Wiser for her mistakes, Carey tells a “devious and shady” suitor, “You Had Your Chance.” She praises the Lord for giving her peace, strength and deliverance on the spiritual “My Saving Grace.” Sifting through sweet and painful memories, “Sunflowers for Alfred Roy” pays tribute to a supportive dad. “Through the Rain” encourages listeners to weather life’s storms with the help of faith, prayer and perseverance (“If you keep falling down, don’t you dare give in”). A special guy “brightens up the moon and stars” on “Yours.”
Gangsta bravado and materialism intrude on several cuts as guest rappers boast, “Divas like thugs too … Gangsta love is irresistible” (“Irresistible”) and “I’m a mobsta and a pimp” (“Boy”). Another says Mariah is his dream girl, though his taste usually gravitates to groupies (“You Got Me”). A bleeped s-word and partially censored f-word mar “The One” and “Clown,” respectively. The singer beds her ex one more time for old times’ sake on “Lullaby.” Teasing liner photos play up the artist’s sex appeal.
Apart from an occasional rap interlude, Charmbracelet breaks away from the hip-hop influences of recent efforts, giving fans a more retro Carey sound. Too bad the lyrics don’t also harken back to her Music Box days. Despite being an improvement over her last few CDs, this disc suffers from thug posturing and sex-kitten playfulness.