That Grape Juice’s Top Songs From… Mariah Carey’s ‘Emancipation Of Mimi’ [15th Anniversary]

Published: Monday 13th Apr 2020 by Sam

Contemporarily, commercial comebacks don’t come any bigger than Mariah Carey‘s trailblazing return to supremacy with ‘The Emancipation of Mimi.’

A legendary body of work that is now celebrating its 15th anniversary.

Prior to its release on April 12th 2005, the diva’s career was on uncertain terrain.

The tanking of 2001’s ‘Glitter’ effectively KO’d her colossal Virgin Records deal and 2002 follow-up ‘Charmbracelet’ (her first release for Island Def Jam) did not deliver commercially — despite favourable reviews and media omnipresence on the promo trail.

Fortunately for the songbird, the latter LP – her first under the tutelage of LA Reid – would prove to be the calm before the seismic storm.

For, following the one-two punch thrown by ‘Emancipation’s preceding singles ‘It’s Like That’ and ‘We Belong Together,’ Mariah would go on to ignite one of the hottest streaks of her illustrious career. And blaze her way to the top of the Pop cultural landscape.

With ‘Mimi,’ the star earned her 16th and 17th #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, was certified 6x Platinum in the US (pure sales), and sold 12 million copies of the album worldwide. Very much a Tina Turner ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ moment for the 00s. And arguably a story and level of success that has yet to be seen since.

In salute of the set’s landmark anniversary, which notably comes months after Carey’s 19th #1 and weeks after her 50th birthday, That Grape Juice have tallied our top tracks from ‘The Emancipation Of Mimi.’

Check out the list below…

7) Don’t Forget About Us

With this project, Mimi and her creative cohorts – Jermaine Dupri, Bryan-Michael Cox, and Johnta Austin – cemented the “ballad that bops” format and this serves as one of their strongest efforts yet. It’s bested by one other song, but we’ll get to that later.

6) Get Your Number 

Versatility has long been one of Mariah’s strong points and she’s renown for turning up the tempo with dazzling results. This funkified club jam remains a TGJ favorite and we wish it was given a more measured push. Internationally, it was rolled out as a double a-side with ‘Shake It Off,’ which of course slayed the charts. But, if you ask us, this was always more deserving.

5) Circles

Beyond the album’s titan-sized vocals, ‘Mimi’ really pushed Mariah’s pen-game. Case in point this  engaging ballad about being love-lorn. The conviction in the vocal delivery and engrossing lyrics made for a magical match.

4) Mine Again

Ballads have Mariah’s sonic mainstay, but one of our favorite traits of the album is the diversity – even within its slower jams. With this track especially, the pairing of her potent voice with live instrumentation, such as trumpets, flutes, drums makes for audio bliss.

3) It’s Like That

As an era opener and album opener, this banger deserves all of its flowers. Even in being somewhat of a bait-and-switch (given the LP’s more mid-tempo flow), this set the tone on several levels. Plus, “them chickens is ash and I’m lotion” may be one of our most revered Mariah lyrics ever. Like, ever.

2) Fly Like A Bird

A Gospel explosion that, for us, has alternated as our top pick over the years. It’s remained one of Mariah’s too, per her own words and its residence on many of her setlists in the 15 years since it first took flight.

Lyrically and vocally it builds towards an almighty praise break that would have even the staunchest atheist jumping at the pulpit. A classic.

1) We Belong Together

If ‘Emancipation’ is the car, this iconic ballad is the song that drove it to the mountain top. Mastering the elusive art of being both lyrically and vocally astute while melodically universal too, this deservingly dominated with a stronghold like no other. And took its place as one of her career defining songs, no small feat given the enormity of her smashes prior to that point.

Do You Agree With Our Picks?

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  1. Kerry Johnson April 13, 2020

    Y’all left out Say Something ??? That’s one of the album’s true gem ???

    • Bluebird April 13, 2020

      FLY LIK EA BIRD IS PURE GOSPEL AND THE BEST VOCAL SHE HAS EVERY DONE. WHEN SHE HITS THAT LAST 2 MINS OF THE SONG…IT SINCERELY IS A VOCAL MOMENT. iNCREDIBLE SONG

    • Nonya April 13, 2020

      Yesssss Say Something was LIT! Not sure why they left that one off!

    • Xyz April 13, 2020

      Nah! Stay the night was betta

  2. I remember when April 13, 2020

    I wish you knew and Mine Again are way better then the singles

  3. IKNOWTHETRUTH April 13, 2020

    QUEEN OF SALES. UR FAVE COULD NEVA.

    NONE OF THEM. NOT EVEN ARI BOO.

  4. IKNOWTHETRUTH April 13, 2020

    GLITTER WENT PLATINUM AS WELL AS CHARMBRACELET.

  5. 2bad2bme April 13, 2020

    No “Joy Ride”? Ya’ll have no taste in music.

  6. Clarkson April 13, 2020

    Disrespecting shake it off, a top 2 hit.

    She deserved to win, song of the year, record of the year and album of the year
    The Grammys just don’t like her.

    • Jamon_84 April 13, 2020

      Facts ?

  7. IG: mixedboy April 13, 2020

    What a stellar album. There aren’t many r&b albums that came after this that had the magic, brilliant song writing and production, and vocal performances. A true gem!

  8. Hated4myopinion April 13, 2020

    This album will forever take me back to a place that I don’t want to go and also feel nostalgic at the same time.

  9. Bluebird April 13, 2020

    FLY LIKE A BIRD IS THE BEST RNB RECORD SHE HAS EVERY RECORDED

  10. #TheTruth April 13, 2020

    The whole album is amazing, so are the bonus tracks and the unreleased one that ended up online years later « When I Feel It ».

    She really went in with the vocals, after having 2 albums that were more about her breathy register.

    • AngelKeys April 13, 2020

      So true. I wish she would realise that fans are not here for her breathy voice. We like full voice Mariah and always have. Her breathy vocals are easy for her and it’s just laziness.

  11. AngelKeys April 13, 2020

    Erm how you just gonna act like
    Stay The Night ment nothing?! That was one of the album’s highlights!

  12. 1988 April 13, 2020

    We Belong Together proves that when Mariah’s iconic voice is paired with the perfect melody the Billboard Hot 100 better watch out! The first time I heard “When you left, I lost a part of me”…..I knew it was going straight to the top! It’s a classic that remains on my Spotify playlist. It’s turned into a household favorite, every generation loves it. 🙂

  13. PinotNoir April 13, 2020

    I liked “Make It Last”, “Secret Love”, and “So Lonely ft. Twista remix” off of the re-release.

  14. Haterz Gon‘ Hate April 13, 2020

    Don’t Forget About Us???????? NOBODY everrrrrr remembers or talks about that track. It is the worse song on the whole album. SHAKE IT OFF (UK edition track??) and Say Something were LITTTTTTTT ??? Y’all at TGJ strait trippin’ for missing Any of them off the list SMH ??‍♂️

    • Jamon_84 April 13, 2020

      I love Don’t Forget about Us and the video

  15. Mimi Fan April 13, 2020

    STAY. THE. NIGHT.

    IMO the best track on the album, one of the best in her career!

  16. Wwwd What would Whitney Do April 14, 2020

    Oh gimme a break on let’s pick 2005 since that was one of the years Whitney had asore throat and wanted to f*** Bobby n party..

  17. Charli Cheer Up April 14, 2020

    Still her best album to date. Shake It Off was my jam~!

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