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Charmbracelet (Island, 2002)

Charmbracelet was American singer/songwriter Mariah Carey’s ninth studio album. 2001 was a very difficult year for Carey. She was hospitalized for “extreme exhaustion” and a “physical
and emotional breakdown.” At the time
of her hospitalization, her film debut as the lead actress in the film Glitter and its accompanying soundtrack were slated for release. The hospitalization prompted both to be postponed. Consequently, both the film and soundtrack were commercial and critic flops. In 2002, Carey was looking to turn the page. She did that by giving the public her most personal album to date. Critics were mixed. They felt the album was good, but that no song really stood out. Charmbracelet debuted at #3 in the U.S. and peaked in the Top 40 in seven countries.

Three singles were released: Through the Rain, Boy (I Need You) and Bringin on the Heartbreak. Through the Rain, especially the video, chronicled Carey’s own parents’, an interracial couple, relationship. It is Carey’s lowest charting lead single, only peaking at a dismal #81. Canadians, Swiss, Swedes, Brits and Italians were more kind. It went top ten in those five countries. Boy (I Need You) was a reworked version of rapper Cam’Ron’s early 2002 hit Oh Boy. Cam’Ron featured on Carey’s version. Only the Brits were enamored with it. They took it top 20. It didn’t even hit Billboard’s Hot 100! Bringin on the Heartbreak was a cover of Def Leppard’s 1981 single off their second album, High’n’Dry. For Carey, Bringin on the Heartbreak failed to hit the Hot 100 and only went top 40 in Switzerland.

Originally, Charmbracelet was to be a comeback album. With the poor performance of the album and its singles, Carey would have to wait an additional three years to rediscover some of her former glory, with 2005’s Emancipation of Mimi.