Almost SoS: 2008 – Mariah Carey’s “I’ll Be Lovin’ You Long Time”

Posted: August 30, 2010 by RA in Music
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 Katy vs. MariahSong of the Summer: “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry
I love lesbians. They’re great. Sure, 100%, 6-on-the-Kinsey-scale lesbians aren’t exactly interested in my interest, but a 3 or a 4 will do just nicely. Now, that girl at the bar who has absolute zero sexual interest in the chick she’s tonguing down for my attention? No thanks. That shit irritates me enough to kill whatever chubby their little show was meant to inspire. This song is the Pop-music manifestation of that girl. Attention-seeking, wannabe-provocative, and with its pseudo-Glam-Rock core, a pathetic waste of Glitter. Still, America’s teens ate this shit up, and it spent seven weeks at the top of the charts.

  

Almost SoS: “I’ll Be Lovin’ You Long Time” by Mariah Carey
From its opening strains, this song is pure, unadulterated joy. Joy like Al Green joy. Joy like Bob on a good day joy. That’s probably got something to do with the fact that, unlike the Biggie and Ashanti hits that sampled the piano-led verses of DeBarge’s “Stay With Me”, “Long Time” samples the hook, exuberant chipmunky vocals and all. On this song, co-producer DJ Toomp once again proves himself the Phil Spector of his Hip-Hop generation (the man understands the “wall of sound” like none of his contemporaries can), backing the DeBarge hook with his trademark synth section to create a formidable work of pop songcraft. It’s quite honestly the sound of being blissfully in the throes of the Newness, right in the middle of July. Nowhere is this more evident than at the song’s denouement, where she coos/gurgles a series of seemingly involuntary “Oohs”. It’s as if she’s so crazy-fucked-up in love that she’s lost the capacity for words, thus joining the same hallowed “ecstatically, insanely in love” pantheon as Amerie and Beyoncé (and Rich Harrisson) at their best.

Why it Could’ve Been:
Carey had just landed her 18th number 1 with the R-rated nursery rhyme “Touch My Body”, and anticipation for the album E=MC² was initially frenzied. Throw in the star power of T.I. in his tacked-on guest verse, and the fact that she looked hotter than ever in the video, and this should have ruled the airwaves all summer.

Why it Wasn’t:
Label/Artist Fuckup. Having tasted failure, Carey seems to have vowed never to be a punchline again. To that end, she’s rewritten her signature ballad “We Belong Together” about seventeen times over. Audiences fell for it once and gave her her 17th #1 for essentially the same song as her 16th, but when she released “Bye Bye” as E=MC²‘s second single, they seemingly saw it for the cynical move it was — or maybe they just recognized a shite song when they heard one (highly unlikely, but possible). Either way, they weren’t impressed, and by the time she tried to rebound with the utterly excellent “Long Time”, not only had momentum been broken irreparably, but her surprise marriage to Nick Cannon smelled like a publicity stunt, and left a bad taste in many mouths. Still, the fact that this song didn’t fare well (wack T.I. verse notwithstanding) is an inexplicable tragedy that audiences will have to answer for at the pearly gates.

Honorable Mention: “I Decided” by Solange. Despite the unintentional comedy of its opening lines, this song is possibly the single catchiest thing The Neptunes have ever done. It singlehandedly changed my perception of Solange, and I returned home the day I downloaded it to find I had played this track 54 times since that morning. I wish I could say iTunes was lying.

The Video:

Because it really was better without T.I.:
 

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PREVIOUS: 2007

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