With Mariah Carey's well-publicized, tabloid-topping emotional breakdown, every aspect of her superstar life has fallen under the microscope—even more than before.
And though most of the music on Glitter is fairly typical dance fluff, it does offer a handful of clues that the diva's life was getting away from her, despite her tremendous fortune and fame. That's most apparent on the breathy ballad “Twister”, during which she sings:
“She was kind of fragile/And she had a lot to grapple with/But basically she kept it all inside/Childlike and effervescent/with a well of pain/The depth of I could not imagine/If I tried/Never thought that I/Would hear them say/Twister went and threw it all away.”
Personal revelations aside, this soundtrack is a relatively drab homage to the early 1980s club scene. On the upside, several of the cuts have a whole lot more life to them than Carey's trademark, octave-defying ballads. The playful lead single “Loverboy” provides the bookends for the disc, with the straight version closing it and the rap remix opening it, complete with appearances by Glitter co-star Da Brat, as well as Ludacris, Shawnna and Twenty II.
But there's most definitely a lack of luster elsewhere. Especially disappointing are Carey's covers of two classic dance tracks from the era. Her version of “I Didn't Mean to Turn You On”—first done by Cherelle before Robert Palmer had the huge hit with it—sounds thin, lacks a seductive edge, and is marred by a mess of crisscrossing keyboards. Likewise, her rendition of Indeep's early '80s disco hit “Last Night a D.J. Saved My Life” is only slightly better, despite rap contributions from Busta Rhymes, Fabulous, and DJ Clue.
She tries hard, and at times way too hard, to be this generation's Streisand, right down to the wannabe movie star dreams. But Carey could certainly use better material than most of what's found here if she hopes to eventually achieve that goal.