The Bottom Line
"Obsessed" is certainly a change of pace for Mariah Carey who has built one of the most phenomenal pop music careers of all time out of songs primarily about love, sex and inspiration. The new single is a very direct, bordering on nasty, dis reportedly of Eminem but probably of others as well. Lyrically "Obsessed" is interesting, but musically it just doesn't hold up with the standard of Mariah Carey's other work. She sounds surprisingly bored for the words she is singing.
- Clever lyrical put-downs
- Mariah Carey sounds bored
- Plodding beat
- Bitter tone
- Written by Mariah Carey, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, The-Dream
- Produced by Mariah Carey, The-Dream, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart
- Released June 2009 by Island Records
Guide Review - Mariah Carey - "Obsessed"
Mariah Carey is clearly settling scores on "Obsessed," but she sounds more like she's making a narcotized plea over the phone. Mariah could learn a thing or two from Britney Spears in this department. The auto-tune drenching of much of the song does not help matters. Those having similar issues in life will surely grab some of the more clever lyrical put-downs here, but the music, a plodding, repetitive beat with little melody, is forgettable.
The most prominent speculation is that this song is a response to Eminem and his track "Bagpipes from Baghdad" where he takes on Carey's husband Nick Cannon. If indeed Eminem is the target, the pithy line, "You a mom and pop, I’m a corporation, I’m the press conference, you a conversation," rings a bit of playground sniping rather than being based in reality considering these are two of the biggest pop stars of all time. However, it will be interesting to see if musical feuding between two major stars is a commercial goldmine for Universal, the home to both artists. If so, expect to see more of this in the future.
One of the most disappointing aspects of "Obsessed" is that an artist with Mariah Carey's career record has elected to choose a bitter, musically weak recording to kick off a major new studio album. Her vocals, historically among the most memorable in pop music history, are drowned by auto-tune leaving a faceless drone on the chorus. I hope she has indeed settled her score here and on the album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel she will return to songs worthy of her talent.