Studio album by Mariah Carey April 8, 2008 Released
(see release history)
2007-2008 Pop, R&B 51:14 Island Mariah Carey (executive) L. A. Reid (executive) will.i.am, Bryan-Michael Cox, Danja, DJ Toomp, Jermaine Producer Dupri, James Poyser, Swizz Beatz, The-Dream, Tricky Stewart, Scott Storch, Stargate Professional reviews Allmusic link Billboard (positive) link Blender link Entertainment Weekly (A-) link The Guardian link Los Angeles Times link New York Times (mixed) link PopMatters (4/10) link Rolling Stone link Yahoo! Music UK link Recorded Genre Length Label Mariah Carey chronology
The Emancipation of Mimi (2005) E=MC² (2008) The Ballads (2008)
Singles from E=MC²
1. "Touch My Body" Released: February 19, 2008 2. "Bye Bye" Released: April 7, 2008 3. "I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time" Released: July 1, 2008 4. "I Stay in Love" Released: October 28, 2008
E=MC² is the eleventh studio album by American pop/R&B singer Mariah Carey. The album was released on April 16, 2008 in the United States. It debuted at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 with 463,000 copies sold, making it the biggest opening week sales of her career. It became Carey's sixth number 1 album on the Billboard 200. The first single from the album, "Touch My Body", reached number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, surpassing Elvis Presley for the most number 1 singles for a solo artist. Other singles include the U.S. top twenty song "Bye Bye," "I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time," and the number 1 dance hit "I Stay in Love".
Carey reportedly said she had been writing new songs while traveling on her latest tour. Carey recorded the album in her TriBeCa triplex and in Anguilla. In May 2007, she booked the island's biggest villa which had a studio built in it for a whole month. R&B producer Bryan-Michael Cox visited Anguilla and contributed four songs to the album. Carey stated in late 2007 that she was trying to choose from 22 tracks to put in the final album.
Before the confirmation of the official title, the album was planned to be named That Chick, a reference to one of the album tracks. The album name means "(E) Emancipation (=) of (MC) Mariah Carey (²) to the second power". It is a word play on Albert Einstein's famous mass–energy equivalence formula and is the sequel to her 2005 album, The Emancipation of Mimi.
Musical and lyrical content
"If the last album was dinner, treat this as dessert." — Mariah Carey
The album's music appeals to a lot of genres such as pop, R&B, and hip hop, but some of her songs also include gospel and reggae beats. Most uptempo songs on the album feature Southern hip-hop characteristics. Like the opening track on The Emancipation of Mimi, "Migrate" is a club banger and "sees Mariah posturing as guys try to get with her and girls envy her." Musically in the same vein is the song "Side Effects" in which she speaks about her marriage to Tommy Mottola describing it as a "private hell", the "emotional abuse" she saw during this time and the side effects from which she still suffers. MTV's author Jennifer Vineyard said it's "like a rock power ballad" and compared the music style to that of Bonnie Tyler and Pat Benatar. The next two songs mostly stick to the Southern formula as well. Her second single "Bye Bye" is about the loss of her father, Alfred Roy, who died of cancer in 2002, and his absence during her childhood. Although the lyrics of the song mostly seems to be personal, she tries to keep the topic universal, so that everybody "who just lost somebody" can
relate to it. She experiments for the first time with reggae tones on "Cruise Control" and also uses a Jamaican patois during the second verse. Patrick Rivers, a CUNY The Advocate reviewer, distinguished it from the other tracks and said:
The appeal of this track is its rhythms, which find a common ground between Southern hip-hop and reggae, as one hi-
hat pattern evokes the offbeat rhythm that is usually “skanked” by a guitar in reggae another hi-hat plays the pronounced high-paced sixteenth-note patterns of Southern rap beats.
Two songs from the album sample melodies of other songs: one of them is the Seventies-soul-recalling "I'm That Chick" which samples Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall". The other song is "I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time," which samples DeBarge's "Stay with Me" and recalls the melodic riff of the Hill Street Blues theme music. The closing track "I Wish You Well" is a piano ballad kept simple with gospel influences. In the song she quotes some parts from the Bible.
One of the major challenges of this album was a need for it to be of a consistent quality with her previous release, a record lauded by many critics. So far the response towards the album has been relatively positive with a general body of opinion finding it to be a worthy successor to her previous album The Emancipation of Mimi. Billboard stated "She's proclaimed emancipation before, but Mariah Carey's never sounded as free as she does on her 10th album." and described E=MC² as "a pop album with equal parts levity and gravity". The Observer said that "each track is precision-tooled to sound as if it were born to be banging out of a Hummer in Miami on a sunny Saturday". Plenty of critics agreed that her voice is still in a good condition, Fox News and RWD stating "Her infamous five-octave range has suffered a little wear and tear over the years, but Carey still can flutter from great highs to mellow lows like no one else" and "vocally and sonically, this is yet another outstanding release from the world's biggest selling superstar", respectively. Entertainment Weekly stated that "the result is a largely enjoyable mix of flirtatious club jams, midtempo love songs, and emotional ballads anchored by hip hop beats that hansomely showcase the singer's powerful vocal range." The Guardian said: "She is on fine vocal form throughout E=MC², whether belting out massive ballads ('Thanx 4 Nothin') or layering her voice into a swooning bank of a hundred Mariahs ('I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time')." Some critics were not as enthusiastic and mainly criticized this album for trying to copy the songs from The Emancipation Of Mimi, while noting that Carey was not using the full range of her voice. Caryn Ganz, a Rolling Stone critic, found that "nearly every song confines Carey to four-note verses, offering little room for her glorious range" and the Los Angeles Times said it's the "most striking" thing about the album, but they also characterized the album as "nearly a clone of The Emancipation of Mimi." Bleu Magazine's critic, Adam Benjamin Irby, agreed and said that the ballads "are all trying desperately to recapture the magic that was 'We Belong Together' [...] Overall, these facsimiles aren't terrible, they're just boring and forgettable at this point." In contrast to the Rolling Stone and the Los Angeles Times, MTV praised her voice on this album and said that Carey can "really sing [when she's] not focused on vocal gymnastics." Jody Rosen shared the opinion, saying that she "has definitively been emancipated — from her need to decorate every damn song with more octaves than Maria Callas." The album was nominated for Favorite Soul/R&B Album at the American Music Awards of 2008.
Year-end list entries
3rd – Echoes' Best R&B Albums of 2008 4th – Billboard's Readers' Poll 8th – Adam Graham, The Detroit News 10th – Nekesa Mumbi Moody, Associated Press 25th – Amazon's Best of 2008: Top 100 Customer Favorites
Sales and impact
E=MC² debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 with 463,000 copies sold, making it the biggest opening week sales of her career. With six number 1 albums, Carey is now tied with Janet Jackson in the U.S. for the third most number 1 albums for a female artist, behind Madonna with seven and Barbra Streisand's eight chart toppers. In its second week, the album topped the chart again with 182,000 copies sold. E=MC² is Carey's first album to spend two straight weeks at number 1 since 1995's Daydream. The album sold 1.25 million copies in the U.S. and was certified platinum by the RIAA on July 8, 2008. It remained for 27 weeks on the U.S. Billboard 200. The album topped the U.S. Top R&B/HipHop Albums chart and remained on the chart for 52 consecutive weeks. In Canada, the album has shipped over 100,000 copies and was certified platinum, and also debuted at number 1, becoming her third number 1 album. On the UK Albums Chart, it debuted at number 3, selling 34,800 copies. This was her highest peak position in the UK since Butterfly, which peaked at number 2. The album surpassed the 100,000 units shipped and has been certified gold. The album topped the UK R&B Albums Chart. In the Philippines, the album reached gold status selling over 15,000 copies in just eight days. It also received a gold certification in Australia for selling more than 35,000 copies, where the album peaked at number 2. On the European Top 100 Albums, E=MC² debuted and peaked at number 3 recording the highest debut of the week. That's one place higher than the start made by The Emancipation Of Mimi in April 2005. It remained for seven weeks on the chart. The album peaked at number 6 in France and sold more than 40,000 units. The album peaked at number 7 in Germany and at number 9 in Italy. In Japan, the album peaked at number 7 on the Oricon Overall Chart, with 36,631 copies sold in the opening week. In its second week the album sold 21,295 units and in its third week sold 17,755 copies. The album has sold 150,000 units to date. On the International Oricon Albums Chart, E=MC² remained for two weeks at number 1. The album received gold certification there. In Russia, the album has been certified gold for having exceeded the 10,000 units sold. E=MC² stayed at number 1 on the Taiwanese International Albums Chart for two consecutive weeks. The album was the 26th best-selling album worldwide in 2008, according to IFPI and 22nd best-selling album in the U.S. in 2008, according to Billboard. On April 15, 2008, the same day the album was released, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa proclaimed April 15 officially as "Mariah Carey day" in Los Angeles. It was in part of celebrating Carey's eighteenth number 1 single, "Touch My Body." Also, from April 25 through April 27, 2008 the Empire State Building was lit up in Carey's motif colors— lavender, pink, and white — in celebration of her achievements in the world of music. On December 1, 2008, E=MC² was re-released as E=MC² Adventure Box, containing also The Adventures of Mimi DVD.
"Touch My Body" became the lead single of the album and received positive reviews by music critics— for example, Blender's critic called it a "pop genius making genius pop." It was a moderate success internationally, peaking in the top twenty in most countries, but was more successful in the U.S., where it entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 57; the song subsequently climbed to the top of the chart, becoming Carey's eighteenth number 1 single on the chart, pushing her to second place among artists with the most number 1 singles in the rock era and first place as a solo artist in the
same category, surpassing Elvis Presley. The achievement was attributed to a record-breaking digital sales debut, as 286,000 copies were sold in its first week of availability.
"Bye Bye" was announced as the second single from the album. The song premiered on radio on April 7, 2008. It peaked inside the top twenty on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 19 and it entered the top 10 in Brazil, New Zealand and South Korea. While Carey was promoting the album in Japan, "I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time" was announced as the third single and started charting on the Japan Hot 100 Singles, where it peaked at number 27. The single was sent to U.S. radio stations on July 1, 2008 as the third single from the album. It peaked at number 58 on the Billboard Hot 100. On September 2, 2008, "I'm That Chick" was released as an aiplay-only single for Urban adult contemporary radio.The song peaked at number 82 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "I Stay in Love" impacted U.S. Top 40/Mainstream and Rhythm/Crossover radio on October 28, 2008 as the fourth single. The song topped the Canadian Singles Chart and the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play. It became Carey's 14th number 1 hit on that chart.
"Migrate", featuring T-Pain, has gathered 41,000,000 audience impressions in United States and it peaked at number 92 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It peaked at number 69 on the U.S. Billboard Pop 100 and at number 95 on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The track, due to downloads, debuted and peaked at number 70 on the Hot Canadian Digital Singles Chart. It debuted at number 2 on the Norwegian Urban Char and it peaked at number 6 on the Swedish Urban Chart. It entered the Scandinavian Urban Chart at number 9. The song was also performed on Saturday Night Live on March 15, 2008. "Side Effects", featuring Young Jeezy, peaked at number 93 on the U.S. Billboard Pop 100, without commercial release.
All songs were written or co-written by Mariah Carey. Additional writers in brackets.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. "Migrate" (featuring T-Pain) (Nathaniel "Danja" Hills, Belawa Muhammad, Faheem "T-Pain" Najm) – 4:17 "Touch My Body" (Crystal "Cristyle" Johnson, Terius "The-Dream" Nash, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart) – 3:24 "Cruise Control" (featuring Damian Marley) (Jermaine Dupri, Johnson, Damian Marley, Manuel Seal) – 3:32 "I Stay in Love" (Bryan-Michael Cox, Kendrick Dean, Adonis Shropshire) – 3:32 "Side Effects" (featuring Young Jeezy) (J. Jenkins, Johnson, Scott Storch) – 4:22 "I'm That Chick" (Johntá Austin, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Rod Temperton) – 3:31 "Love Story" (Austin, Dupri, Seal) – 3:56 "I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time" (Aldrin "DJ Toomp" Davis, Mark DeBarge, Johnson, Etterlene Jordan) – 3:01 "Last Kiss" (Austin, Dupri, Seal) – 3:36 "Thanx 4 Nothin'" (Dupri, Seal) – 3:05 "O.O.C." 3 (Dean, Sheldon Harris) – 3:26 "For the Record" (Cox, Shropshire) – 3:26 "Bye Bye" (Eriksen, Hermansen, Austin) – 4:26 "I Wish You Well" (James Poyser, Mary Ann Tatum) – 4:35
15. "Heat"1 (William J. Adams, Jon Fletcher, Keith Harris, Jalil Hutchins, Johnson, Larry Smith, R.Muller) – 3:34 16. "4real4real"2 (featuring Da Brat) (Cox, Shropshire) – 4:13