Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mariah Carey: "My All (David Morales mix)"

"My All" is Mariah Carey's meta-ballad and as such, it shows up the limitations of the form. "I am thinking of you in my sleepless solitude tonight," she starts. She's alone, though, because loneliness is where a diva lives. The only people fit to occupy the same territory as her mastery are other divas and each diva is an island, baby. So without a dance pulse or a chart-bound gimmick to distract us, "My All" forces us to submit to Mariah's flawless solitude. Her perfect pitch closes down pop music's two-way street and we're left to...appreciate. What else can we do?

Why, we can turn it into big gay disco, my answer for most musical conundrums. David Morales' remix of "My All" proceeds in boilerplate circuit-house fashion until right after the second chorus when (at 2:06) he rips open the song for a refrain not heard in the original. "Just one more night," pleads an anonymous choir, making the song more about our own (potential) longing than Mariah Carey's. So now we have more options. We can wave our hands in the air like we just don't care about anyone's loneliness. Or we can pin our own longing on to the choir as it extends the urgency and pathos of the plaint to us. And for the millionth time, I'm reminded of the eternal words of Simon Frith's from Sound Effects: "The pop song banalities people pick up on are, in general, not illuminating but encouraging" (38).

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