5 Things We Want From Mariah Carey’s ‘Caution’ Album

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It’s been over four years since Mariah Carey released a full-length album.

Since dropping 2014’s Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse, the singer-songwriter kicked off her #1 to Infinity and The Butterfly Returns Vegas residency shows, filmed an E! docuseries known as Mariah’s World, made her directorial debut with Hallmark Channel’s A Christmas Melody, and received her first Golden Globe nomination for “The Star,” from the animated film of the same name.

So when the pop great teased new music back in March during an exclusive sit-down with V magazine, the lambs were beyond ecstatic. Then, with little warning, Carey dropped the sultry, meme-worthy track “GTFO” in September before whetting fans’ appetite again with the Oct. 4 premiere of “With You,” the romantic lead single off her forthcoming aptly titled LP, Caution, which she performed for the first time at the 2018 American Music Awards.

Mimi announced her long-awaited album and its Nov. 16 release date earlier this month on social media. “I’ve been working on my new album for a while. This is a labor of love and I’m really excited,” Carey told People earlier in August. “This is me at this moment in my life being able to express myself as a writer and a singer. I’m just really in a good place.”

With incredible staying power and a vocal range that most singers can only dream of, it’ll be exciting to see what the next phase of the legendary diva’s illustrious career will look and sound like when Caution finally drops. Here are five things we hope to hear from Mariah Carey’s 15th studio LP.

More candid storytelling

From day one, Mariah’s flair for penning her own lyrics and conceiving her own melodies set her apart from other successful divas. Between 1990 and 1999, the “eternally 12” songstress amassed 19 Hot 100 top 10 hits, from “Vision of Love” to “Heartbreaker” — and all but four tracks were self-penned. Well-known hits, including “Hero” and “One Sweet Day,” remain crowd-pleasers to this day in large part due to their universal messages, but the lambs appreciate and tend to gravitate toward the lesser-known cuts (like “Outside,” from 1997’s Butterfly) because they chronicle some of Mariah’s personal struggles.

Read my latest story for Billboard [here].

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TLC’S 15 BEST DEEP CUTS & ALBUM TRACKS

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Credit: LaFace / Arista / 852 Musiq

As TLC, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas earned the title of the best-selling American female group of all time with their long string of platinum hits, including “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg,” “Waterfalls” and “No Scrubs,” but how well do you know the trio’s discography? Here’s a rundown of their best songs that aren’t as well-known as their smashes.

“His Story”

From: Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip (1992)
Partly inspired by Tawana Brawley, an African-American teenager who alleged in 1987 that four white men had raped her, “His Story” is a tale about toxic masculinity and the women whose sexual assault and harassment allegations are too easily dismissed by society.

“This Is How It Should Be Done”

From: Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip (1992)

Left Eye takes us back to the beginning on “This Is How It Should Be Done,” recalling her journey from Philadelphia to Atlanta, where she arrived with $750 and a keyboard, met T-Boz and Chilli and auditioned for LaFace to become the “L” of TLC. They get bonus points for sampling the Impressions’ R&B hit “We’re a Winner” and doing it justice.

“Depend on Myself”

From: Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip (1992)

On the set’s penultimate track, the threesome boast about being independent and in control of their own lives after some trifling dude tries desperately to win them over by promising to take care of them financially.

 

“Kick Your Game”

From: CrazySexyCool (1994)

Fellas, if you thought about stepping to T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli back in the day, you had to bring your A-game and come with something more clever than just your name. TLC’s chemistry is undeniable on “Kick Your Game,” and it’s one of the few instances where Jermaine Dupriand the trio join forces to create a funky groove for the ages, making it a highlight on CrazySexyCool, which ended up selling over 14 million units worldwide.

“Case of the Fake People”

From: CrazySexyCool (1994)

Taking influences from the O’Jays’ 1972 smash hit “Back Stabbers,” TLC’s “Case of the Fake People” is a classy send-off to all the opportunists out there, and it comes with a certain level of wisdom that’s expected on a sophomore project.

Read my latest story for The Boombox [here].