Mariah Carey chronology
Singles from Rainbow
"Heartbreaker" Released: September 21, 1999
"Thank God I Found You" Released: February 1, 2000
"Can't Take That Away (Mariah's Theme)" Released: June 6, 2000
"Crybaby" Released: July 18, 2000
"Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" Released: October 3, 2000
Mariah Carey and Rainbow MP3..
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|Robert Christgau||(2 star Honorable Mention)(2 star Honorable Mention)|
|Los Angeles Times||3.5/4 stars|
|MTV Networks Asia Pacific||(7/10)|
|Rolling Stone||3/5 stars|
|USA Today||3/4 stars|
Rainbow garnered mixed to positive reviews from contemporary music critics. Rainbow's main criticism was its lack of originality, as it failed to improve upon her previous opus, Butterfly. Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic awarded Rainbow three out of five stars, complimenting it as "the first Mariah Carey album where she's written personal lyrics, and allusions to her separation from Mottola." He called the lyrics "true" and "deep", but criticized the lack of originality. Erlewine alluded to Rainbow as "ballad-heavy" and "repetitious", writing how Rainbow followed the formula of Mariah Carey's previous album too precisely. Erlewine ended his review on a mixed note, writing "Rainbow proves that she can still pull off that difficult balancing act, but it's hard not to be a little disappointed that she'd didn't shake the music up a little bit more – after all, it would have been a more effective album if the heartbreak, sorrow, and joy that bubbles underneath the music were brought to the surface."
Arion Berger, an editor from Rolling Stone, also gave Rainbow three out of five stars. He felt Rainbow was a genuine R&B and hip-hop album, calling it a "sterling chronicle of the state of accessible hip-hop balladeering at the close of 1999." Aside from calling the some off the ballads "banal", Berger concluded his review with "Rainbow is at its best—and Mariah Carey at her most comfortable—when urbane hip-hop stylings and faux R&B coexist in smooth middle-of-the-road harmony." Critic Robert Christgau of The Village Voice gave Rainbow a double honorable mention ((2 star Honorable Mention)(2 star Honorable Mention)), writing "[It's] Not a 'real' r&b thrush, but good enough to fake it." Amy Linden from Vibe was unimpressed with Rainbow, writing "I don't care about it anymore." While complimenting Rainbow's genre influences and featured musical guests, Linden felt Rainbow was not original. She concluded her review with "'Rainbow' will garner her even more adoration. As for me? I'll be okay." Danyel Smith from Entertainment Weekly gave Rainbow a B+, and concluded "what began on Butterfly as a departure ends up on Rainbow a progression – perhaps the first compelling proof of Mariah Carey's true colors as an artist." Elysa Gardner from the Los Angeles Times gave Rainbow three and a half out of four stars. She complimented Rainbow's strong blend of breezy R&B cuts, as well as the lyrically, vocally, and melodically strong ballads. "Exhibiting an emotional authority to match her technical prowess, Mariah Carey gives us a vision of love that's dynamic without being ostentatious," she wrote. Steve Jones from USA Today gave Rainbow three out of four stars, calling it "colorful" and "some of her most compelling work."