Andrew Chan’s “Why Mariah Carey Matters”
By LARB Radio HourDecember 1, 2023
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Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher are joined by writer and critic Andrew Chan to discuss his latest book, Why Mariah Carey Matters. Exploring Mariah’s career as a singer, performer, and dexterous music producer, Chan’s book unpacks how the music industry of the 1980s and 1990s shaped and was reshaped by the work of the landmark whistle-tone diva. The conversation ranges across developments in R&B, cultural battles over Mariah’s “authenticity” as a Black artist, and the erosion of the ballad’s centrality to our contemporary musical landscape, diving into the world of a diva whose songs we love but whose life and struggle often slip out of view.
Also, Dan Sinykin, author of Big Fiction, returns to recommend Who Will Pay Reparations on My Soul?, a collection of essays by Jesse McCarthy.
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