The past few years have been professionally daunting for Mariah Carey. Her album Me I Am Mariah: The Elusive Chanteuse is widely considered one of the biggest musical flops of all time, despite earning positive reviews. Her Las Vegas residency has been met with mixed reviews and sometimes empty seats. Then, there are her live performances, which have been ridiculed to the max.
Perhaps, Ms. Carey reached her lowest point when she performed in Jamaica earlier this year. Music and Lyrics describes what happened at Mariah’s show.
“It was all chaos. Mariah used playback for the majority of her Jamaican show (why?) but it was only in the ‘Fantasy’ performance where something went really wrong. Did she miss her cue? Was she unable to hear the playback correctly? Couldn’t she handle the high humidity and temperature of the area? I don’t know what happened but this was an embarrassing mess.”
Perhaps Mariah has learned from her mistakes or is just a lot happier. Her recent residency at the Beacon Theatre has given her some of the best reviews of her career. Billboard gave the show four-and-a-half stars.
“Truth be told, Carey’s less than best is still worth the price of admission, and the second year of her Christmas residency was a delightful way to celebrate the season. Carey’s show — a mix of material from 1994’s Merry Christmas and the 2010 follow-up Merry Christmas II You— is destined to become a Christmas classic as traditional as Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular and Rockefeller Center’s tree.”
Billboard adds that Mariah also sung some of her biggest pop hits such as “Hero” and “We Belong Together,” both which may not have been recorded as Christmas songs but fit the festive mood of the season.
The Village Voice also praised Mariah Carey’s performances.
“She may not be lapping the globe like Taylor or dancing all over creation while belting her heart out like Beyoncé, but she spent two weeks nailing an equally challenging feat: She blew expectations away, reclaimed her reputation and did so while throwing the glitziest, goofiest holiday party imaginable. Just show up and enjoy yourself, dahhhhling — it’s Christmas and Mariah’s on the mic, for Chrissake.”
It’s a good thing that Mariah Carey can still thrill a live audience, especially since A Christmas Melody, a show Mariah developed for Hallmark, was laughed at and ridiculed by many critics.
“The film is a technical embarrassment–cheesy acting, obvious (but snatched) Folgers coffee promo and dialogue so terrible it’s laughable. However, that doesn’t make the film any less iconic. In fact, it makes the movie even more of a masterpiece,” Christopher Rosa from VH1 sarcastically said.
“Now, again, Mariah Carey directed this movie, and there are moments when it really, really appears that all of the shots of her are lit differently and from a completely different angle than anything used on anyone else. This was the case so much that I wondered constantly whether she shot all her stuff separately from everybody else and was never actually involved in scenes with other actors,” wrote NPR’s Linda Holmes.
Whether or not people enjoyed A Christmas Melody really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things. What does matter is that Mariah Carey has reestablished herself as the official Queen of Christmas.
[Photo by Juan Ramos/Getty Images]