Mariah Carey wants you to know a few things about her new album, now titled “Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse,” but the first take away is that she looks smoking hot in a bathing suit.  Before we think about the music, before we think about the voice, she wants us to think about how after two babies, she can still rock that body. And that makes me sad.

I am a Carey fan, both of her music and of her as a person. I’ve interviewed and met her a number of times over the past 20 years and I’ve found her delightfully real, whipsmart, and funny, which is not how she always comes across in one staged, airbrushed photo after another.  So when I heard the album title and then saw the album cover, my heart sunk a little.

Mariah Carey album cover

Yes, she looks beautiful, but it makes me sad that one of the best vocalists ever can’t rely on her prestigious talent to make us interested in listening to her. I know part of it is the times we are in and the outrageous demands we make on women to look like super models, no matter what their profession, but part of it also comes from Carey.

Maybe she feels a little spooked, and for good reason. She is a pop music artist and pop music is a notoriously tough on women over 30. Carey is 44 (or 45, there seems to be some dispute as to whether she was born in 1969 or 1970).  Plus, this album, originally title “The Art of Letting Go,” has had a series of stops and starts over the past two years. Some singles, such as “#Beautiful,” with Miguel, have done well, while others have not fared as well. (Carey is No. 1 on Billboard’s  Dance Club Songs chart right now with “You’re Mine (Eternal).”

In a video highlight the album cover, Carey delivers in voice over why she chose the album title. It comes from her “first and only self portrait. I drew it when I was three and a half,” she says, calling it a “personal treasure.”. The adorable drawing, which is on the back of the album cover, shows a cute little girl with eyelashes for days. The words, probably penned by an adult, “Me. I am Mariah,” are also on the drawing. (If she did write that at age 3, she had amazing penmanship).

“Please don’t judge me for such a simplistic title,” she continues. “C’mon, I was only three and a half! It was a creative visualization of how I saw myself with the purity of a child’s heart before it was ever broken…because this album is a reflection of some of the peaks and valley that have made me whom I am today, I decided to share it with those of you who actually care and have been with been through it all.”

As far as “The Elusive Chanteuse,”  Carey says, “Along the way there have been a couple of nicknames…lately they’ve been calling me ‘the elusive chanteuse’.” Anyone know who ‘they’ are?

The album comes out May 27 (it had most recently been slated for May 6) and will come in standard and deluxe editions.

Are you excited for “Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse?” (The album's tracklisting is below the video).

"Me. I Am Mariah … The Elusive Chanteuse" tracklisting:
1. Cry.
2. Faded
3. Dedicated (feat. Nas)
4. #Beautiful (feat. Miguel)
5. Thirsty
6. Make It Look Good
7. You’re Mine (Eternal)
8. You Don’t Know What To Do (feat. Wale)
9. Supernatural (With Special Guest Stars “Dembabies” a.k.a. Ms. Monroe & Mr. Moroccan Scott Cannon a.k.a. Roc ‘N Roe)
10. Meteorite
11. Camouflage
12. Money ($ * / …) (feat. Fabolous)
13. One More Try
14. Heavenly (No Ways Tired/Can’t Give Up Now)
15. It’s a Wrap (feat. Mary J. Blige) [Deluxe edition]
16. Betcha Gon’ Know (feat. R. Kelly) [Deluxe edition]
17. The Art of Letting Go [Deluxe edition]
18. Me. I Am Mariah … The Elusive Chanteuse