If you haven’t heard by now, Mariah Carey‘s back.
Mariah’s comeback tracks have led us down a number of festive paths over the past years: She’s come out swinging, like on the sassy club anthem “It’s Like That” from 2005’s The Emancipation of Mimi. She’s served up something sensual with a side of silly on E=MC2‘s incredible “Touch My Body” in 2008. And then she’s gone full-on bat shit insane, as with 2009’s “Obsessed,” the lead track from the equally insane Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel.
So, how does she sound on the lead single from her upcoming 14th studio record? Like an afterthought.
The issue with “Triumphant (Get ‘Em) (feat. Rick Ross & Meek Mill),” which was produced by Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox, is a simple one: She’s almost nowhere to be found throughout the song, which is largely shared between the two rappers, apart from the chorus and the final bridge. Simply put, this isn’t a Mariah Carey single.
Mic time aside, the actual song itself is only fine (at best)–a fairly by-the-numbers, unspectacular R&B mid-tempo that plays like no more or less of a revelation than the duller album tracks in Mariah’s back catalog from the past few years.
Had this been released as Rick Ross & Meek Mill’s “Triumphant” featuring Mariah Carey, we’d probably be bowing down in praise of the diva’s vocals (or that brief, fluttery whistle note in the background toward the end, at the very least.) But presented a solo single–no less a comeback single–from Carey?
We can still hold out hope for the dance mixes, I guess.
“Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” will be released on August 7.