Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey conceived Emotions, her second album, as an homage to Motown soul music and she worked with Walter Afanasieff and Clivillés & Cole on the record. It was released soon after her debut album—in late 1991—but was neither as critically or commercially successful; Rolling Stone described it as “more of the same, with less interesting material … pop-psych love songs played with airless, intimidating expertise.”

PRECIOUS: The Film Babble Blog Review

(Dir. Lee Daniels, 2009)

The title may be as hard to swallow as some of the harrowing events on display in this movie, but apparently the film makers thought it was a necessity to avoid confusion with another film titled PUSH that came out last year. Claireece “Precious” Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) is the name of an overweight illiterate 16 year old living in the Harlem slums of 1987. She is pregnant for the second time by her abusive father and her even more abusive mother (Mo’Nique) also beats her regularly.

Precious’s only escape from her living Hell of a life is through extreme flights of her imagination. She fantasizes about being a famous celebrity attending gala premieres and photo-shoots. At one point she looks in the mirror she sees a thin white blonde girl. Fortunately for the film these flashy moments of surrealism are used sparingly as the nitty gritty of reality is where she’ll have to learn to survive.

After being expelled for her pregnancy, Precious is sent to an alternate school where she struggles through her everyday existence. She doesn’t even know what an alternate school is, she tells us in her sometimes poetic narration, but she gives it a go though intimidated by her teacher, played by the almost too perfect looking for her part Paula Patton, and her new schoolmates.

In terms of performances PRECIOUS is a powerhouse. Sidibe has presense and poise in the most unpleasant of situations, and this movie is full of intensely unpleasant situations. Mo’Nique, who I’ve never really seen act before this, is incredible as the broken down beast of a Mother especially in a tear jerking concluding scene. An Oscar nomination is inevitable for that scene alone. I have to admit that I did not recognize Mariah Carey in a small but crucial part in this film. As de-glamorized as possible Carey was surprisingly solid as an actress in her role as concerned social worker.

In a film as dark and startling as many thrillers, we feel for Sidibe but that subsides a bit as the structure of the second half of the film is a bit off with some misplaced humor (though I did like somebody mentioning that they just saw BARFLY – “piece of shit”) and ersatz elements like Lenny Kravitz as a male nurse lounging around for no reason. I predict that PRECIOUS will certainly find an audience as a heartfelt production with controversial content but the acting will be what it’s most remembered for. The powerfully touching performances elevate the film far above the middlebrow milieu of most dramas and save it from being another glorified afternoon special. Just barely.

More later…

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey Naked Characters

Mariah Carey is said to be able to cover all the notes from the alto vocal range leading to those of a coloratura soprano, and her vocal trademark is her ability to sing in the whistle register. Mariah Carey has cited Minnie Riperton as the greatest influence on her singing technique and from a very early age, she attempted to emulate Riperton’s high notes, to increasing degrees of success as her vocal range expanded. At one point, The Guinness Book of Records recorded that there was no other singer who could hold a higher note than Carey. In 2003, her voice was ranked first in MTV and Blender magazine’s countdown of the 22 Greatest Voices in Music, as voted by fans and readers in an online poll. Mariah Carey said of the poll, “What it really means is voice of the MTV generation. Of course, it’s an enormous compliment, but I don’t feel that way about myself.”


Mariah Carey ‘s voice has come under considerable scrutiny from critics who believe that she does not communicate the message of her songs effectively. Rolling Stone magazine said in 1992, “Mariah Carey has a remarkable vocal gift, but to date, unfortunately, her singing has been far more impressive than expressive at full speed her range is so superhuman that each excessive note erodes the believability of the lyric she is singing.” The New York Daily News wrote in 2005 that Mariah Carey ‘s singing “is ultimately what does her in. For Carey, vocalizing is all about the performance, not the emotions that inspired it… Does having a great voice automatically make you a great singer? Hardly.” Some interpreted Mariah Carey ‘s decision to utilize what she described as “breathy” vocals in some of her late 1990s and early 2000s work as a sign that her voice was deteriorating, but she has maintained that it “has been here all along”. An article in VIBE magazine indicated that Mariah Carey ‘s singing style highlights weaknesses in other aspects of her music, “The impressiveness of her voice as well—as her tendency to over-sing—make the blandness of her material all the more flagrant.”

Mariah Carey Naked Characters Gallery