Mariah Carey is taking her sweet, sweet time with this comeback.
As promised in her tousled hair teaser last month, the iconic chanteuse premiered her duet with Miguel “#Beautiful” today (the hashtag in the title is real, very real), the lead single from her follow-up to 2009’s Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel.
Like last summer’s mostly terrible “Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” with Meek Mill and Rick Ross, the vocal powerhouse arrives late to her own party, casually strolling into the production around the 1:30 mark.
Unlike her rapper-heavy, whisper-filled 2012 disaster, Mariah’s actually singing on this one—and there’s a solid melody the whole way through. Glory be, Lambily!
Gliding across a sultry guitar strum and a chugging drum beat, the two singers take turns exchanging sweet nothings: “You’re beautiful/Good Lord, you’re fucking beautiful/And I can’t pretend that that doesn’t mean a thing to me,” they soulfully swoon. Ah, romance.
There’s lots to love about the production, but it’s really all about the return of vocal Mimi: She’s actually belting, fluttering up and down those Guinness World Record-breaking scales (“Oh, how you thrill me!”). And of course, in true Mimi fashion, there are those heaven-sent whistle notes echoing in the background during the final seconds.
The combination of that lazy strum and honey-sweet croonage is a total breath of fresh, feel-good air (like a spritz of Mariah Carey’s Dreams, available now at Kohl’s), and also perfectly suited for the approaching season: I’m already daydreaming about laying out in the sun and letting this one blast from the speakers on repeat. (Well, this and Britney‘s soon-to-be summer Smurfs smash “Ooh La La,” obviously.)
My one gripe? “#Beautiful” is solid, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that it plays like a Miguel song featuring Mariah Carey. Could you allow yourself to be the only act on your next single, Mimi? ‘Cause we’d really love to hear a Mariah Carey single by Mariah Carey. Oh—and no more hashtags. Ever.
Keep calm and remain #beautiful.
#Beautiful was released on May 6. (iTunes)