Wednesday, 4 June 2014

#MARIAHWEEK: 'Myths, Divadom, and That Lip-Synching Thing'...



In 2009, Mariah Carey ventured on a European promotional tour, in support of her last studio album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. Outside of her regular London stomping ground - The Dorchester Hotel, I noticed a couple with a young girl, approximately 6 years old. Armies of Paparazzi on one side, and legions of fans on the other – it was immediately obvious that there was no place in either camp for the child.

Out came Mariah and hubby Nick Cannon, and the swarm immediately began. It was a matter of moments before a stranger than usual commotion overtook the scramble. I saw Mariah push Paparazzi and even her beloved 'lambily' clear of a central spot, before dipping out of sight. When she came back into view, the distraught little girl was in her comforting arms, after being trampled by both groups, whilst her negligent mother could be heard screaming hysterically – nowhere near her child. So disgusted was Mariah by the behaviour of both camps, she refused to stop for pictures or autographs. She got in her plush waiting car, and sped off to record her X-Factor performance.

The very next day, The Daily Mail (HUGE Mariah fans, I tell you, HUGE...) printed one of their infamous egregious fabrications, which were, of course, picked up all around the world:

'Mariah Orders Cute Child for Photocall!'

(Paraphrase)

She was torn to shreds by media and online readers alike, who posted so many sick, abusive and outright disgusting comments about her arrogance, egotism, and self-obsession. You had to wonder if they weren't a few Dexter Morgan's in the making...

I have a host of similar examples, witnessed either by myself, or by friends of mine, that completely disprove the endless media myths of a conceited, self-serving, Mariah Carey.

That, my friends, is the essence of the media's relationship with Ms. Mimi. Be careful not to mistake this for her relationship with them – they are two very different entities. A precise strategist, when Mariah wants you to know something, the wording is written via statement, or better yet recorded, so that there is no doubt as to whom they came from and, more importantly - they cannot be misconstrued.

Case in point: Around the time of July 23rd, when the second current album push back occurred, both Manager Jermaine Dupri, and Producer Rodney Jerkins tweeted celebratory messages about Mariah's imminent album, entitled 'The Art of Letting Go'. The media and fans alike ran with the title as Gospel, forgetting one thing; Carey never said those words herself. It didn't take long for her to clarify – also via twitter – stating that 'The Art of Letting Go' was not, and will never be, the album's title!' Without a useable replacement, the incorrect title remained in every news reference.

That's not to say that Mariah helps herself in all instances. When it comes to 'Professional Mariah', she is extremely careful about how she handles the media – just ask her how she feels about the ongoing war between herself, and Madonna, or Jennifer Lopez. Carey will always be the first to interject that no such animosity exists…at least not on her part. But when it comes to public opinion of 'Private Mariah', what you all need to understand, is that after so many years of suppressing her opinions and beliefs for the benefit of others, at this point in her 44-year life, she no longer cares! After 25 years of criticism in the public eye, would you?

If you think this is a ball gown, you are either an idiot, or have no
fashion sense. Either way, seek advice.
In the case of the latter, come back Wednesdays...
So if, for instance, she chooses to wear a floor-length, figure-hugging dress (NOT gown – distinctive difference that the use of eyes would clear right up); with a pretty belt and some heels to the park with your children, then in the name of a human being, with all the same rights that you have, that is, indeed, her choice. The fact that she mocked herself first, clearly shows how seriously she didn't take the whole episodewhy bother when the media will do it for her?!


Speaking of unqualified judges…The phrase 'everyone's a critic' never applies more aptly, than with so-called, Mimi 'fans' (O' the day - ie. Newgen).

Having been a supporter from the day her vocals reached British shores, I have grown up with the (not so Elusive) Chanteuse, to the point where, if there was a pointless University course in her, like the one on JayZ, I feel confident in saying that I could teach it. Since proof is undoubtedly always in the pudding (why never another food course?) Let me give you an example:

Mariah Carey has not, I repeat NOT lip-synched a televised performance (that I have seen) since 2005. How do I know this? Well it's quite obvious, really; so long as you actually know what you are talking about. If you want to catch her in the act, there are three surefire ways of doing it…

1. THE EASY WAY: BREATHING

Because Mariah Carey's vocals are extremely intricate, her breathing pattern when singing is as essential to her delivery as keeping in key. If she were not singing live, there would be no deviation in her delivery pattern. Being one of the few remaining original Divas (no, Beyoncé is not a guest in this category); Mariah cannot help but deviate, and throw in a few extra somethings for flaaaava, dahhling.

The mistake most novices make, is that they are unaware that when she performs, her studio vocals are always playing beneath herpick a performance, tune out her lead vocals, and focus on the background. If you know the song well enough, you will recognise her vocals as a layer in the background, completely separate to what Mariah is singing at the same time.

Around 1997, Mariah talked about the Beatle's idea of the 'Wall of Sound' in a video interview. She immediately went on to incorporate her knowledge of the style into her composition, long before her first album. Your best example of this would be Breakdown from the Butterfly album around the same time:



2. THE HARD WAY: VOCAL MECHANICS

For this one, you will need to be a vocalist, or at least know enough about the subject of vocal mechanics to recognise, and understand the feel of the vocal nuances that the arrangement creates on your throat, as you flow through her many tricky transitions. Once you know those, in combination with her breathing patterns, you will be able to look at her throat, neck and chest musculature (No, I Do Not Mean Ze Boobies), and see how they react. They cannot be faked. Therefore, unless you do NOT see them respond, you are NOT watching her lip-synch!


Pay close attention to her neck area, and the shadows that straining creates...(Photo courtesy of MariahJournal.com)




I saw a particularly humorous comment posted regarding her recent 'At Home in Concert with Mariah CareyInterview Special with NBC's Matt Lauer. A 'fan' told of their irritation at Mariah's blatant, "lazy lip-synching"; and the 'fact' that she could not even have the decency to pre-record her vocals in time, if she was not going to learn the lyrics to her own song(!) Aside from the self-contradiction, I was also amused by one other crucial point that the viewer seemed to miss…Yes, Mariah's feed was very far out of sync with the picture; but then so was her backing singers', her audience singing along, and even Matt Lauer…Draw your own conclusions
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I do hope you enjoyed this look at some of the media fodder attached to this lady. If you take anything away from it, I sincerely hope it is that, what you read is not always the real story. It just goes to prove the saying true – there are two sides to every story! 

Share your thoughts in YOUR Stage aka the Comment Box below – I want to hear from you!

Until the next…
ES ;)