Mariah Carey shakes it off in her next video — so much so that she’s practically nude, twice.
Not that we get to see much, of course, but Carey keeps viewers guessing during the Jake Nava-directed “Shake It Off” as she costume-changes her way through a breakup that starts with her in the bath and ends when she drops her robe.
Carey reaches the realization she has to “shake you off” while lying in a bathtub overflowing with water and rose petals: “Just like the Calgon commercial/ I really gotta get up out of here.” So she leaves a message for her lover while sitting on top of the dining room table, decked out in bright blue makeup and high heels: “By the time you get this message/ It’s gonna be too late/ So don’t bother paging me/ ‘Cause I’ll be on my way,” she sings into the phone.
Still, her mind must not be that made up, because she manages to change yet again, before grabbing her bag and heading out the door as she sings, “So I packed up my Louis Vuitton/ Jumped in your ride and took off.”
It takes her a bit to jump in that ride, because first she has to stroll down “Emancipation Street,” where shops are called “So So Fetch” and “Pink Yet Lavender,” and schoolgirls do a sort of shake dance at the pay phones. Jermaine Dupri, who produced the sparse, thumping, mid-tempo track, also pops up on a television screen and on street corners to give a little guidance, with suggestions like “Check this out” and “Bounce.”
When Carey does get in the car, with a possible new love in tow, it’s time to leave another message to remind her ex that she’s found out about his cheating ways “with this one and that one/ By the pool, on the beach, in the streets.” Her phone breaks up as she drives past the “Hollyhood” sign, so she tells him, “Hold on,” singing, “Save this recording, because I’m never coming back home.”
After performing the chorus in two more settings — the bleachers of a football game and a stage with her name in lights (“Mimi,” that is) — Carey finally shakes off the song itself, lip-synching the second track where she does more of her vocal gymnastics, instead of the main melody.
She then slips out of her robe and walks into the sunset, with the glare obscuring whether she’s wearing anything at this point. If this is her emancipation proclamation, perhaps it’s something she should have done before the wedding in “We Belong Together.”