“X Girlfriend” and “How Much” express devotion to a man. On “Rainbow,” Carey looks to a brighter tomorrow, saying, “I’ll be alright.” She tunes out critics, reaches for her dreams and claims, “Certainly the Lord will guide me” (“Can’t Take That Away”). On the sad, autobiographical “Petals,” the artist longs to experience the power of family and stability.
“Bliss” is merely foreplay set to music with its thinly veiled descriptions of arousal and intercourse. During sex, Carey wonders if her partner will stick around once they’re finished (“After Tonight”). A venomous slam, “Did I Do That?” berates the older man she recently divorced. “Crybaby” involves casual sex, sleeping pills and alcohol use. Two versions of “Heartbreaker” are equally crass. On one, rapper Missy Elliott makes a violent threat and uses graphic terms to explain how she and a partner used to have sex. The other (with rapper Jay-Z) talks of premarital sex.
If you think the CD cover says it all, you’re only half right. On the back, she’s spilling out of those short shorts. Carey’s baby-doll makeover seems a desperate attempt to market a nearly 30-year-old music vet to the Britney Spears crowd. Meanwhile, her lyrics continue to get worse. Has this pop diva lost faith in the wholesome songs that took her to the top? Don’t chase after Rainbow.