It was the comeback many had been awaiting. Indeed, it’s been three years since Mariah Carey last released a traditional studio album – and seven since she released one anyone actually cared about.
Hence, the so-so reaction new single ‘Triumphant’ has received both critically and commercially is sure to come as somewhat of blow to the diva’s comeback campaign. A campaign which appears to be re-jigging strategy in light of the song’s performance (or lackthereof)
As reported yesterday, the 42 year old’s manager Randy Jackson confirmed that the cut’s housing album is slated for a March 2013 release – essentially auto-rendering ‘Triumphant’ a “buzz single”. A status we have a hard time believing was the “plan” from the outset. For, even the most well-prepared and well-executed projects would never leave a seven-month gap between the first “taste” of the LP and its arrival in stores. Never.
Thoroughly puzzling, it’s a “strategy” which begs the rhetorical question: why release ‘Triumphant’ now? Indeed, there isn’t an answer that could truly satisfy.
Still much loved, Mariah commands a loyal “Lamb” community; yet beyond that ultra dedicated bracket, there isn’t overwhelming “demand” for her in the music marketplace. At least not to the feverish degree that “demands” such a rush-release. What’s more, having signed up to judge ratings juggernaut American Idol, a vast weekly audience awaits Ms. Carey-Cannon when the show kicks off in January. Surely, holding off until then would have benefitted her cause more – ala rival Jennifer Lopez? Instead, she’s left with a first-hurdle misstep which sees the song moving at snail-pace at radio, sitting at #95 on US iTunes, and notable by its absence in the Top 200 of the UK tally.
There is, of course, room for the track to rebound; the debut of its music video is imminent, while its better-received remixes are due on iTunes next week. The latter being particularly noteworthy. In a recent interview with Billboard, Jackson touted the Dancier incarnations of the cut as being “for the fans”. Perhaps they are. Yet, we’re sure he and the rest of Team Mariah, are well-versed in the grey area that surrounds Billboard’s rules regarding the Hot 100. Indeed, unless structurally so different that it constitutes a “new song”, sales of remixes routinely count towards the title track’s overall chart placing. A practice which gives Mimi three lifelines to play with – if counting the original, Vintage Throwback, and Pulse versions of the song.
For us, though, we simply hoped she’d release the right song, more importantly at the right time. Still, what’s done is done. Fingers crossed for a revival of interest in the project, though; as -”new voice” and all- Mariah remains one of the industry’s most enduring and authentic assets. It’s time she stopped selling herself short.