The self-styled Elusive Chanteuse returns, humbled but not necessarily wiser, from the unjust failure of last year’s delightful Me… I am Mariah. Her chosen vehicle? A glorified repackage of her previous greatest hits album, now titled #1 to Infinity. The collection runs through all 17 of Mariah’s chronologically ordered US number one singles, topping them off with the compilation’s obligatory promotional single, ‘Infinity’.
However, Carey, in the legacy stage of her career, is not enjoying a sudden period of resurgent popularity, and it’s hard to imagine the intended audience for such a repackage. Still, the music is undeniably great. Most tracks stay within Carey’s firmly established wheelhouse of soft R&B, and it’s always nice to hear gems like ‘Vision of Love’, ‘Fantasy’ and ‘One Sweet Day’ again.
With regards to the new single, ‘Infinity’, it’s a serviceable but unspectacular addition. But as Carey hits the song’s climactic whistle notes, we’re reminded of what a vocal powerhouse and wonderful performer she is, just in time for the launch of her Las Vegas residency. Oh yes, her Vegas residency. That’s probably the reason for this lazy, cash-grabbing promotional retread. Got it.