

I know Mariah and fans are trying to generate a buzz but this song is pretty generic. On the other hand I am looking forward for Whitney Houston's long awaited album.

I don't get your problem witrh mariah. The whole point of the music industry is to entertain and sometimes you dont need to dish out the heavy vocals all the time everyone knows mariah can blow but she dont have to do it all the time. She is allowed just to make a good tune every now and then and obviously music is supposed to be made for radio its a job at the end of the day and thats the way to make money iv loved mariah since she came out and iv loved everything shes done i dont need the huge vocals everytime she opens her mouth because she makes great music

I think this reviewers biggest problem is that he didn't do his homework before this article was written. The first paragraph where he declares Mimi is 'irritated' is ridiculous. She's clearly quoting 'Mean Girls'. Her tone is exactly the same as Regina's in the movie when she says the same thing. Before this guy should have started speculated her feelings, he should get to know some pretty well known facts. She's young at heart and loves to be silly. It was only a matter of time before she was quoting the movie on an album. I'm still waiting for the 'So Fetch' single.

Money vs Art

I have a strong feeling that Mariah is trying to cash- in as many Number Ones as she possibly could with this R&B song (after all US is her biggest market).

However, there will be a period of time when Number One means nothing especially in the Billboard where the airplay determines popularity not sales. I used to be a fans of her but lately I find her music caters for the teenagers/younger audiences who are willing to pay almost anything for the sake of popularity and trend.

I would be happy if she could make 'meaningful music' that suits her age and come out with something groundbreaking for the industry. I also would love to see her achieve more credits from her music and talent not just depend on hype, chart position and marketing such as Obsessed and Touch My Body... worldwide.

I wont be surprised if 'Memoirs of an Imperfect Angle' manage to sell around 2 million copies worldwide just like E=Mc2.

@Matthew, I totally agree. Just because Obsessed doesn't sound as "powerful" as her other songs doesn't mean it's bad. Mariah is a true star; look at her staying power! I was just watching all of her past music videos on her IHR channel (here: http://www.iheartradio.com/cc-common/news/sections/special/mariahcarey.html/?cmp=nina_mariahcarey) and she has so many hits to her name. You can't deny her star status and talent. Go Mariah!!!

We have Mariah's classics forever in our personal music catalogs. They are TIMELESS. So, what, she's being criticized because she can change it up??!!! Get outta here with that!! She's havin' fun with Obsessed. Do you critics mind if WE DO??? The way she keeps coming amid controversy only gives me big respect for her.

Mariah is the best!!!

So the LA Times gave Mariah yet another backhanded compliment, what a shocker.

Aside from finding the whole witchy diatribe as vapid as they claim Mariah is, one of the things that irritated me the most was the claim that she didn't take the ""high road". As earlier recognised, the nobody who wrote this didn't do their homework. Had they done so, they would've found Mariah Carey's been taking the High Road for 19 years - a feat I doubt they could manage for 19 minutes.

Why dn't you just admit that no matter what she does, she cannot please you? She belts out, she's wailing, she restrains, she's not really singing. The woman's a master of middle of the road between the two and trust me, she's a sensei you're not worthy of taking classes from, yet still, you tear her down. That is precisely the reason that "SHE'S the Press Conference, you're the conversation".

Question: Do I have to listen to this make -believe -saga between Mariah and Eminem for my entire summer with 'Obsessed'?

Answer: No, I have better songs to listen to!

I think it's obvious Eminem and Mariah are making up a fake conflict to save their dwindling careers. The sad thing is people eat it up... and I even have to admit I am times one of them. Well, even though it's fake, it's entertainment.

But people should recognize it's fake. Nick Cannon, Mariah and Eminem probably get together at night and laugh at the fact that they're pulling the wool over everyone's eyes

Umm - all of you, including the Times - LIGHTEN UP.

It's just music people, and the lady can sing. Happens to have a hot body on top of of that with possibly very real boobs LOL. from Vision of Love on down, a very solid pop songwriter through the years.

Enjoy the music if you like, if you don't? Why hyper-analyze? If she was a non-singing celeb like Britney or Jenn Lopez, I can see you guys getting your thongs all ablaze.

Pop artists like Mariah and Beyonce -on the other hand - do just fine singing if the electricity goes out because they don't need Pro-Tools tricks to hide behind.

It's fun watching the sparkley glitz, glam but whatever about your nitpicking. Mariah's alright. Glad she's stuck around instead of letting the business dispose of her when the peanut gall said she was OVER.

Gotta love other people deciding for you when you're over LOL.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Can't please anyone really but yourself. Mariah's a perfect example of that.

iI love mariah and I even like the new song , but sometimes I think she puts out some songs in the wrong order. Like with E=MC2 . If she was going to go with a slow song why couldn't of been love story . When she did lovin you long time it would have done way better on the charts if the video was different . I loved the song then when I seen the video I stopped listening to it. After they stopped playing the video I listen to it again . I think touch my body was genius because we got to see a playful side of her . If she is going to do video for obsessed make it a good one . It will totally help it on the charts and album sales . I mean she should really go all when trash talking eminem . I know he would do that to her lol!!

I have to say that this writer clearly doesn't appreciate the changing state of the music industry. It's was a common criticism of Mariah early on that all her ballads were too sugary and didn't really showcase emotion. Now that she has gone to a more sultry sound she's being criticized for changing the formula. A true artist like Mariah Carey will continually develop and change their style. We all know that she can sing, there should be no questions about that. We all know she can write, the fact that she's written 99% of her material proves that. This was a buzz single that she wrote to address an issue (whether or not she admits this) and it happens to have become a hit. As far as selling the songbird out to her producers, the ill-informed writer should note that Carey produces the bulk of her material including this song. How about you pick up a Billboard record book or actually listen to music before you make a career out of it.

I've seen so many people commenting on the mom & pop / corporation lyric. I know they're just song lyrics, but it adds to the myth that mom & pop shops aren't real businesses. It is a bit offensive.

National Copreneur Society


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