The Bottom Line
The lesson of "#Beautiful" is to never ever count Mariah Carey out. In recent years her commercial fortunes as a recording artist seemed to be suffering a bit, and last fall's "Triumphant (Get 'Em)" was a major stumble. However, with this single she is once again one of the most compelling vocalists in pop music. Major congratulations go to collaborator Miguel who is arguably the most important young talent in R&B today. The pairing of the vocal talents with a stellar arrangement and gorgeous song makes this one of the best singles of 2013 so far.
- Warm, retro feel of the recording
- Mariah Carey's mature vocals
- Strong, sexy lyrics
- Memorable guitar opening
- Written by Miguel, Mariah Carey, Nathan Perez, and Brook Davis
- Produced by Miguel, Mariah Carey, and Happy Perez
- Released May 2013 by Island Records
Guide Review - Mariah Carey - "#Beautiful" featuring Miguel
"#Beautiful" kicks off with solo 50s style guitar, a single tambourine joins in for two beats, and then the voices of Mariah Carey and Miguel. In those first few seconds the song has us hooked and wanting to hear more. There is a lot more. "#Beautiful" is not only a return to form for Mariah Carey, but also an exciting recording. Once the percussion kicks in behind Miguel's first verse, there is a warm retro sound as if the song was recorded in a classic 60s pop studio. However, digital clarity gives a thrilling "you are there" feel to "#Beautiful."
When Mariah Carey fully arrives vocally, a minute and a half into the song, it sounds like the arrival of pop music royalty. Her effortless delivery is punctuated by a moment of that magnificent high register along with the line, "Oh how you thrill me." There is real chemistry in the vocals between Mariah Carey and Miguel. The slightly slower than midtempo beat of the ballad makes "#Beautiful" a perfect classic make out song, or one to be played at a wedding dance. The lyrics of praise to a lover are heartfelt and sexy.
The warmth and intimacy of "#Beautiful" will make you want to hear it again and again. This is the best Mariah Carey record in years, possibly since the days of The Emancipation Of Mimi. Look for R&B hit status to be assured, and a run for Mariah Carey's 19th #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit is not out of the question. Meanwhile, settle in and listen to one of the best singles of the year. This recording is indeed "#Beautiful."