Mariah Wants to Know What Love Is: Covers Foreigner
By: Roger Friedman // Tuesday August 18, 2009
Foreignerâ€™s Mick Jones can start ordering caviar and Champagne again: Mariah Carey is releasing her own gospel-tinged version of his masterwork song, â€œI Want to Know What Love Is.â€
Itâ€™s the first â€œrealâ€ single from her new album following the summer release of the witty â€œObsessed,â€ which is also included on â€œMemoirs of an Imperfect Angel.â€ The album and the single hit the world on Sept. 29th.
I heard the Foreigner song yesterday along with all of â€œMemoirsâ€ and let me tell you: Mariahâ€™s got a hit on her hands along the lines of â€œEmancipation of Mimi â€œThe hour-long CD is ballad-centric. Written and produced with The Dream and Tricky (I know, but these are their stage names), â€œMemoirsâ€ boasts a lot of singles. Starting with the Foreigner song is a canny move in these uncertain times. By the time its run is over, a new generation will think â€œI Want to Know What Love Isâ€ is a Mariah Carey song.
Mick Jones, who wrote it, should start picking out some nice new cars thanks to Carey. The money should come rolling in quickly.
The other songs on the album â€” these are the titles, although the running order is still being finalized: â€œBetcha,â€ â€œObsessed,â€ â€œH.A.T.E.U.,â€ â€œCandy Bling,â€ â€œRibbon,â€ â€œStanding Oâ€™s.,â€ â€œImpossible,â€ â€œItâ€™s a Wrap,â€ â€œInseparable,â€ â€œUp Out My Face,â€ â€œMore than Just Friends,â€ and â€œAngels Cry.â€
Several of these are radio ready. â€œAngels Cryâ€ is an honest-to-god ballad a la â€œVision of Love,â€ and should be a gigantic success. â€œStanding Oâ€™sâ€ also has potential, as do â€œH.A.T.E.U.â€ â€” which stands for â€œhaving a typical emotional upsetâ€ â€” and â€œInseparable.â€
Island Def Jamâ€™s L.A. Reid â€” who previewed the CD for the first time yesterday with a clutch of staffers â€” is playing with the order, to get it right. But he really canâ€™t go wrong. Careyâ€™s album, is, as they used to say, â€œwhat the kids want.â€ Plus, itâ€™s got stuff for the slightly older crowd. I loved the doo-woppy â€œItâ€™s a Wrap.â€ And the Foreigner track is so powerful, itâ€™s going to be everywhere.
Good news, too: no more songs about Eminem. One was plenty.
So, by the end of September weâ€™ll have new CDs from Whitney and from Mariah. Theyâ€™re each top notch and different from each other enough that their fans should want them both. Maybe weâ€™ll see a return to record stores (we have but a few in Manhattan now) and diva duels on radio if programmers are smart.