As is with many genres, there are those who keep it traditional and others who adapt; however, there are those who find equilibrium with the two. Mariah the Scientist is one of these artists who has that cadence in their voice; the naturality of it immediately drawn to her swan song. Like her debut in 2019, Master, and onto her follow-up, Ry Ry World, take away from any impression that her voice and songwriting ability are the true selling point. She isn’t this profound singer with a standout quirk like Beyonce’s operatic range or Chris Brown’s ability to create infectious hooks, but she stands out with her own beauty. Ry Ry World is like an album coming to you with its natural beauty opposed to being overly glamorized to boost the attention they garner.
Like the cover art, Ry Ry World delivers what the photo represents. A satirical take on Cupid’s arrow, Mariah the Scientist is struck by it through the heart. And this isn’t your typical arrow, given the flesh wound through the heart. The smile on her face adds this beautifully exposed confidence giving further vindication to the everyday-hood of heartbreak. From this, she takes us on a whirlwind, 29-minute long, adventure full of smooth R&B/Soul ballads and minimalist dance numbers.
Mariah the Scientist places a lot of focus on herself, with lone performances bringing forth a beautiful array of new compositions that feels a little too similar to Master, but packing its own punch to return. The content, displaying the various issues – mentally – with love and beauty within the growth, comes in a beautifully ribbon-tied package. Her tales of heartbreak align with situational issues that develop further, like a cheating partner on “Aura” or the inner turmoil (logically) one deals with when fighting them on “Brain.” She breaches into sensitive territory as she sings about suicidal thoughts on the track “RIP.”
As Mariah keeps herself in tune with her growing presence, she sings with an abundance of confidence, riding the waves of shoulder brushing with ease. Like anyone going through heartbreak it can be a roller coaster ride, and Mariah makes use the pivots to explore the aspects of the emotions, whether slow burning or impulsive. The cohesion gives it the spark needed to retain your attention because to some, the nuanced simplicity within the production may weaken the interest. Though to her credit, she finds ways to shine alongside notable features, even if they don’t always land.
These tracks work with accomplishing their intentions, but that doesn’t benefit the overall feeling you’d receive. “Always n Forever,” featuring Lil Baby, displays the toxicity with blind love beneath the earnestness these artists evoke. They signal this blindness by the attention they put into this addiction or love. While Mariah delivers a solid performance, Lil Baby doesn’t offer much to leave an impression. It could be because I’m not in a financial state where buying a significant other a new car is financially responsible, so the relation runs thin despite the virtuoso talent he has.
The other track, “Walked In,” featuring Young Thug, cuts to the chase. It simplifies the intentions of – possibly many, but not all –millennial people – i.e. breathes the night club life or career focused that relationships are taboo, opposed to finding someone to deliver that missing stress reliever. “Walked In,” is a decadent dance number, sweating sex, literally and figuratively, as the groove is dirty, but slow. Young Thug comes with a solid verse that blends in well with Mariah in one of the few standout performances on Ry Ry World.
Like the aforementioned “RIP,” there are several performances that shine. “All For Me” shows Mariah expressing range beyond a melancholic tonal scale and getting her hands dirty with it. The powerful inflections on the chorus drives home the broken jealousy she has for the woman her man left her for. This comes across as the denial from her feelings that were expressed on “Aura,” which keens in on the cheating. She doesn’t give this performance a confident bravado and at-times sounding dismayed due to the slight doubt there is something wrong with her. Despite this the album can be a bit redundant, but the external factors keep you reeled in till the end.
Mariah feels comfortable in her skin, never seeming to find a necessity to be more grandiose than who she is. She has shown the ability to keep increasing her range as a singer, and growing as a songwriter. As redundant as Ry Ry World can be, full of heartbreak-tracks, there is enough originality to keep it afloat amongst fans as she continues to grow and possibly discover new content to approach.