Single Review: Mariah Carey – Triumphant (Get ‘Em) (feat. Rick Ross & Meek Mill)
If I was listening to ‘Watch The Throne, the acclaimed record by Jay-Z and Kanye West, I would be a very silly boy to complain about the rapping. It’s what you should expect from two of the world’s leading rap artists, after all. So here I am, listening to one of the leading vocalists in diva-pop history, Ms. Mariah Carey and, naturally, I have my expectations.
I’m expecting the higher-than-heaven notes and we’ve got them. I am holding out for the slick, catchy hooks she made her name with and they’re more than satisfactory (in fact, I’ve been singing ‘get ’em, get ’em, get em’ non-stop since the first time that lyric took hold on my brain). My problems with ‘Triumphant’, however, lie in the fact that this is not a Mariah Carey song. She may have slapped her name on the top of the single sleeve and a struck familiar model-esque pose on the cover, but with a massive two out of three verses being stolen from her by rappers Rick Ross and Meek Mill, she has been upstaged on her own turf.
It feels like a joke to note the ‘featuring’ on the press release as it’s nowhere near as simple as that. This, at the very least, is a joint effort and for an album track, it’d pretty acceptable. But Mariah Carey fell from grace with her last record and the sensational voice and underrated songwriting skills have got to shine if she wants to take her own throne back again. Giving respect where it’s due, Rick Ross and Meek Mill sound great and deliver their piece with as much swag and attitude as expected. But the mere fact that I can write bundles about them and very little about Carey is never a good sign, particularly on a comeback single.
Check out the Vintage Throwback remix for a rap-less version of the track in which it’s given chance to shine as a Mariah hit and not as a rapper’s free for all. Somewhere, hidden beneath the overbearing amount of rapping is a euphoric, R&B anthem that is exactly what Mariah is known for and the direction she should be taking after the less than successful route that previous album ‘Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel’ took. ‘Triumphant”s chorus is exactly that – defiant, celebratory and anthemic. I can’t pick fault with what we do have, but there isn’t enough. Hopefully the album will be free of too many guest slots and more akin to the Vintage Throwback remix. At least, if it all goes wrong again, ‘Standing O’, from the previous record can be drafted in to save her career.
Photo: Mariah Carey.com
Words: Simon McMurdo