Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse

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Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse
Mariah Carey - Me I Am Mariah (Official Album Cover).png
Studio album by Mariah Carey
Released May 23, 2014 (2014-05-23)
Recorded 2011–14
Genre
Length 62:42
Label Def Jam
Producer
Mariah Carey chronology
The Essential Mariah Carey
(2011)
Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse
(2014)
#1 to Infinity
(2015)
Singles from Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse
  1. "#Beautiful"
    Released: May 7, 2013 (2013-05-07)
  2. "The Art of Letting Go"
    Released: November 11, 2013 (2013-11-11)
  3. "You're Mine (Eternal)"
    Released: February 12, 2014 (2014-02-12)
  4. "You Don't Know What to Do"
    Released: June 30, 2014 (2014-06-30)

Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse is the fourteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey. It was released on May 23, 2014, through Def Jam Recordings, her final album on the label. The record had been in development since 2011; during its production, Carey hired friend and collaborator Randy Jackson to manage her career, before replacing him with another frequent collaborator, Jermaine Dupri. The album consists of guest appearances from Nas, Miguel, Wale, and Fabolous, in addition to Carey's twins Morroccan and Monroe. On the deluxe edition of the album, R. Kelly and Mary J. Blige respectively make appearances on remixes of two songs taken from Carey's twelfth studio album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (2009).

Previously titled The Art of Letting Go, the album was originally scheduled for release in 2012 following the single, "Triumphant (Get 'Em)" featuring Rick Ross and Meek Mill. However, after the song's underperformance, additional songs were recorded for the album, causing the release date to be pushed back several times throughout 2013 and again in 2014. Together with Bryan Michael Cox, Carey and Dupri executively produced the album. It is named after a self-portrait that Carey drew at the age of three-years old that she captioned "Me. I Am Mariah". "The Elusive Chanteuse" part of the title is one of Carey's many monikers.

After its release, the album was critically appreciated but was commercially unsuccessful, becoming the lowest selling release of Carey's career. Me. I Am Mariah... was promoted through a number of media appearances by Carey as well as The Elusive Chanteuse Show. Four singles were released from the album including, the Australian top-ten and US Billboard Hot 100 top-twenty hit "#Beautiful" (a duet with Miguel), as well as the less successful "The Art of Letting Go", "You're Mine (Eternal)", and "You Don't Know What to Do" featuring rapper Wale.

Background[edit]

On September 25, 2009, Carey's twelfth studio album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, was released. Following the cancellation of Angels Advocate, a remix album of Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, it was announced that Carey would return to the studio to start work on her thirteenth studio album.[7] It was later revealed that it would be her second Christmas album, the follow-up to Merry Christmas (1994). The album, titled Merry Christmas II You, was released alongside an accompanying DVD, and was sent to retailers on November 2, 2010.[8] Merry Christmas II You debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 with sales of 56,000 copies, surpassing the opening week sales of Carey's previous holiday album of 45,000 copies 16 years prior.[9] It also became Carey's 16th top ten album in the United States.[9] The album debuted at number one on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, making it only the second Christmas album to top this chart.[10] Following the birth of her children, Carey began work on her fourteenth studio album.[11]

Development[edit]

The first indication that Carey had begun work on her fourteenth studio album was in February 2011, with Carey stating: "I start writing for my new album this week-but it's just the beginning...."[citation needed] In March 2011, Carey's representative said she will donate royalties for the song "Save the Day", which she has written for her upcoming studio album, to charities that create awareness for human-rights issues.[12] Her husband Nick Cannon told Billboard in May 2011 that Carey had already completed a good amount of recording for a new album, a few months before during her pregnancy: "She's planning on having a [new single] out this year. She's been working away, and we have a studio in the crib, and [the pregnancy] has totally inspired her on so many different levels." Additionally, Cannon confirmed that Carey was inspired by her debut self-titled album and its follow-up, Emotions.[13]

In January 2012, Cannon updated everyone on the album, saying: "My beautiful wife is planning to make her return to the music scene after taking time off to focus on the pregnancy and the birth of our two wonderful babies, Moroccan and Monroe."[14] On August 3, 2012, Carey released "Triumphant (Get 'Em)", a collaboration with rappers Rick Ross and Meek Mill, which was originally claimed to be the lead single for her upcoming studio album.[15] The single received low impact both critically and commercially, and was eventually removed from the album.[16] The Island Def Jam Music Group was shuttered by Universal Music Group on April 1, 2014. Island Records and Def Jam Recordings operate as separate entities, with Carey being transferred from Island to Def Jam.[17][18]

Recording[edit]

In September 2011, producer and friend Jermaine Dupri took to his social network Global14 to reveal that he's back in the studio with Carey working on new music.[19] In July 2012, it was announced that Randy Jackson completed seven songs with Carey for the album.[20] In August 2012, Bryan Michael Cox said about the album: "She was committed to making it before she got pregnant. Then she got pregnant and she took the time off. Then after she came back, we started really vibing again and we picked up right where we left off. I just feel like between [record producer] Jermaine Dupri, myself and her, we came up with a few things that [are] really, really a solid body of work".[21] In September 2012, Carey was in the studio with R. Kelly.[22]

Carey said about her fourteenth studio album: "I'm collaborating with a lot of my favorite people but the main thing is [that] I'm not trying to follow any particular trend, I want it to be well received. I want to stay true to myself and the music that I love and make the fans happy".[23] Some of the people that Carey worked with on the album include: DJ Clue?, Randy Jackson, Q-Tip, R. Kelly, David Morales, Loris Holland, Stevie J, James Fauntleroy, Ray Angry, Jermaine Dupri, Bryan-Michael Cox, James "Big Jim" Wright, Hit-Boy, The-Dream, Da Brat, and Rodney Jerkins.[24][25][26]

Carey gave Billboard an exclusive interview in their March 9, 2013 issue, stating: "It's about making sure I have tons of good music, because at the end of the day, that's the most important thing.... There are a lot more raw ballads than people might expect... there are also uptempo and signature-type songs that represent [my] different facets as an artist.... Wherever we go with this project, I've tried to keep the soul and heart in it." Billboard also asked Carey about the title of the album, but she declined to reveal it.[26] In late March 2013, Carey stated that she "has more than enough songs" but "she's in the process of finishing things and mixing and all that".[27]

On June 20, 2013; Carey was in the studio with Mike Will Made It and Young Jeezy.[28] On August 3, 2013, Carey was in the studio with rapper Wale.[29] In September 2013, Carey was in the studio with rapper Nas.[30] In October 2013, Jermaine Dupri was announced as Carey's new manager.[31] In January 2014, Carey stated that there will be two cover songs on the album and announced that she has finished sequencing the album's track list.[32] In an interview in February 2014, Carey added that there are songs on the album that are about her husband Nick Cannon[33] as well as songs that she wrote specifically for her twins Moroccan and Monroe.[34] That same month, Carey announced to MTV News that she has added three new songs to the tracklist, 1 extra Hitboy record and two new remixes[35] and stated that she is in the process of choosing a new title for the album.[36] The two remixes are of the songs "Betcha Gon' Know" and "It's a Wrap", previously featured on 2009's Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel; R. Kelly features on the former, while Mary J. Blige features on the latter.[37] The cover versions were confirmed to be George Michael's 1988 single, "One More Try", and cover of the patriotic song "America the Beautiful" for the Japanese CD edition of the album.[37][38]

Music and lyrics[edit]

The music reacts to Carey's fallow years in most every way it should. It returns her to the type of grand balladry, and formal melodies, that first made her a star. It's her most melodic, least-trendy album in memory — both moves that greatly flatter her.

 — Jim Farber, New York Daily News[39]

Consisting of fifteen songs and four deluxe songs Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse is an R&B album with a diverse musical style that incorporates hip hop,[2] hip hop soul,[3] soul[40] and elements of disco[5] and gospel.[6] Mike Wass of Idolator described the album as being a concept album that journeys through the era's of R&B, from Motown to the '90s, disco and early hip-hop.[41]

Described by Sarah Rodman as being a "rhythmic hip-hop pop" album that contains "gospel-inflected power ballads, old-school soul, and straight-up disco fantasias," Rodman described the album's production as being built over a "pulsating atmosphere" and "fidgety rhythmic tracks."[42] Jim Farber of New York Daily News cited the album as a return from her previous studio album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (2009), which Fader described as a "disastrous", Farber noted the album's musical content as containing "grand balladry, and formal melodies."[39]

Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly, noted "nostalgia" to be a big and recurring theme both lyrically and musically, continuing to comment on this saying the "arrangements that borrow from Inner Life's disco rave-up 'I'm Caught Up (In a One Night Love Affair)' and the O'Jays' Philly-soul classic 'Let Me Make Love to You'."[43] Eric Henderson of Slant Magazine noted the album's lyrics to be "personal, crazy. Crazy personal," Henderson continued calling the album's lyrical content an "deliberately confusing innocence with insight, obliviousness with bliss."[44] Carey's voice on the album was described by Elysa Gardner of USA Today, as "artful melisma, robust belting and decorative high notes." Gardner continued, noting Mariah's use of her "supple middle and lower registers to convey feeling simply and directly."[4]

Composition[edit]

The album opens with "Cry", a gospel song built over a piano, "simmering vocals and full-bodied runs" containing "swirling organs and scaling ad-lib."[45] Described by Billboard magazine as being one of the album's most "heaviest moments," lyrically the song discusses Carey's desire to hold a lover until they both start "bawling."[46] "Faded" is a "luscious" R&B song produced by Mike Will Made It, the song and Carey's vocals feature "climaxes" with the song taking influence from R&B hip-hop and pop genres.[47] "Dedicated" features American rapper Nas, the song contains a sample from "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'" as performed by Wu-Tang Clan and lyrically discusses nostalgia, with Mariah and Nas looking back at their past relationships and how they have shaped their lives.[46][48]

"#Beautiful" is a mid-tempo and stripped down R&B and soul music song.[49][50][51] Carey's "big vocals" combined with Miguel's "signature eclectic rock and roll sound" results in "#Beautiful" having an old school vibe to it reminiscent of the Stax Records/Motown Records era,[52] according to a reviewer for The Honesty Hour.[53] "Thirsty" is a "club-friendly" hip hop and R&B song, which lasts for a duration of three minutes and 26 seconds.[54][55][56] "Thirsty" is about how Carey's lover has a thirst for fame which causes her to drown in her own misery.[57] American rapper Rich Homie Quan performs background chants on "Thirsty", although he is not credited on the album track list.[55] He does, however, appear as a featured artist on a shortened alternate version of the song, and performs one rap verse.[57]

"Make It Look Good," lyrically talks about "getting played" by a man yet she is deciding "to just go with it," the song is built over a "skipping '80's" beat that contains interpolations of "Let Me Make Love to You", written by Walter "Bunny" Sigler and Allan Felder.[46][48] "You're Mine (Eternal)" is a love song which lasts for a duration of three minutes and forty-two seconds.[58][59] The song utilizes an hypnotic and "smooth, steady" beat, which slowly but gradually builds to a sudden climax at the end. Lyrically, the track features Carey reminiscing about a past lover.[58]

"You Don't Know What to Do" features American rapper Wale and contains interpolations of "I'm Caught Up in a One Night Love Affair", written by Patrick Adams and Terri Gonzalez.[48] The song is a disco inspired track containing a "bumping" beat compared to music of 1977.[46] "Supernatural" is a "sappy cut" featuring Carey's children credited as "Dem Babies".[46] "Meteorite" is built over a "disco beat", lyrically the song is a running "commentary on celebrity culture", and contains a sample from "Goin' Up in Smoke", performed by Eddie Kendricks.[46][48] "Camouflage" is a piano ballad,[46] followed by "Money" featuring rapper Fabulous and features a sample from "Alabeke", performed by Dan Snatch, and "Rapper Dapper Snapper" performed by Edwin Birdsong.[48]"Money" is an R&B song built over a "thumping" beat produced by Hit-Boy with lyrics that revolve around money not being important.[46]

"One More Try" is a cover of George Michael's 1988 single of the same name, with an "'80s taste" and a "schmaltzy" production.[46] "Heavenly (No Ways Tired / Can't Give Up Now)" is a gospel song with a choir that is dedicated as a tribute to the late Reverend James Cleveland. It contains an excerpt from the Reverend's sermon "God's Promise" performed by James Cleveland. The song also contains a sample of "Can't Give Up Now" performed by Mary Mary, "I Don't Feel No Ways Tired" performed by James Cleveland and "Good Ole Music" performed by Funkadelic.[46][48]

The deluxe album consists of four extra songs; the opening track "It's A Wrap" features American singer Mary J. Blige. The song contains a sample of "I Belong to You" by Barry White, performed by the Love Unlimited Orchestra.[48] "Betcha Gon' Know" was originally recorded and included on Carey's 2009 album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, the remix featuring R. Kelly leaked in July 2011, and draws influence from R&B.[60] Carey announced that the remix would appear the album as a deluxe edition bonus track.[61] "The Art of Letting Go" is an empowering gospel and classic R&B ballad with use of the piano, strings, and guitar.[62][63] The lyrics of the song talk about a personal experience Carey faced throughout the years, possibly including the early days in her career when she was signed to Columbia Records through her relationship with her then-husband, the former executive of Sony Music, Tommy Mottola.[citation needed] The song was originally the inspiration to also call the album The Art of Letting Go[64] however, during in interview with MTV in February 2014, Carey revealed that she was frustrated that the album title leaked as she had not intended for the public to know about it just yet, and as a result she would be retitling the album.[65]

Title and artwork[edit]

In June 2013, it was announced that Carey is "still choosing between two titles" for the album.[66] On June 16, 2013, Walmart put the album up for pre-order and revealed its title as The Art of Letting Go.[67] The following day, producer Jermaine Dupri confirmed that Walmart was correct and that the album would be called The Art of Letting Go.[68] In February 2014, Carey expressed dismay that the album's title had leaked and confirmed that a new title would now be chosen.[69] The album is now titled Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse, a two-part title taking its name from two things personal to Carey. The first part is the caption from Carey's "first and only self-portrait", a drawing she drew as a child which is included as part of the album's back cover, while the second half is a nickname she's adopted recently.[37] Summarizing the title and album's concept, Carey said "This album is a reflection of some of the peaks and valleys that made me who I am today. I've always known me. I am Mariah."[70] Carl Williot from Idolator called the album title both "absurd" and "insane". He also lambasted Carey for including "annoying" punctuation in the track listing, including a hashtag (#) for the song "#Beautiful", a period (.) for the song "Cry." and appending characters to the song "Money ($ * / ...)".[71] Time‍ '​s Dan Macsai called it the "greatest, most over-the-top album title of all time."[72]

On the standard edition cover, Carey poses with her arms behind her head, while wearing a nude-colored crocheted swimsuit. The deluxe edition features a close-up of Carey's face, on the same sun-kissed background.[70] Jeremy Blacklow from Yahoo! Music commented that some fans felt that the album covers "look retouched to the extreme".[73]

Release[edit]

In the April 2012 issue of Shape magazine, Carey stated: "I've started writing songs for a new album, which I hope will come out in 2012. Getting back in the studio and making music again-which I truly love doing-is the best way to end this crazy year".[74] In August 2012, Carey's then-manager Randy Jackson told Billboard that the album was set for release in March 2013.[75] Carey told Ryan Seacrest in September 2012: "I want[ed] [it] to [be released] sooner, but I guess it wouldn't be ready until around January 2013, somewhere around there. I wanted to put another single out, a ballad. I love it, but I'm still writing, I'm still working. So, you never know what it's going to end up being".[76]

In February 2013, Carey stated that she wanted to release the album as soon as possible.[77][78] The album was delayed to May 2013,[79] which soon changed to July 23, 2013.[80] However, the album was again delayed. On February 10, 2014, it was announced that the album was then set for release on May 6, 2014.[81] Carey discussed issues around the failed singles and push backs during an interview with Billboard, for the magazine's cover story. She said that she wanted fans to hear the album as a full body of work and thus performance of individual singles was less important.[82] Carey also considered a "Beyoncé-style surprise digital release" – Beyoncé released her self-titled album to the iTunes Store in December 2013 without any prior warning, but Def Jam confirmed that Carey's album would receive a traditional release with pre-orders starting May 1, 2014 and a pre-announced album cover, track listing and release date for May 27, 2014.[82] The album served as Carey's final release under her deal with Def Jam.[83][84][85]

Promotion[edit]

Carey singing "#Beautiful" live on Good Morning America, May 24, 2013.

Carey taped a performance of "#Beautiful" along with a medley of her greatest hits on May 15, 2013. The medley included Carey's debut "Vision of Love", as well as other songs such as "Make it Happen", "We Belong Together", "My All", and "Hero". The taping aired the following day (May 16) during the American Idol Season 12 finale episode.[86] Carey performed "#Beautiful" with Miguel on June 2, 2013, at Hot 97's Summer Jam XX festival.[87] She performed the remix of the song with Young Jeezy and Miguel on June 30, 2013, at the BET Awards.[88]

The singer taped a performance of "The Art of Letting Go", along with a medley of "Auld Lang Syne", "Fantasy", "Honey", "#Beautiful", "Emotions", "Always Be My Baby", "Touch My Body" and "We Belong Together", for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, which aired on December 31, 2013. Carey performed "You're Mine (Eternal)" for the first time at the BET Honors on February 8, 2014 and the show premiered on TV Monday February 24, 2014.[89] On February 13, 2014, Carey performed the song live while lighting up the Empire State Building.[90] Carey opened the 2014 World Music Awards with a performance of "Meteorite" and received Pop Icon Awards for having sold over 200 million records, and having more number one singles in United States than any other solo artist.[91]

Singles[edit]

"#Beautiful" was released as the album's lead single on May 7, 2013.[92] "#Beautiful" made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 24, the highest debut of the week. It has since peaked at 15, becoming Carey's 33rd Top 20 Hit, and being one of only 5 to miss the Top 10. It also gave Miguel his 3rd Top 20 hit, after Power Trip (2013) and Adorn (2012).[93][94] According to Nielsen SoundScan, "#Beautiful" had sold 1.2 million copies in the United States as of April 2014.[95] Internationally, the song reached the top-ten position in Australia, Croatia, Denmark, New Zealand, South Africa, and South Korea.[96] The music video for "#Beautiful" was directed by Joseph Kahn. It was filmed on April 21 and 22, 2013. The video was supposed to have its world premiere on American Idol on May 8, 2013, however, the release date was pushed back to May 9, 2013 instead.[50] It was made available to view on Vevo and YouTube immediately after its television debut.[50]

The album's second single, "The Art of Letting Go", had its world premiere via Facebook on November 11, 2013.[97] It was commercially unsuccessful, peaking at number 19 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles.[98] "You're Mine (Eternal)" was released as the third single on February 12, 2014.[99] Commercially, the song has had limited success, charting inside the top 40 in Hungary, Korea, and Spain. In the United States, the song peaked at number 88 on the Hot 100, but became Carey's 17th number-one single on the Hot Dance Club Songs chart, placing her in fifth position as the artist with most number-one songs on that chart.[100] "You Don't Know What to Do" impacted urban contemporary radio on June 30, 2014 and rhythmic contemporary radio on July 1, 2014.[101][102]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 67/100[103]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[104]
Entertainment Weekly B[43]
Fact 2.5/5 discs[105]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[106]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[107]
New York Daily News 4/5 stars[39]
Pitchfork Media 7.7/10[108]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[109]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[110]
USA Today 3.5/4 stars[4]

Upon release, the album received generally positive reviews. The review aggregator website Metacritic gives a weighted average rating to an album based upon the selected independent mainstream reviews it utilizes, and the album has a Metascore of a 67 out of 100 based on 15 reviews.[103] At AllMusic, Andy Kellman rated the album three-and-a-half stars out of five, saying how Mariah has abandoned the brevity of her earlier releases, but says the songstress is "still capable of delivering 40 minutes of strong, supremely voiced R&B when she's up for it.". He also stated that the standard edition of the album could have worked better without the clumpy and jumbled "Money", the oddly cheap sounding "One More Try", and the stiff/empty "Thirsty".[104] Kenneth Partridge of Billboard rated the album a 77 out of 100, writing how Mariah has found her musical niche that her fans have come to expect that is a "mix of pop-classicist balladry and hip-hop-tinged summer jamming".[46] At Entertainment Weekly, Melissa Maerz graded the album a B, saying how the release proves that her voice has been put through its paces, which she writes when Mariah is "trying to power through a note where it sounds like digital technology might be holding her up by the straps of that crocheted swimsuit."[43] According to Gardner however, Mariah's vocal is "relaxed and confident".[4] Also, Sargent notes that Mariah has "rarely sounded as comfortable."[108]

Jim Farber of New York Daily News rated the album four stars out of five, writing how the title is not indicative of the release as a whole because he says Mariah is not "elusive" in the least on an album where she "made her talent more clear."[39] At USA Today, Elysa Gardner rated the album three-and-a-half stars out of four, remarking whether "Elusive or not, this chanteuse is a survivor, and that's a rare thing in today's fickle, polarized pop landscape."[4] Glenn Gamboa of Newsday graded the album an A-, commenting how Mariah has "nailed it" because she "goes for timeless [sounding music], with grand results."[2] At The Plain Dealer, Troy L. Smith graded the album a B, indicating how the music meanders towards the latter stages of the album, yet noting that Mariah still picks the correct collaborators to work with on the release.[111] According to Maher however, the collaborations serve no purpose just showing how Mariah is "desperate[ly] skirting around for identity" that "leaves this album feeling underwhelming."[112] At Los Angeles Times, August Brown rated the album two-and-a-half stars out of four, indicating how Mariah vocally reined herself in on the album where she showcases her continued relevance.[107] Kevin Ritchie of Now rated the album four N's out of five, finding out that "Carey's back to adding her sparkly touch to summer-ready pop tunes."[113] At Pitchfork, Jordan Sargent rated the album a 7.7 out of ten, giving her credit for not sounding "desperate" because the tonality is "defiantly like Mariah, acknowledging her place in the pop ecosystem both implicitly and explicitly without chomping at the bit."[108]

Nick Murray of Rolling Stone rated the album three stars out five, observing how "stylistic cohesion is as elusive as the chanteuse herself."[109] At The Guardian, Caroline Sullivan rated the album three stars out of five, indicating how the release contains "a good deal of clutter", however, Mariah is "also at her most soulful and melodic" on a release she calls "a welcome return."[106] Eric Henderson of Slant Magazine rated the album three stars out of five, observing how the release is chalked full of ''Undisciplined R&B pastiches."[110] At The Boston Globe, Sarah Rodman gave a mixed review of the album, commenting on how even the good moments are "sabotaged", and the release as a whole is highly predictable with "a clutch of interchangeable slow-to-midtempo tunes long on pulsating atmosphere — several with distractingly fidgety rhythmic tracks — but short on melody or verve."[114] Aimee Cliff of Fact rated the album two-and-a-half discs out of five, comparing the album unfavorably to Beyoncé's self-titled writing that "the record just doesn’t have the same candid, bold edge that characterised Beyonce's huge statement."[105] At musicOMH, Amelia Maher rated the album two-and-a-half stars out of five, stating how Mariah's vocal range is undoubtedly robust, but this time around on the release she "falls short."[112] On the list for the 20 Best R&B Albums of 2014 by Rolling Stone magazine, Me. I am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse ranked at number 18.[115]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, the album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 albums chart with sales of 58,000 copies. It is her 17th top-ten album in the US, but became her lowest opening for a non holiday studio album since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991.[116] The album rapidly descended down the charts,[117][118] and was present on the Billboard 200 for a total of eight weeks, the shortest chart run for any of Carey's studio albums.[119] As of December 2014, the album has sold 117,000 copies in the United States.[120] Billboard speculated that its high ratio of first-week sales to total 2014 sales suggested that interest in the album came primarily from a decreasing group of die-hard fans.[120]

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, the album peaked at number fourteen on the UK Albums Chart, with sales of 6,547 copies.[121] In its second week, the album plummeted to number 54, before falling off the Top 100 in its third week.[122]

Track listing[edit]

Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse – Standard edition[37]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Cry."  
  • Carey
  • Wright
4:49
2. "Faded"  
3:39
3. "Dedicated" (featuring Nas)
  • Carey
  • Hit-Boy
  • Darhyl "Hey DJ" Camper
  • Hazebanga[a]
4:13
4. "#Beautiful" (featuring Miguel)
  • Miguel
  • Carey
  • Happy Perez[b]
  • Davis[a]
3:20
5. "Thirsty"  
  • Carey
  • Hollis
  • Andrews
  • Maryann Tatum
  • Carey
  • Hit-Boy
  • Rey Reel[b]
3:26
6. "Make It Look Good"  
  • Carey
  • Dupri
  • Cox
3:23
7. "You're Mine"  
  • Carey
  • Jerkins
3:44
8. "You Don't Know What to Do" (featuring Wale)
  • Carey
  • Dupri
  • Cox
4:47
9. "Supernatural" (with special guest stars "Dembabies" a.k.a. Ms. Monroe & Mr. Moroccan Scott Cannon a.k.a. Roc 'N Roe)
  • Carey
  • Dupri
  • Cox
  • Carey
  • Dupri
  • Cox
4:38
10. "Meteorite"  
3:51
11. "Camouflage"  
  • Carey
  • Wright
  • Carey
  • Wright
4:49
12. "Money" (featuring Fabolous)
  • Carey
  • Hit-Boy
4:55
13. "One More Try"   George Michael
  • Carey
  • Dupri
  • Cox
6:17
14. "Heavenly (No Ways Tired / Can't Give Up Now)"  
  • Carey
  • Dupri
  • Cox
5:39
15. "Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse"       1:12
Total length:
62:42
Notes
  • ^a signifies an additional producer
  • ^b signifies co-producer
  • "Dedicated" contains a sample from "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'" performed by Wu-Tang Clan.[48]
  • "Make It Look Good" contains interpolations of "Let Me Make Love to You", written by Walter "Bunny" Sigler and Allan Felder.[48]
  • "You Don't Know What to Do" contains interpolations of "I'm Caught Up in a One Night Love Affair", written by Patrick Adams and Terri Gonzalez.[48]
  • "Meteorite" contains a sample from "Goin' Up in Smoke" performed by Eddie Kendricks.[48]
  • "Money" is stylized as "Money ($ * / ...)". It also features a sample from "Alabeke" performed by Dan Snatch and "Rapper Dapper Snapper" performed by Edwin Birdsong.[48]
  • "One More Try" is a cover of George Michael's 1988 single of the same name.
  • "Heavenly (No Way Tired / Can't Give Up Now)" is dedicated as a tribute to the late Reverend James Cleveland. It contains an excerpt from the Reverend's sermon "God's Promise" performed by James Cleveland. The song also contains a sample of "Can't Give Up Now" performed by Mary Mary, "I Don't Feel No Ways Tired" performed by James Cleveland and "Good Ole Music" performed by Funkadelic.[48]
  • "It's a Wrap" contains a sample of "I Belong to You" performed by Barry White performed by the Love Unlimited Orchestra.[48]
  • In Japan, only one version of the album was released on Compact Disc (CD); it features all of the songs from the digital deluxe edition except for the title track "Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse", which is replaced with an exclusive bonus track, "America the Beautiful".[38] This version of the album was also released as an exclusive at Target stores in the United States.[123]
  • The title track is only included on digital editions of the album; it is not included on physical editions, as it is Mariah reading what is printed beneath the disc tray of the jewel case.

Personnel[edit]

  • Mariah Carey – composer, executive producer, liner notes, primary artist, producer, vocal arrangement, vocals, vocals (background)
  • Patrick Adams – composer
  • Denisia Andrews – composer
  • Ray Angry – keyboards
  • Cindi Berger – public relations
  • Stacey Laverne Berry – choir/chorus
  • Edwin Birdsong – composer
  • Nakiba Bonds – choir/chorus
  • Delbert Bowers – assistant
  • Troy Bright – choir/chorus
  • Kristofer Buckle – make-up
  • Caroline Buckman – viola
  • Curtis Burrell – composer
  • Darhyl "DJ" Camper – producer
  • Mr. Morrocan aka Mr. Moroccan Scott Cannon – featured artist
  • Dembabies aka Ms. Monroe – featured artist
  • Louis Cato – bass
  • Matt Champlin – engineer
  • Lauren Chipman – viola
  • Jeremy Cimino – assistant
  • Giovanna Clayton – cello
  • George Clinton, Jr. – composer
  • Dennis Coles – composer
  • Bryan-Michael Cox – composer, producer, vocals (background)
  • Brook Davis – additional production, composer, drum programming
  • Joel Derouin – concert master, violin
  • Robert Diggs – composer
  • Jermaine Dupri – composer, management, mixing, producer, vocals (background)
  • Nico Essig – assistant
  • Fabolous – featured artist, composer
  • James Fauntleroy – composer, vocals (background)
  • Allan Felder – composer
  • Connie Filippelo – public relations
  • Vanessa Freebairn-Smith – cello
  • Chris Galland – assistant
  • Brian Garten – engineer, mixing, vocal mixing
  • Ayana George – choir/chorus
  • Larry Gold – conductor, string arrangements
  • Terri Gonzalez – composer
  • Gary Grice – composer
  • Ajanee Hamrick – choir/chorus
  • Norman Harris – composer
  • Chandler Harrod – assistant
  • Tamara Hatwan – violin
  • Lamont Hawkins – composer
  • Haze Banga – additional production, engineer, mixing, vocals
  • Hit-Boy – producer
  • Melinda Michelle Holder-Dawkins – choir/chorus
  • Chauncey Hollis – composer
  • John Horesco – engineer
  • Jason Hunter – composer
  • Stephen Hybicki – engineer
  • Jaycen Joshua – mixing
  • Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins – composer, producer
  • Takeytha Johnson – vocals (background)
  • Nasir "Nas" Jones – composer, featured artist
  • Russell Jones – composer
  • R. Kelly – featured artist
  • Julie Jung – cello
  • Rob Katz – assistant
  • Ryan Kaul – assistant
  • Marisa Kuney – violin
  • Karen Kwak – A&R
  • Latasha Jordan – choir/chorus
  • Songa Lee – violin
  • Mario de León – violin
  • Melanie Lesley – choir/chorus
  • Scott Marcus – A&R
  • Manny Marroquin – mixing
  • Kevin Matela – assistant
  • Sherry McGhee – choir/chorus, vocals (background)
  • Erin McGlover – choir/chorus
  • Serena McKinney – violin
  • Louise McNally – management
  • Melanie Rochford – choir/chorus
  • Angelina Mendez – choir/chorus
  • George Michael – composer
  • Miguel Pimentel – composer, drum programming, featured artist, guitar, producer, vocals
  • Mike Will Made It – composer, producer
  • Greg Morgan – engineer
  • Tiffany Morriar – choir/chorus
  • Oresa Napper-Williams – choir/chorus
  • Melodie Nicholson – choir/chorus
  • Barnell Norman – choir/chorus
  • Serge Normant – hair stylist
  • Grace Oh – violin
  • Keith Parry – assistant
  • Ilani Patterson – choir/chorus
  • Happy Perez – guitar, producer
  • Nathan Perez – composer
  • Bob Peterson – violin
  • Jackie Phillips – choir/chorus
  • Chris Plata – engineer
  • Kaila Potts – viola
  • Herb Powers, Jr. – mastering
  • Andy Proctor – package production
  • Q-Tip – keyboards, composer, producer
  • Rey Reel – producer
  • Daniela Rivera – assistant
  • Mac Robinson – composer
  • Dave Rowland – assistant
  • Dan Satch – composer
  • Zane Shoemake – assistant
  • Chris Sholar – guitar
  • Bunny Sigler – composer
  • Kathleen Sloan – violin
  • Clifford Smith – composer
  • Katrina Spence – choir/chorus
  • Malik Spence – choir/chorus
  • Steve Stoute – vocals
  • Rob Suchecki – assistant
  • Brian Sumner – engineer
  • Jess Sutcliffe – engineer
  • Shari Sutcliffe – contracting, production coordination
  • Jenny Takamatsu – violin
  • Phil Tan – mixing
  • Kaylana Tatum – vocals (background)
  • Mary Ann Tatum – composer, vocal arrangement, vocal producer, vocals (background)
  • Keith R. Tucker – A&R
  • Julio Whitaker – vocals (background)
  • Eric Turner – choir/chorus
  • Ron Tyson – composer
  • Ina Veli – violin
  • Josefina Vergara – violin
  • Wale – featured artist, composer
  • Andre Washington – choir/chorus
  • Matt Weber – assistant
  • Karla Welch – stylist
  • Blair Wells – engineer
  • Andy West – design
  • Thomas Whiteside – photography
  • Mike Whitson – viola
  • Stevie Wonder – harmonica, soloist
  • Eric Wong – marketing
  • Corey Woods – composer
  • James Wright – composer
  • James "Big Jim" Wright – producer
  • Kristen Yiengst – artwork, photo production
  • Kenta Yonesaka – assistant, engineer
  • Gabriel Zardes – assistant

Credits adapted from AllMusic.[124]

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

List of formats and editions of the album being released in each country, along with the date of release
Country Date Edition Format Label Ref
Australia May 23, 2014
  • Standard
  • Deluxe
Universal Music [150]
Germany [151]
United Kingdom May 26, 2014 Virgin EMI [152]
Canada May 27, 2014
  • Compact Disc (CD)
  • digital download
Universal Music [153]
United States Def Jam [154]
Japan May 28, 2014 Digital download Universal Music Japan [155]
June 4, 2014 Japan CD edition Compact Disc (CD) [38]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  150. ^ Australian release of 'Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse:
  151. ^ Germany release of 'Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse:
  152. ^ UK release of 'Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse:
  153. ^ Canadian release of 'Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse:
  154. ^ American release of 'Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse:
  155. ^ Japanese release of 'Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse: