Mariah Carey’s career as of late has been nothing short of a ‘hot mess.’ That is no shade to one of the greatest artists of our time, but things just haven’t clicked for Carey over the past year. Honestly, if you go back to 2009 album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, Carey’s “cooling off” period began then. Come 2014 LP Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse, well the wheels just fell off. But this article isn’t to keep Carey’s commercial misfortunes ever before her, but rather to question another career move – a greatest hits compilation.
Mariah Carey, rather than embracing her new contract with Epic by releasing a smartly promoted new album to erase the failure of her previous album, releases a greatest hits compilation. Before stones are cast, yes, greatest hits compilations are important to the established artists career as it gives fans and more casual fans the opportunity to have the highlights of the said artist’s career. The problem here is, #1 To Infinity seems like a lazy release, particularly for hardcore fans. Let me explain.
Personally, my entire album collection is gargantuan – I still believe in physical CDs and practically own a music library. Yeah, maybe that last part was an exaggeration about the music library, but this guy is good for 1000+ CDs and having more stored digitally. Mariah Carey’s discography, nearly complete, takes up a portion. Her biggest hits hail from her earlier albums, with the exception of number ones hailing from The Emancipation of Mimi (2005) and E=MC2 (2008). Guess what, I have my own ‘greatest hits’ from her CDs of note, not to mention owning her initial #1s from years back. So, what does #1 To Infinity do for the fan like me, who owns her crucial albums and is missing the sole newbie on the album, “Infinity?” The answer is to spend $1.29 and buy the single and then compile your own #1 To Infinity compilation.
Because #1 To Infinity offers nothing new aside from one song, and many true Carey fans will already own albums housing the hits she’s rereleasing after her initial #1s, #1 To Infinity feels redundant and pointless. Yes, she’s doing a Vegas residency and there is a chance that someone goes to see her and doesn’t own her past work, but still, why not aim bigger? How about rereleasing those greatest hits as duets – that would be more creative than just reissuing the same things again, right? Or better yet, why not focus on making a killer album that isn’t pushed back, has a surefire hit single, and is promoted aggressively and try to reestablish your brand? Yes, Carey has made her ‘greatest hits’ and is past her lucrative prime, but if Carey wants more, she’s going to have to ‘give more.’