Without ever mentioning his name, Mariah Carey takes on Eminem in her new single, “Obsessed.”
The song, which bowed today, is a rhythmically-driven, mid-tempo slice of summer delight, full of insults delivered in a innocent, sugary sweet questioning way by Carey, which only adds to its appeal.
Instead of anger, she’s as gentle as a lamb here (yes, lamb reference is 100% intentional), practically dripping in saccharine while she lays down blow after blow at someone (just in case it isn’t Enimem, but it is). Sample lyrics: “Finally found a girl you couldn’t impress/last man on earth still couldn’t get kissed” and our favorite snap: “You’re a mom and pop/I’m a corporation/I’m the press conference/you’re a conversation.”We give her credit for rhyming “delusional” with a completely new word: “confusional.”
We like it and see no reason why it can’t become a real word and replace “confusing,” which is much harder to rhyme anyway. Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst gave us “agreeance,” so why shouldn’t Carey do her part to bring down the English language?
For those with short memories, Eminem keeps insisting that he and Carey had a thing, while she says that didn’t. He takes her and hubby Nick Cannon on in a much more profane way on his new album, “Relapse,” whereas Carey couldn’t be more G-rated here.
“Obsessed” will be great radio/gossip catnip for the first few days since there’s nothing we all love so much as a meaningless feud between two people we don’t know or really care about. But after that, it will be interesting to see how it fares after the initial “Oh… did she really say that?” dies down.
With its emphasis on the beat and Carey’s stuttering chorus, instead of any vocal prowess, “Obsessed” sounds like it could come from Rihanna or Britney Spears (especially in the “uh..uh..uh part) and that’s just the way she and her co-producers The-Dream and Tricky Stewart want it.
That’s because much more than showing she’s got great pipes, which, of course, she does, Carey has to continue to prove that, at 39, she can throw down with the younger girls who are constantly nipping.at.her.heels like in “All About Eve.” To her credit, she pulls it off.
“Obsessed” is the first track from Carey’s forthcoming album, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel,” which comes out Aug. 25.