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Angels Cry (song)

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"Angels Cry"
Song by Mariah Carey
from the album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel
  • The Boom Boom Room
  • Honeywest Studios
Length 4:01
Label Island Def Jam
  • Carey
  • Stewart
  • Wright

"Angels Cry" is a song by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey from her twelfth studio album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (2009). It was written and produced by Carey, Tricky Stewart and James "Big Jim" Wright, with additional songwriting from Crystal Johnson. On the album's track listing, "Angels Cry" is preceded by a one-minute, four second prelude called "Angel (The Prelude)", which consists of Carey performing purely in her whistle register. The prelude then leads into "Angels Cry", a song about trying to fix a broken relationship because true love only happens once. Carey released "Angels Cry" as a remix single featuring Ne-Yo in January 2010 for a proposed Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel remix album called Angels Advocate, which was ultimately shelved.


"Angels Cry" was written and produced by Mariah Carey, Tricky Stewart and James "Big Jim" Wright, with additional songwriting from Crystal Johnson, for Carey's twelfth studio album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (2009). The song was recorded by Brian Garten and Brian "B-Luv" Thomas at The Boom Boom Room in Burbank and Honeywest Studios in New York City, and they were assisted in the process by Luis Navarro. It was mixed by Phil Tan at Soapbox Studios in Atlanta. Additional engineering was carried out by Carlos Oyanedel and Damien Lewis. The keys and Hammond B3 were performed by Stewart and Wright.[1] Carey uses her higher vocal register to perform over an instrumental of a piano and finger snapping.[2] "Angels Cry" is preceded by a one-minute, four second prelude called "Angel (The Prelude)".[3] The prelude was written and produced by Carey, Stewart and Wright. Oyanedel, Lewis and Tan carried out the additional engineering and mixing as with "Angels Cry", however Garten and Thomas recorded the prelude at the Studio at the Palms in Las Vegas in addition to Honeywest Studios.[1] The prelude consists of Carey performing only whistle notes.[4]

Lyrically, "Angels Cry" is about maintaining hope that a fading relationship can be salvaged because true love only happens once. Carey sings "I’m willing to live and die for our love/Baby we can get back that shine."[5] However, the lyrics "Super natural love conquers all" could also be interpreted as feeling God's love.[5] Adam Holz of Plugged In thought that the lyrics were "depressing,"[5] while Lauren Murphy of Entertainment IE felt that the lyrics "When you and I say goodbye, I felt the angels cry" were too sentimental.[6] Although Ann Powers of Los Angeles Times thought that the song had a "sad" tone, she praised its production.[7] Bill Lamb of placed "Angels Cry" in his list of the album's best tracks.[8] Michael Cragg of musicOMH was critical of the song, writing that it is a "limp ballad" which he thought was trying too hard at recreating some of Carey's previous material, and concluded by writing that it "ultimately ends up making you want to hear the original version more than anything".[9] A reviewer for DJ Booth commented that the song sounded as thought it could have been released in 1994.[10]

Remix single featuring Ne-Yo[edit]

"Angels Cry (Remix)"
Angels Cry Mariah Carey.png
Single by Mariah Carey featuring Ne-Yo
from the album Angels Advocate
Released January 26, 2010 (2010-01-26)
Recorded 2009
Length 3:53
Label Island Def Jam
  • Carey
  • Stewart
  • Wright
Mariah Carey singles chronology
"Up Out My Face"
"Angels Cry (Remix)"
"Oh Santa!"

"Up Out My Face"
"Angels Cry"
"Oh Santa!"
Ne-Yo singles chronology
"Never Knew I Needed"
(2009) Never Knew I Needed2009
"Angels Cry"
(2010) Angels Cry2010
"Super High"
(2010) Super High2010

Background and release[edit]

Carey revealed that she intended to re-release Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel as a remix album in early 2010, titled Angels Advocate, consisting of remixes of the standard songs with new featured artists, including Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Trey Songz, R. Kelly, T-Pain, Gucci Mane and OJ da Juiceman.[11][12] "Angels Cry" and "Up Out My Face" from Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel were released as remix singles with Ne-Yo featuring on the former and Nicki Minaj on the latter.[12] The remix version of "Angels Cry" featuring Ne-Yo was released to rhythmic contemporary and urban contemporary radio in the United States on January 26, 2010.[13][14] It was made available for digital download on February 23, 2010, in Canada and the United States.[15][16] A release date of February 23, 2010, for the album was slated, and then pushed back to March 9.[12] It was then further pushed back to March 30.[17] However, it was confirmed in March 2010 that production of Angels Advocate had halted and the project was shelved indefinitely.[11][18] Island Def Jam stated that the singer was instead working on a new project and "new surprises".[11] Metro revealed that Carey was possibly recording a Christmas album.[19]

Composition and reception[edit]

Musically, the remix does not greatly differ from that of the original apart from a new second verse by Ne-Yo.[20] Digital Spy's Robert Copsey praised the track. He wrote that it was one of the standouts on Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel and that "it's about as close to 'classic' Mariah as 'new' Mariah gets".[21] He complimented Carey's "classy" and "effortless" vocals, and added that Ne-Yo gave the track an emotional "extra dimension".[21] Copsey likened the song to one of Carey's previous singles, "We Belong Together" (2005): "It's a bit of a 'We Belong Together' retread, but it's a thoroughly pleasant 'We Belong Together' retread".[21] Leonie Cooper of The Guardian gave a mixed review of the remix. Although she did not express her dislike for the track, she felt that it was too similar to Carey previous material, writing that it is middle-of-the road "inoffensive semi-soul fodder we've had to come to expect from her." Cooper was, however, critical of the decision to include Ne-Yo and that his addition makes the song even more bland.[22] Robbie Daw of Idolator also felt that the track was a "typically Mariah-esque ballad".[20]

Chart performance[edit]

In the United States, the remix peaked at number twenty-six on the Adult Contemporary chart,[23] becoming her twenty-eighth career entry and Ne-Yo's first.[24] It is the second song from Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel to enter the chart following Carey's single release cover of "I Want to Know What Love Is" which peaked at number ten; it is also the first time Carey had charted two songs on the Adult Contemporary chart from the same album since her sixth studio Butterfly, where its title track and "My All" peaked at numbers eleven and eighteen in 1997/98.[24] The remix also peaked at number ninety on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[25] Elsewhere, the track peaked at number eighty-nine in Japan[26] and number ninety on the UK Singles Chart, but reached number twenty-eight on the UK R&B Chart.[27][28] It did however achieve some success in South Korea, peaking at number four on the international Digital Singles chart.[29]

Music video[edit]

The accompanying music video for the remix of "Angels Cry" was directed by Carey's husband, Nick Cannon.[30] In December 2009, Cannon spoke of the video's concept, saying "This video is going to be simplistically genius! No bells and whistles, just documenting history and brilliance. Two of the worlds greatest song writers in the studio crafting a masterpiece. I hope the world is ready to hear 'Angels Cry'".[31] It premiered simultaneously with the video for "Up Out My Face" with Minaj on Vevo on January 28, 2010.[30] The video shows Carey and Ne-Yo collaborating on the song together in a recording studio.[32]

The video starts with Carey walking in the rain to meet Ne-Yo who is waiting for her in the studio. Clips of Carey singing in desperation in the rain are intercut with footage of her recording her vocals in the recording booth. For his scenes, Ne-Yo sings as he stands next to as well as plays the piano as Carey reminisces by herself, while other scenes show him in the booth with Carey as they sing their parts together. At the video's climax, both singers are belt the final note in the booth, which is followed by them walking out of the studio where it has stopped raining and the sun is shining. Robbie Daw wrote that the video gave him "chills". He also commented on the use of product placement of Carey's perfume M and her own brand of champagne.[33] Melinda Newman of HitFix thought that the video appeared to have a bigger production budget than that of the video for "Up Out My Face" with Minaj, but noted that it was still "low-key" for a Carey video.[30] Newman further commented that while the singer appears to be wearing albeit little make-up, she looked more natural and "beautiful" than ever.[30] Leonie Cooper thought that the video made the "bland" song more appealing: "the video, with a moist Mariah mithering in the rain, preposterous sequinned gold boots, a puppy in the studio, and shameless pimping of her latest perfume, kind of makes up for it."[22]


Chart (2010)
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[26] 89
South Korea International Digital Singles (Gaon)[29] 4
UK Singles Chart (Official Charts Company)[27] 81
UK R&B Chart (Official Charts Company)[28] 28
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[23] 26
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[25] 90

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United States January 26, 2010 Rhythmic contemporary[13] Island Def Jam
Urban contemporary[14]
Canada February 23, 2010 Digital download[15][16]
United States


  1. ^ a b Carey, Mariah (2009). Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (Liner Notes). Island Records (Compact Disc). Mariah Carey. New York. 
  2. ^ Concepcion, Mariel (September 26, 2009). "Albums". Billboard. 121 (38): 36. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved August 28, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Mariah Carey – Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel". iTunes Store. September 29, 2009. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 
  4. ^ Farber, Jim (September 29, 2009). "Mariah Carey's 'Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel' obscures any chance at vocal perfection". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Holz, Adam. "Mariah Carey Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel: Plugged In". Plugged In. Archived from the original on October 20, 2009. Retrieved June 22, 2014. 
  6. ^ Murphy, Lauren (October 14, 2009). "Mariah Carey – Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel". Entertainment IE. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  7. ^ Powers, Ann (September 29, 2009). "Album review: Mariah Carey's 'Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 26, 2015. 
  8. ^ Lamb, Bill. "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel". Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  9. ^ Cragg, Michael (November 16, 2009). "Mariah Carey – Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel". musicOMH. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Mariah Carey Up Out My Face (Remix)". DJ Booth. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c Hasty, Kate (March 22, 2010). "Mariah Carey's 'Angels Advocate' remix album served indefinitely". HitFix. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c Vena, Jocelyn (January 15, 2010). "Mariah Carey's Angels Advocate Release Date Pushed Back". MTV News. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Rhythmic Contemporary Week Of: January 26, 2010". Radio & Records. January 26, 2010. Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "Urban Contemporary Week Of: January 26, 2010". Radio & Records. January 26, 2010. Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "Angels Cry (Remix) [feat. Ne-Yo] – Single". iTunes Store. February 23, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b "Angels Cry (Remix) [feat. Ne-Yo] –Single". iTunes Store. February 23, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  17. ^ Concepcion, Mariel (January 28, 2010). "Mariah Carey's 'Angels Advocate' Remix Album Due March 30". Billboard. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  18. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (March 23, 2010). "Mariah Carey: 'Angels Advocate' remix album cancelled". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Mariah Carey scraps Angels Advocate remix album". Metro. March 24, 2010. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  20. ^ a b Daw, Robbie (January 7, 2010). "Mariah Carey And Ne-Yo's 'Angels Cry' Remix Leaks". Idolator. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c "Single Reviews: Mariah Carey ft Ne-Yo – Angels Cry". Digital Spy. March 21, 2010. Archived from the original on 22 March 2010. Retrieved March 21, 2010. 
  22. ^ a b Cooper, Leonie (March 27, 2010). "Singles out this week". The Guardian. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  23. ^ a b "Mariah Carey Adult Contemporary Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  24. ^ a b Trust, Gary (March 10, 2010). "Chart Beat Wednesday: Muse, Billy Currington, Mariah Carey – Chart Beat". Billboard. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  25. ^ a b "Mariah Carey Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  26. ^ a b "Mariah Carey Japan Hot 100 Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  27. ^ a b "Mariah Carey Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  28. ^ a b "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40 – 11 April 2010 – 17 April 2010". Official Charts Company. April 17, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2015. 
  29. ^ a b "South Korea Gaon International Digital Chart (Week: 2010.02.28 to 2010.03.06)". Gaon Chart. February 28, 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  30. ^ a b c d Newman, Melinda (January 28, 2010). "Mariah Carey debuts two new videos from forthcoming remix album". HitFix. Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Mariah Carey & Ne-Yo's 'Angels Cry (remix)' Video Stills". Rap-Up. December 22, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Video: Mariah Carey f/ Ne-Yo – 'Angels Cry'". Rap-Up. January 27, 2010. Retrieved September 29, 2015. 
  33. ^ Daw, Robbie (January 28, 2013). "Mariah Carey is All Wet in Angels Cry". Idolator. Retrieved September 29, 2015. 

External links[edit]