Welcome to the latest TGJ Roundtable!
Over the years, That Grape Juice has established a distinguished voice that – whether loved or loathed – sparks discussion, debate, and on occasion drama!
Though comprised of seasoned writers who share a similar outlook on Urban Pop culture, the idiosyncrasies of the TGJ team members often lend for quite heated debates “behind the scenes” about the hottest topics.
Now, we give you a front row seat to the show. In a format similar to ‘The View’ or ‘The Real’, TGJ editors – Sam, David, Rashad, and Joe – get real in a very candid way.
Today’s roundtable topic asks…
Is Mariah Carey’s Las Vegas Residency A Good Career Move?
It’s a statement I find myself uttering a lot these days. Why? Because her career has become such a conundrum that it’s difficult to decipher what her true predicament is. And this new Vegas residency serves as a prime example.
On the one hand, I’m “for” it. Once deemed a desert for de-hydrated careers, Britney Spears’ trip to the ‘strip has somewhat transformed the meaning of Vegas. It can be fresh, cutting-edge, and wildly successful…all things Mariah’s career is thirsty for.
What’s more, as one of the industry’s last single name entities, Mariah and her bevy of hits are an amazing marketing magnet…on paper.
A point which leads to my primary concern…the reality of Mimi as a performer. Still one of today’s best out-right vocalists, years of use (and arguable misuse) have shaved much of the power from her range. Also, from a simple singing standpoint, she’s so consistently inconsistent that it’s frightening. Unlike Britney, she won’t have choreographed spectacles to distract from her shortcomings. And unlike Celine, she isn’t able to sing live confidently or lip-sync like a pro. It’s like “girl, pick a hustle!”
The whole episode really does feel like quite the risk, particularly at a time when even the mainstream mass have caught on to fact her voice isn’t what it was.
As such, my ultimate stance on Mimi’s Vegas foray is a simple “wait and see”. That said, I, personally hope she delivers and proves the naysayers wrong. I also hope she manages to leverage the exposure towards the success of new music too as I feel she has one big moment left in her – whether that be a 19th #1 or a smash album.
On a completely random note, if there’s one thing I’m most buzzed about it’s the fact the #1’s angle means we’ll be getting new performances of ‘Don’t Forget About Us’ – a song which has yet to be done justice live.
Though I’m not sure how it’ll rescue her ghastly album sales, Mariah Carey’s Las Vegas residency may just be the best thing to happen to her career in some time.
Eradicating the costs and stress that oft come along with touring, being based in Vegas should hopefully see Carey develop a show strong enough to attract the attention of Live Nation and the like, and give her time to figure out how she fits into Pop’s puzzle as it is today.
For, despite seeing her last era outperform Jennifer Lopez’, the lack of “vitality” in her brand sees her billed as an ageing diva unable to keep up with acts she inspired.
Could Vegas be the place all that changes? I sure hope so!
Even at her prime, Mariah Carey has never been an artist who owned the “total” stage. Whitney and Celine, her vocal counterparts, could at least get down with the get down, without relying heavily on choreography. Mariah, on the other hand, was unable to use anything but her voice to sell her show. Now, I will not pretend that that is not enough because we are talking about “the” Mariah Carey. However, in an era where her voice at its most robust is just no longer, it will be interesting to see how Mimi can sell an entire show on as grand of a stage as “Vegas”.
I must say, though, that I am totally here for Mariah going to Vegas. Because she can still use her name. In comparison to where certain other divas careers were when crossing the 45 mark, Mariah is still able to give enough of a show to not have people feeling as if her gift is gone. Even if her voice is routinely absent.
So, as long as she continues to sell her name via vehicles such as Idol and now Vegas, I’m absolutely for it.
I just don’t see this particular gig being long-lasting once those dreaded videos begin to do the rounds. That is unless she has her pre-record game on lock!
Mimi takes Vegas… interesting.
Though not as vilified as they once were – notably thanks to Celine Dion‘s run – residencies are still very much perceived as the last hurrah for former charts forces.
With that being said, it would be a major good look, metaphorically, for the diva who remains the female artist with the most #1 records in the US. The emphasis is smartly being put on said credentials, hence it should not be too hard for Carey to fill out those seats. It should be noted that the Vegas audience is not renowned for being hard-to-please, quite the contrary; in all due respect, the “entertainment” value alone is reason enough for the citizens of the world that can be found in Sin City to attend a concert (see: Britney Spears, Piece Of Me).
Saying that, though the concert-goers can be “fooled” by the big production and the legendary name attached to it, sadly the same cannot be said about social media which in this day and age equals the press.
Hopefully ‘The Elusive Chanteuse Show’ served as some sort of reality check for the singer and a reminder that when you are consistently celebrated for your out-of-this-world vocal talent, you must not only take care of it but also use it when people have given their hard-earned money to witness it.
Maybe dividing the set between original arrangements and stripped back moments – which would be deemed ‘intimate’ – could work in Ms. Carey’s favor because, let’s face it, trying to sing those 18 #1s in their original form – belts, whistles and all -sounds like either overkill or pre-record city – which can not be an option.
Anyhow, wishing Mariah the best!
Do you agree with our picks? Who was spot on? Let us know your thoughts on the latest TGJ Roundtable and Mariah’s Vegas show below!