Foreigner’s Mick Jones can start ordering caviar and Champagne again: Mariah Carey is releasing her own gospel-tinged version of his masterwork song, “I Want to Know What Love Is.”

It’s the first “real” single from her new album following the summer release of the witty “Obsessed,” which is also included on “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel.” The album and the single hit the world on Sept. 29th.

I heard the Foreigner song yesterday along with all of “Memoirs” and let me tell you: Mariah’s got a hit on her hands along the lines of “Emancipation of Mimi “The hour-long CD is ballad-centric. Written and produced with The Dream and Tricky (I know, but these are their stage names), “Memoirs” boasts a lot of singles. Starting with the Foreigner song is a canny move in these uncertain times. By the time its run is over, a new generation will think “I Want to Know What Love Is” is a Mariah Carey song.

Mick Jones, who wrote it, should start picking out some nice new cars thanks to Carey. The money should come rolling in quickly.

The other songs on the album ‘ these are the titles, although the running order is still being finalized: “Betcha,” “Obsessed,” “H.A.T.E.U.,” “Candy Bling,” “Ribbon,” “Standing O’s.,” “Impossible,” “It’s a Wrap,” “Inseparable,” “Up Out My Face,” “More than Just Friends,” and “Angels Cry.”

Several of these are radio ready. “Angels Cry” is an honest-to-god ballad a la “Vision of Love,” and should be a gigantic success. “Standing O’s” also has potential, as do “H.A.T.E.U.” ”which stands for “having a typical emotional upset” ‘ and “Inseparable.”

Def Jam’s L.A. Reid ‘ who previewed the CD for the first time yesterday with a clutch of staffers ‘ is playing with the order, to get it right. But he really can’t go wrong. Carey’s album, is, as they used to say, “what the kids want.” Plus, it’s got stuff for the slightly older crowd. I loved the doo-woppy “It’s a Wrap.” And the Foreigner track is so powerful, it’s going to be everywhere.

Good news, too: no more songs about Eminem. One was plenty.

So, by the end of September we’ll have new CDs from Whitney and from Mariah. They’re each top notch and different from each other enough that their fans should want them both. Maybe we’ll see a return to record stores (we have but a few in Manhattan now) and diva duels on radio if programmers are smart.

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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