Mariah Carey chronology
The Emancipation of Mimi-2005
Singles from The Emancipation of Mimi
"It's like That" Released: January 25, 2005
"We Belong Together" Released: March 29, 2005
"Shake It Off" Released: July 25, 2005
"Get Your Number" Released: October 3, 2005
"Don't Forget About Us" Released: December 12, 2005
"Say Somethin'" Released: March 2006
Mariah Carey and The Emancipation of Mimi MP3..
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|The Guardian||4/5 stars|
|Los Angeles Times||2/4 stars|
|The New York Times||(Favorable)|
|Rolling Stone||4/5 stars|
|Slant Magazine||3.5/5 stars|
|USA Today||3.5/4 stars|
The Emancipation of Mimi was Mariah Carey's best-received album in years. It received a 64/100 (indicating "generally positive reviews") on the website Metacritic, which averages professional reviews into a numerical score. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, senior editor of Allmusic, called The Emancipation of Mimi a "highly crafted piece of dance-pop" and a "relative comeback" for Carey, despite its not being as smooth as it should be. Aside from the praise, Erlewine voiced a common criticism of The Emancipation of Mimi: Mariah Carey's voice seems "damaged" in comparison with her "glory years" in the 1990s. He commented that in the strong and belted songs such as "Fly Like a Bird" and "I Wish You Knew", Mariah Carey's voice sounded "as airy, thin, and damaged as it did on Charmbracelet". Michael Paoletta from Billboard was less critical of her vocals, writing "while her voice has lost some of the power through the years, Mim deftly showcases her still-considerable pipes with strong lyrics and slick production." Paoletta called The Emancipation of Mimi Mariah Carey's best album since Butterfly (1997). Michael Dougall Bell from the Calgary Sun complimented Mariah Carey's voice, calling it "very impressive". Bell concluded the review, writing "While Emancipation may not send Mariah Carey's stock or star back up to where it once was and where that voice deserves to be, at least she's not plummeting – she's merely levelled off." Tom Sinclair, editor of Entertainment Weekly, praised her vocals, pointing out how nearly every song "showcases Mariah Carey's undeniable vocal strengths". After reviewing "Fly Like a Bird", Sinclair concluded the review with "It's so moving that we'll resist the temptation to be crass and interpret the song as a plea for heightened record sales. Help from above is always welcome, but Emancipation sounds like it just might do fine all on its own."
According to Jenson Macey from BBC News, The Emancipation of Mimi was Mariah Carey's strongest effort from the 2000s; he maintained that The Emancipation of Mimi "took her straight back to the top of the A-List." Caroline Sullivan from The Guardian gave The Emancipation of Mimi four out of five stars, calling it "cool, focused and urban." Editor of The New York Times, Jon Pareles, gave The Emancipation of Mimi a favorable review, complimenting the fact that Carey wrote all of The Emancipation of Mimi's material. He felt the record's new sound was fresh and innovative. He continued, "on The Emancipation of Mimi, she disciplines herself into coherence, using fewer tricks and sounding more believable. She also finds what lesser singers can take for granted: a certain lightness that eases her constant sense of control." Jozen Cummings from PopMatters gave The Emancipation of Mimi seven out of ten stars, claiming it to be Mariah Carey's redemption from the manacles of her previous two releases. He complimented The Emancipation of Mimi's singles, but called some of its production "corny" and "unnecessarily overproduced". Todd Burns from Stylus Magazine gave The Emancipation of Mimi a B-, complimenting its assortment of beats and tempos. Burns, however, was very critical of some of The Neptunes and Dupri's production, calling it "ill-advised". He also criticized some of Mariah Carey's vocals, calling them "strained, thin and airy". While claiming it an obvious improvement over her previous releases of the decade, he finished with "It’s easily the strongest album that she’s made in this millennium, but suffers from the fact that her vocals have deteriorated—a simple fact of the ravages that her voice has undergone in the past fifteen years." Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine gave The Emancipation of Mimi three and a half out of five stars, calling it "redemption". He complimented its array of beats and its production. While giving The Emancipation of Mimi a positive review, Cinquemani was critical of Mariah Carey's voice, calling it scratchy. "Where once Mariah's trademark high notes used to serve some purpose, they now seem random, existing just to convince us that The Voice is still there—and it is ... kind of. As gratifying as that is on the surface, there's still the nagging feeling that Mariah has damaged her voice beyond repair."