Mariah Carey doesn’t want you to forget about her — which is why she’s re-releasing her album The Emancipation of Mimi with extra tracks, including her latest single, “Don’t Forget About Us,” the video for which she just shot in Los Angeles with director Paul Hunter. The clip is an homage to her fans, first loves and, oddly enough, Marilyn Monroe.
First, the fans. Carey says she could have saved the new music that’s going to be on the re-release of “Mimi” (see “Mariah Carey Emancipating Mimi Again, With Bonus Tracks” ), but that would mean we’d be waiting for a least “a couple of years” before we’d get to hear anything on a new album, and where’s the fun in that?
Her label head, L.A. Reid, loved “Don’t Forget About Us” so much, she said, that he convinced her to speed up the process and get a few tracks out now. (In addition to “Don’t Forget About Us,” there’s also three other new songs: “What It Look Like,” “So Lonely [One and Only Part 2]” and a remix of “We Belong Together” featuring Jadakiss and Styles P.) A further nod to the fans are secret messages on a wall in the video for “Don’t Forget About Us,” “like we did in ’Shake It Off,’ ” she said, that only the diehard can decipher. “See if they figure it out! It’s a sort of thank you to the fans.”
The secret messages wouldn’t be that much fun, though, if they didn’t connect to something relatable, and in this case, it’s true love. “It’s basically a love song, saying to somebody, ’There was something good, don’t forget about it!’ ” Carey explained.
“Each song has, not necessarily a different message, but a different mood, a different feeling,” she continued. “It evokes something different depending on who listens to it and at what time. ’Don’t Forget About Us’ could give you a good, happy memory, or you could be miserable, crying, listening to it over and over. All in all, I think it’s good to have music you can live vicariously through, and that’s what a lot of people have told me this record has been for them.”
Carey picked Hunter to helm the clip, after last teaming up with him on 1997’s “Honey,” which she calls one of her favorite videos. “I was always like, ’I wish I could do something like “Honey” again,’ ” she said. So together they dreamed up scenarios where Carey luxuriates in her home, on a beach, in a car and on a soccer field, as she reminisces about the one who got away, interspersed with flashbacks of happier times, as the onetime couple canoodles in their former hangouts. One such scene takes place in a pool, as an older — and possibly nude — Mariah sings with one leg up on the edge, as a younger, swimsuited Mariah frolics with her beau in flashbacks.
“That shot was totally and completely inspired by ’Something’s Got to Give,’ Marilyn Monroe’s last movie that never got finished,” she explained. “It’s an homage to her, because I’ve never seen anyone re-create it. So many people have emulated so many of Marilyn’s classic moments, but it’s just that I’m a big fan of hers, and I thought it was really pretty at night with the pool. No one could ever be as fabulous as Marilyn was, but it’s in honor and homage to her.”
Carey will open the American Music Awards with her first live performance of “Don’t Forget About Us” on November 22 at 8 p.m. on ABC.