Mariah Carey’s Snowball Downfall: An Anniversary Reissue

from Issue 9

In 1994, Mariah Carey released what would ultimately become the defining point of her career: Merry Christmas. Her fourth studio album, MC’s MC would eventually reach 6x Platinum (for over six million copies sold) on 1 October 2019 and become the seventh-best-sellingChristmas album in the United States as of November 2016.

Twenty-five years later, in this golden era of sales, of course Carey would release a double-disc Deluxe Anniversary Edition, complete with live performances, outtakes, and the ever-dreaded remixes. Ai-yai-yai, here we go.

 

Disc 1: A Very Carey Christmas

Mariah Carey gingerly embraces gospel in the ten recordings that appear on her very first Christmas album. However, the genre does not tend to suit her, as she rolls through it and segues to pop and 1990s club music, all the while her voice flitting from pitch to pitch faster than a drunk driver changing lanes. Why can she not pick one note for more than half a second? Can she not stay on pitch? Not only that, but if one takes out the six Christian ditties, her songs are just like any other Christmas tune—fake. It’s only another love song. The major hit, “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” is nothing more than a byproduct of the 1980s, programmed to the maximum level. And did I mention the number of turns that Carey executes instead of preferring one pitch? I lost count at 248. The album ends with the proof that she only knows one verse to everyone’s favorite hymns, as the bonus track “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is included in the first disc. However, it must be noted that Carey uses more hymns than secular songs, totaling a six-to-four ratio.

Rating: 6/10

 

Disc 2: What’s in Santa’s Boot?

For this disc, I shall attempt to review each song in twenty words or less.

Sugar Plum Fairy Introlude—Carey must have sucked a boatload of helium before going into the studio to record this one.

Selections from a performance at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine—Same arrangements, different key.

Oh Santa!—“Lip Gloss” in the key of holiday.

Christmas Time Is in the Air Again—The favorable track on the whole CD.

When Christmas Comes—The most gospel Mariah will ever get, featuring authentic gospel arrangements and John Legend. (Woohoo, a cameo.)

The Star—How nineties can one get? The children’s choir spoiled it.

Lil Snowman—Mariah attempts to become Chuck Berry and fails. You’ve heard of furries, now get ready for frosties.

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (Anniversary Mix)—The first of another display of the power of computers, this time with Elton-John-inspired drum programming.

All I Want for Christmas Is You (So So Def Remix)—Do we need yet another remix of the major hit?

All I Want for Christmas Is You (Mariah’s New Dance Mix Extended 2009)—What did I say?

Joy to the World (Celebration Mix)—For people who want to twerk for Santa.

Joy to the World (Flava Mix)—See above, add Afro-Cuban percussion.

Sugar Plum Fairy Introlude (Acapella)—Cold, bleak, and bare. The power behind the whole record turns out to be the musicians.

Rating: 3/10

 

Average Rating: 4.5/10