That’s simply not true, nor was that ever the plan.
Mariah explained to the mag that she wanted her fans to hear the album “as a body of work” and experience it “as if they were listening to it with me for the first time.” Specifically, she wanted to be the one to announce the album’s title, which takes its name “from a personal possession of mine that’s part of an entity I’ve had almost all of my life.”
As per Billboard, she never stated the album would be a surprise release. We already knew an album was on the way. There’s no surprise there and it would be foolish to pretend as if there was.
Interviews with sources familiar with the album confirmed that a digital-first, everything-at-once strategy was in the works — however, it was Jermaine Dupri who initially misled fans by comparing the idea of releasing all the songs and letting fans choose the single to what Beyoncé did with her record-breaking self-titled album.
He’s quoted as saying,
“The challenge with Mariah has always been if I like one record and she likes another, you can never pick a single that satisfies everybody,” he said. “If you just did what Beyoncé did, she just gave you 17 singles and you picked which record you like.”
According to Laura Swanson, the Def Jam exec of VP-media, the album will, in fact, be preceded by a traditional strategy leading up to a “late May” simultaneous digital/physical street date.
“Mariah will announce the date and title in advance of the on-sale date,” she said, noting that the cover and confirmed tracklist will all be included.
As to why the album has taken longer than expected, Mariah says it’s because she’s taken more control over the music this time around and she wants to be 100% satisfied with the project.
“People don’t understand, it could be one word, the way I pronounce something, or a keyboard level I want to be raised up in the mix,” Carey explained of the prolonged album-tweaking process. “I gave the directive it wasn’t done, and that’s the way I am. I can’t help it because in the past, I had to leave things that bothered me or point certain things out to other people. You would think I would be all about the singles-driven situation, and I am in a way, but with this particular album I want my fans to hear it as a body of work.”
Stay tuned, Lambs! The album is on the way and it’s more than worth the wait!