Image © Stonewinner LLC 2007
(03 February 2008) During the Glitter and Charmbracelet eras, a comeback from Mariah Carey seemed impossible to some. Her popularity, her quality of material, and even her voice appeared to be degrading at a painfully rapid rate. Even an avid fan of the songbird, would begin to think that she was on her way out of the music business. In early 2005, "It's Like That" was released, and although it was a nice track and the fans enjoyed it, it still wasn't making any big moves on the charts to make anyone think this new upcoming album would perform any differently than the past two. Then, out of nowhere came the mega-hit, "We Belong Together," and the rest was history. The Emancipation of Mimi went on to be certified six times platinum by the RIAA, making it the best selling album of 2005. At the 2006 Grammy Awards, it was named the best contemporary R&B album of the year. The album also gave Carey two more #1 singles to boast. This tour, which is her most successful one yet, topped it all off.
And so Mariah Carey's new double DVD entitled The Adventures of Mimi (Stonewinner LLC (USA), 0-9793794-0-7, 2007) has been released to celebrate the tour. This 2xDVD set with audio in dolby 5.1, dts 5.1 and dolby digital 2.0 audio formats does an excellent job of capturing the magic of her live performance. The set is nice, as is the lighting. The concert was recorded in HD and is in surround sound, but our editors would've liked to have seen more full shots of the stage with everything going on at once a few times throughout the presentation. The background vocalists are superb and they really do an amazing job. The dancers seemed to be quite talented, but at most times, the choreography was a little lame and unexciting. But many don't really look to the dancers to provide the thrills during a concert: most eyes are on the star of the show. That she is scantily clothed throughout the show also provides visual candy for the male viewer.
Throughout the show, Mariah proves that she is back and here to stay. The voice, which some critics claimed was withering away to a mere whimper, is just as strong and bold as her early days. The high notes are still there, as is her soulful belting. And she really is singing live! She has astounding charisma and energy, and to top it all off, she looks better than ever. Some of the hip-hop styled numbers could have been left behind.
The setlist is challenging. Mariah has been active in the music business for almost 20 years. She has had many hit singles and also many great album tracks that have become fan favorites. It has songs for all the new fans that she gained with this new album, but it is also faithful to the fans that have been there since day one. Most of her studio albums are represented with at least one song. All of the songs are for the most part performed in their entirety. She also slipped in pieces of some of her remixes into the performances. In fact, she sang part of "Dream Lover" over the instrumental of Biggie's "Juicy." The powerful performance of "Fly Like A Bird" was worth the price of this set alone.
Aside from the concert, this set has special features. The first disc has a behind-the-scenes feature, which are fun to watch at least once. It also contains a jukebox feature that allows you to arrange and play your own setlist. The second disc has a tour documentary, with interviews from all parties involved, speaking on the setlist, set design, dancers, etc. Some will find this interesting because it takes an incredible amount of work to put a tour of this magnitude together, and it's nice to hear Mariah speak about it, although she had no time for an interview to accompany this review.
The concert's songs are included in karaoke form to permit sing along. Last, a Spike-Lee directed short, "Lovers and Haters," is included. It's Mariah's way of responding to--and laughing at--all the rumors that haters have created about her over the years. This tour documents an amazing performer who
has once again returned to her prime. Overall, this is a great, entertaining, and worthwhile DVD set. If you are a Mariah Carey fan, then this set is for you.