Sometimes I have a lapse in judgment while seeing Mariah Carey in recent state. Whether she's the glitterati, champagne-chugging, prima donna mommy on her Instagram or is trying to beat off
Pennywise the Clown Nicki Minaj with a stick during her American Idol stint, I sometimes forget that Mama Lamb does have it in her to be tender, inspirational, and yes, even a bit vanilla bland. After bringing it on home during the election season last year, Carey is once again talking about the homestead as she pens the theme song for the upcoming James Franco flick, Disney's Oz: The Great and Powerful, and she dips back a little into those early days where she poetically charmed about heroes and dreamlovers. Produced by the Stargate team, Carey slides into safe with "Almost Home" cooing along on this paint-by-numbers cut that does show off those often now-buried vocal assets, but quietly fails to really spark as it glides listlessly along. Even though Carey has been sort of hit n' miss with her recent releases I'm not wholly disappointed with this. I've checked my calendar, it's not the '90s or even those exciting Emancipation years anymore, so Carey being docile and letting the words hold more power than the melody isn't criminal, even though staying this blasé at this juncture is crippling her creativity at glaring rates. Then again, the track does wash out the sour taste that was the ear stabbing "Triumphant" so at this point I'm just being thankful for small favors.