Glitter

Virgin 10797

Virgin 10797

Glitter shows La Carey bravely striving to merge three incongruous styles. First, there's the '80s-hued material reflective of her imminent film debut (after which the set is titled). Then, there are the ballads that are an essential element of her every album. Finally, she indulges in her fascination with hip-hop culture—a move that should continue

to confound fans who pledged allegiance to the diva during her early pure-pop phase. It's a tricky juggle that Carey handles with earnest energy. The result is a mixed recording that swoops from soaring highs like the quietly heartbreaking "Twister" and the deliciously funky "All My Life" to painful lows like "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life," during which she sounds disconnected from a groove overpowered by a slew of rappers. Ultimately, Glitter is a minor misstep in a stellar career that has earned the singer a few free passes.—LF