Every year, The changing of the seasons from fall to winter comes with its constants, as the air grows colder, the nights get longer, the trees lose their leaves – and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” returns to the charts, an event that has become as inevitable as the winter solstice.
This year, Carey’s early holiday gift to fans doubles as a reminder that, in addition to her Christmas-music reign and her general existence as one of pop’s most consistently entertaining figures, she also still makes new music. Out Friday, “Caution” is the 15th studio album from the singer. Plenty of her contemporaries – as well as the younger generation of pop stars raised on her music – are making music similar to the slick R&B heard on Carey’s new album, featuring the same kinds of omnipresent producers and buzzy featured artists (in her case, DJ Mustard and Gunna, respectively).
But in Carey’s case, her personality is so singular, her diva presence so imbued in every big note she hits and fabulously worded lyric she seductively slurs through, that she stands alone. Listening to her is an unmistakable experience. And while many may sound like her, few will have the iconic voice – and equally iconic ego – it takes to be Mariah, who may as well have just dropped her last name at this point, Madonna-style.
Because half the fun of “Caution” is listening to Carey navigate the life of a diva, here are the four best songs where she’s most famously, deliciously extra.
The absolute best song she could’ve released as one of the introductory single to her new album, “GTFO” is everything that makes 2010s-era Carey great. What she lacks in the vocal-somersaulting powers of her early days she makes up for with the towering melodramatics she has cultivated over decades of being a star, which play out amazingly here as she drops maybe the year’s best f-bomb in the vicious sweetly sung chorus “How ‘bout you get the (expletive) out.”
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