Rolling Stone (11/25/99, p.101) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...a sterling chronicle of the state of accessible hip-hop balladeering at the close of 1999....at its best...when urbane hip-hop stylings and faux R&B coexist in smooth middle-of-the-road harmony."
Entertainment Weekly (11/12/99, p.80) - "...sweeping ballads that conceal even as they appeal. In this sense, RAINBOW...is a revelation....brimming with richness and vulnerability only hinted at before....perhaps the first compelling proof of Carey's true colors as an artist." - Rating: B+
Vibe (12/99, p.258) - "...finds her going deeper into her 'urban' motif....[as] she pulls out all the stops, singing over samples [and] also rocking those dreamy power ballads....RAINBOW will garner her even more adoration..."
Personnel includes: Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, Usher, Master P, Da Brat, Joe, Mystikal, 98 Degrees (vocals); She'kespere, DJ Clue, Fingaz, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Jermaine Dupree, Damizza, Howie Kersh (various instruments); Mike Scott, Dean Parks (guitar); James "Big Jim" Wright, David Foster (keyboards); Ronnie King (Moog synthesizer); John Robinson, Shockley (drums); Xavier Smith, Alex Richbourg (programming); Nikki Richards, Trey Lorenz, Melonie Daniels (background vocals); strings.
Producers include: Mariah Carey, DJ Clue, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Damizza.
Enginees include: Dana Jon Chappelle, Ken "Duro" Ifill, Steve Hodge.
"Thank God I Found You" was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals.
Mariah Carey's lilting voice is so attractively airy that even when she's getting down and dirty on RAINBOW's numerous groove-heavy tunes, the overwhelming effect is one of a soothing aural massage. The mix of pop and R&B here is a link to Carey's past efforts, but the injection of a hip-hop flavor on several tunes points the way toward the singer's future.
Carey hasn't changed her style so radically as to partake in rapping; instead she's assisted by some talented guests, like Jay-Z, who enlivens the opener "Heartbreaker," and the "Heartbreaker" remix, where Mariah is flanked by Missy Elliot and Da Brat." On the poppier side, there's a stately piano ballad co-written by the ubiquitous Diane Warren and an unexpected cover of the Phil Collins hit "Against All Odds," which Carey delivers with soul and faithfulness to the original version. RAINBOW provides just the right balance between the old Mariah that fans know and love, and the new Mariah, who refuses to stop growing.
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