Miguel’s Mariah Carey’s new single “#Beautiful” sounds off with a sullen guitar riff that quickly transforms into something a bit brighter when the backbeat comes in. “Hop on to the back of my bike, let the good wind blow through your hair…” invites featured vocalist Miguel with his magnetic charm.
Miguel continues to woo you into the first chorus. “You’re beautiful, and your mind is *#%!ing beautiful, and I can’t pretend that doesn’t mean a thing to me.” Many have noticed that for a lead single for such a prolific pop artist, (Mariah doesn’t fully come in till about 1:30) she’s more of a featured artist on her own song (see: “Triumphant”). This doesn’t bother me so much since I am a huge fan of Miguel’s work and I admire her for opening herself up to working with upcoming acts. Her previous duets have a similar feel (“Endless Love” with Luther Vandross, “One Sweet Day” with Boyz II Men, etc) of Mariah sharing the allotted time with her partners.
The production is crisp and feels timeless. It has a retro throwback vibe but also sounds current very much like Miguel’s solo work, which will bode well for future playbacks. When Mariah does finally enter, her voice immediately commands your attention. Straying away from her usual vocal wig snatching, Mariah tones it down for the simple sing-along type chorus.
It’s obvious Mariah was out for a hit when crafting together this perfect summer jam. The song clocks in a bit under three and a half minutes, which leaves the listener wanting a little more. In music programming terms, this is a very ideal length and would work well for many Pop/R&B programs looking for a light, summery feel.
Mariah and Miguel’s voices suit each other’s well. What’s missing for me is some signature Mariah ad libs and layers which are spliced here and there but are notably less featured than a typical Mariah song. With such a short amount of play time, perhaps, those tricks are best left for album tracks leaving the simpler songs to impact the masses.
For over two decades of music and currently 18 number one Billboard singles in the U.S. alone, Mariah proves she is still a force to be reckoned with. Her recent departure from American Idol puts her in a great position to promote and tour for her upcoming release of her 11th studio album slated for July 23rd out on Island Def Jam Music Group.
– Submitted by Tristan Bolden, Music Design