"Charmbracelet" could suffer the same fate as [Celine Dion]'s tepidly received "New Day For You." Or [Mariah Carey] could blaze back a la [Shania Twain], who deftly re-entered the atmosphere last week with the No. 1 debut of her exclamation point happy "Up!"
Carey has chosen what should be a safe path. "Charmbracelet" is a musical white flag that finds the New York singer-songwriter surrendering to her most commercially appealing persona: the overwrought balladeer who has sweet, yet cliched, visions of love, hopes dashed and dreams fulfilled.
"Clown" will undoubtedly be the most discussed track on "Charmbracelet", as it seems like a thinly veiled slam at Eminem. Slim Shady claims to have had a fling with Carey, but she growls with self-regret here, "I should've left it at `I like your music too' . . . You should never have intimated we were lovers when you know very well we never even touched each other." She ends the languidly sinister track with a poisonous "Pow!"