The Emancipation of Mimi

"The Emancipation of Mimi" is Mariah Carey's most satisfying album since her 1997 collection, "Butterfly." The latter disc spawned multiple hits and has sold 3.7 million copies in the United States, a

"The Emancipation of Mimi" is Mariah Carey's most satisfying album since her 1997 collection, "Butterfly." The latter disc spawned multiple hits and has sold 3.7 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Mimi" has already notched a hit with "It's Like That," and a second single—the midtempo ballad "We Belong Together"—is ascending the charts. Carey's emancipation is drenched in hip-hop and old-school R&B ballads, and it smartly focuses on her strengths. While her voice has lost some of its power through the years, "Mimi" deftly showcases her still-considerable pipes with strong lyrics and slick production. In addition to the aforementioned singles, highlights include the Snoop Dogg-spiced thump of "Say Somethin'," the gorgeous ballads "Mine Again" and "Circles," the bouncy silliness of "Get Your Number" and gospel closer "Fly Like a Bird."—KC