Mariah Carey chronology
The Ballads - 2008
Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel - 2009
Playlist: The Very Best of Mariah Carey - 2010
Singles from Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel
"Obsessed" Released: July 6, 2009
"I Want to Know What Love Is" Released: September 15, 2009
"H.A.T.E.U." Released: November 2, 2009
"Up Out My Face" Released: February 16, 2010
"Angels Cry" Released: February 23, 2010
Mariah Carey and Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel MP3..
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|The A.V. Club||(B-)|
|The Boston Globe||(positive)|
|The Guardian||4/5 stars|
|Los Angeles Times||3/4 stars|
|The New York Times||(mixed)|
|Rolling Stone||3.5/5 stars|
|The Times||2/5 stars|
Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel has received generally favorable reviews from music critics. According to the music review aggregater Metacritic, it has received an average score of 69/100 indicating generally favorable reviews, higher than her previous albums The Emancipation of Mimi and E=MC2. Allmusic gave Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel three and a half stars (out of five) and called it "her most interesting album in a decade", commenting that "Even if it doesn't smack of the confessional autobiography of the title, there's no denying that Memoirs is an album, not a collection of tracks, possessing its own flow and mood, which gives it a personality the slightly desperate E=MC2 lacked" though "it never manages to kick out a song that is all that distinctive on its own terms". Another issue pointed out was that Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel lacks "the pandering, heavy-handed sexuality Mariah has relied upon too heavily this decade — and in doing so, it feels age appropriate in a way she hasn't in a long time, despite a collection of silly, jumbled lyrics". The A.V. Club also gave Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel a positive review with a grade of B-, commenting, "Their team-up with Carey is canny: Stewart and Nash loosen up the diva’s sometimes overblown on-record persona, and in return she gives definition to some of their more meandering tunes and backdrops. Memoirs is Carey’s least pyrotechnic album, its flow is as important as its tunes, and while Carey is still given to acrobatic vocal displays, her lattice of subtler vocal overdubs softens and strengthens those flights."
A mixed review came from Slant Magazine, in which music critic Sal Cinquemani called Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel "one of her most sonically consistent". However, finding Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel "soulless", he noted that the aural similarity of the tracks led to the production sounding "cheap and same-y, lacking the fullness of her best work". He continues, "Mariah is in fine voice throughout Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, and there are plenty of inspired moments to be found... Which makes it all the more disappointing that Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel's final stretch devolves into a mess of old-school Mariah rehashes that should have been left in the past." Entertainment Weekly music critic Leah Greenblatt gave Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel a B, noting that Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel neither impresses nor disappoints, but is merely satisfactory: "imperfections are nowhere to be found on Memoirs, but neither are many true revelations."
Jon Caramanica from The New York Times gave Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel a mixed review, writing that Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel "manages simplicity and clutter all at once". Caramanica also criticized Carey's vocal performances, decrying her overuse of her softer vocal registers at the expense of her more powerful lower and mid registers: "When exactly did Mariah Carey stop singing? Even when she began flirting aggressively with hip-hop in the mid-1990s she was happy to impose her titanic vocals atop even the scrappiest production... Of late though, Ms. Carey has been whispering, as if newly scared of grand gestures." A positive review came from Billboard music critic Mariel Concepcion, who wrote that "Mariah Carey is not only revisiting her past appearance-wise, but she's also taking her sound back to her R&B roots...Overall, Carey's throwback vibe on "Memoirs" is refreshing and much welcomed."