Armed with a five octave voice, Mariah Carey burst on to the music scene in 1990 with her self titled album. At that time, she became the first singer to have her first five singles reach #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts. She continued to record hit after hit, making her the best selling artist of the 1990’s. She was named the bestselling artist of the millennium at the 2000 World Music Awards.
However, after the failure of her 2001 film Glitter, a series of strange messages Carey left on her website and a bizarre appearance on MTV’s Total Request Live, where the singer passed out popsicles to audience members and performed something resembling a striptease, many thought her career was over.
By 2005, after some personal and professional disappointments, Mariah released The Emancipation of Mimi to great critical and commercial success. As a result, Carey took a new tour on the road in 2006. The 2-disc DVD set, The Adventures of Mimi captures a concert from October 2006 in Anaheim, California. Whatever problems Mariah had, seem to be behind her for now. From the moment she steps on the stage in little more than a black bra, panties, high heels and gold glitter, Miss Carey is in fine vocal form.
Carey performs nineteen songs, spanning her entire recording catalog; from “Vision of Love” off her first album, to “We Belong Together” from The Emancipation of Mimi, Mariah puts her vocal talents on full display. While she definitely isn’t an overwhelming public speaker (“can I get some loudness?”) and seems particularly uncomfortable interacting with the crowd at times, she is very confident in her vocal abilities. It is Carey’s singing that makes The Adventures of Mimi worth watching. While her dance moves consist of various exaggerated hand moves and several half hearted hip gyrations, Mariah effortlessly showcases her five octave range. It is remarkable how easy she can make singing songs appear to be.
The biggest drawback of The Emancipation of Mimi is its perfection. The whole concert has an airbrushed, overly groomed quality to it. While Mariah Carey shows off her tremendous vocal talents, her stage presence lacks any real emotion. She doesn’t look like she’s working too hard. However, most Mariah Carey fans will be happy to see this nearly 90-minute concert of Mariah Carey singing her greatest hits.
The Adventures of Mimi also includes a behind the scenes documentary that consists mostly of posing and useless tidbits. “Lovers and Haters” is a piece directed by Spike Lee, in which Mariah responds to all her critics. The DVD also includes a jukebox function that is unnecessary for a concert DVD. Quite simply, fans of Mariah Carey should pick up The Adventures of Mimi for the concert, not the special features.