“#Beautiful,” Mariah Carey’s new duet with the marvelous Miguel, is not only the first single from her first new album since pooping out a set of twins and revitalizing her tabloid icon standing via her ongoing feud with fellow soon-to-be-ousted American Idol judge (and infinitely inferior artist whom I doubt will have anything even remotely approaching Mariah’s career longevity) Nicki Minaj. In addition to all of that, “#Beautiful” (stupid hashtag aside) is one of the best singles Mimi has released in the last decade. Miguel and his funky neo-R&B swag certainly get a share of the credit, particularly since he sings the entire first verse. But ultimately this is a Mariah joint, and it’s fresher and more exciting than anything she’s touched in ages.
Sadly, the video is shitty and boring. Mariah was apparently far more concerned with showing off her (admittedly very hot) post-#dembabies body than with…well, making a video. Granted, Mariah has never been the most conceptual video artist around; they usually boil down to Mariah doing what she does here, romping around and one-sidedly preening for the camera while an appreciative man smiles at her. And her body really does look amazing, particularly in the spanx-defying leather-cutout number she’s wearing on the motorcycle. If there’s a way to fake a toned stomach under those unforgiving circumstances, I’d certainly like to learn it. Although am I the only one who thinks the shadowy rear shots of her posing in the shed might be a double? I can’t quiiiiiiite make out her face.