Aftermath: Mariah Carey, Trapped By The Divadom She Once Embraced

Just what is the draw of divadom? What makes someone want to support gilded hissy fits and glittery passive-aggression brought to a high art? Better yet, how did Mariah Carey reach this level of queenliness in this day and age? Aftermath pondered those things as he walked through a throng of bundled-up and grown-up boys and girls waiting for their valeted cars outside Verizon Wireless Theatre after Carey's near sell-out show there Wednesday night.

True enough, Carey still has the pipes that brought her to the big leagues in 1990. Nowhere once during last night's gig did her gift let her or her fans down. But we still wonder how amazing she would sound on a stark stage with only a band and her voluptuous self freed of the trappings of dancers and half-nude trapeze shows. At this point in the game she shouldn't need anything but the bare minimum to get her message across. Whatever that may be from album to album and press junket to press junket.

By the time an artist is 40, like Carey will be next month, their basic career arc has already been written for better or worse. When Madonna hit 40 in 1998 and had Ray Of Light on the market, everyone thought "Well, that's who she will be until the day she dies." It's settled at that place in time. She won't deviate far from the home base. Any reinvention will merely be slight and, done solely to shock those who aren't hip anyway. There is a distinct difference between the age of your art and the age of your body.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty