And the plot thickens; yet sadly for Mariah Carey, it’s into a muckier mess. Or so it seems.
For, despite the singer’s team telling Billboard quite directly that the star was planning an “all-at-once” digital roll-out for her 14th studio album (with a physical addition arriving a week later), reps from the diva’s record label Def Jam are now singing an altogether different tune.
Details after the jump…
Though (Carey) never explicitly said the album would be a surprise release, subsequent interviews with Jermaine Dupri and two sources familiar with the album’s planned distribution confirmed that a digital-first, everything-at-once strategy was in the works. Dupri even went so far as to compare the plan to the way Beyoncé let the fans democratize the typical album rollout. “The challenge with Mariah has always been if I like one record and she likes another, you can never pick a single that satisfies everybody,” he said. “If you just did what Beyoncé did, she just gave you 17 singles and you picked which record you like.”
But Def Jam, Carey’s label, is now telling a different story. According to Laura Swanson, the label’s exec VP-media, the album will, in fact, be preceded by a traditional strategy leading up to a “late May” simultaneous digital/physical street date. “Mariah will announce the date and title in advance of the on-sale date,” she said, noting that the cover and confirmed tracklist will all be included.
Swanson had initially declined comment for Billboard’s cover story before it hit subscribers last Friday (April 25), with Carey’s publicity team at PMK-BNC only indicating that the album’s initial release date, May 6, was inaccurate. Def Jam Recordings CEO Steve Bartels refused to answer specific questions about the release.
For Mariah’s sake, this needs to be an attempted ruse to throw folk off, with the LP instead coming sooner rather than the”late May” tag that’s now being touted.
If not, the project has officially dived past the comical stage right into ‘”disaster” terrain.
The “surprise” component was the one spec of excitement generated for the album since bad handling allowed its sole hit ‘#Beautiful’ to come and go like a thief in the night exactly one year ago.
Again, this latest news needs to be a joke otherwise it’ll be the LP’s sales that are the potent punchline.