THE BARGAIN BUY: The Essential Mariah Carey

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Mariah Carey: Emotions
THE BARGAIN BUY: The Essential Mariah Carey

In critical circles it seems fashionable -- if not obligatory -- to revile Mariah Carey for her overwrought vocal mannerisms which have been adopted by the generation which grew up listening to her and Whitney and now over-emote their way into the frontline of television talent shows.

Let's not judge an artist by their following -- or their stupid public statements, something she's not alone in making -- and acknowledge this simple fact: Mariah Carey can sing.

She has pitch, can hold a note without resorting to Autocue and has a range from a whisper to a scream. And into that piercing note which only dogs can hear, and which Minnie Ripperton could also reach.

If you don't like the genre she occupies -- big ballad r'n'b easing into dance and hip-hop isn't for everyone -- fair enough, but even the most churlish would have to admit she does it extremely well, and a whole lot better than most.

This 28 song double CD wraps as much Carey as you need, perhaps more than many might want, but again a fair hearing might allow you concede she is an exceptional talent. And, as the lady says, you can't take that away.

JB_HZ_CHEAP_longJudiciously sampled and taking into consideration only the music (not the personality, the four-year marriage to Sony boss Tommy Mottola, the breasts etc) this is an excellent survey of someone who has managed to sell about 150 million albums.

And at just $10 at JB Hi-Fi stores here, this collection is this week's Bargain Buy . . . from a singer whose sales suggest she must have impressed a few people, if not music critics.

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