First Hit #1: December 31, 2005
Speaking of less interesting versions of successful artists, here’s Mariah Carey, who has become a less interesting version of Mariah Carey. Don’t Forget About Us isn’t necessarily bad though, and it at least has a certain level of ambition and craft to it. It’s definitely Carey reaching into a high point of her career, constructing a big ballad from 1995 for the people of 2005. Which seems to mean that it doesn’t have strings on the track, instead just going for minimal electronics and putting the rest of instruments there in the form of Carey herself. It is a return to form, it’s like a tornado of Careys at certain points, and the swirling vocal is a compelling way to treat the material overall. The only problem is that it’s, well, a ballad from 1995, there’s nothing about it that couldn’t have shown up on an earlier album, and what might have been fresh a decade earlier is just another Carey trademark. It’s not bad by any means, it’s actually a return to form of sorts, but it’s also nothing we haven’t heard before.