Album: Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel
Mariah Carey wants to be over her ex-boyfriend in the antiquated “H.A.T.E.U.”
A tinkling piano open the single, setting a diluted tone. The entire way home, he didn’t say a word. She asked him about his day, work and complimented him on his haircut. He responded with only one word answers. Three years ago, the conversation was constant. He always had something to tell her. Within those years, their relationship frayed. He refuses to acknowledge her and any of her feelings. She hides her tears. As he drives away, she puts her hand over her mouth and bawls. She doesn’t know what happened. (“Once upon a time, we swore not to say goodbye/Something got a hold of us, and we changed/Then you sat alone in pride, and I sat at home and cried/How'd our fairytale just end up this way?”)
In the pre-chorus, she knows there multiple fights have caused a rift. So many damaging things have been said. Both are too exhausted and hurt to even try. She thinks she should be happy to be gone. However, she thinks there’s more she could’ve done. (“We went round for round til' we knocked love out/We were laying in the ring, not making a sound/And if that's a metaphor of you and I/Why is it so hard to say goodbye?”)
In the chorus, she wants to be at the point that at the mention of his name, she shrugs and comments on what’s television. When she goes out, she thinks she has to check in with him to just him let know what’s going on. She wants to have already learned from what went wrong. There’s still a chance she will run into him. Then, she will tell him he’s a jerk who can’t be bothered to be put in any effort. It’s the only time she will be able to be with him again. (“I can't wait to hate you/Make you pain like I do/Still can't shake you off/I can't wait to break through/These emotional changes/Seems like such a lost cause/I can't wait to face you/Break you down so low/There's no place left to go.”)
After they got together, their friends said they had been waiting for a long time. They thought it wasn’t going to happen. In her mind, she replays the memories of their first month of their relationship. Sometimes, she would like to linger on the moment. But she can’t recreate it. (“This was a love phenomenon no one could explain/And I wish I could press reset /And feel that feeling again/I sit and press rewind and watch us every night/Wanna pause it, but I can't make it stay (Just gotta let it play.”)
The pre-chorus and chorus are sung again.
In the bridge, she stopped at the mobile store and bought herself a new phone. She didn’t want any reminders of her time with him. She’s been checking apartment listings online to find a new place. She can still see him everywhere in her apartment: kissing her on the couch, laughing while they cook dinner. It’s too much to handle. She deletes the text and closes her phone. She tells herself she has to stop trying to talk him. He doesn’t care. However, she wishes she could be with him again. Around her friends, she’s been saying she’s ok. But she keeps thinking of what she needs to say to make him listen. (“No need to call my phone cause I changed my number today/And matter of fact, I think I'm moving away/Sorry, the frustrations got me feeling that way/And I just keep having one last thing to say/I just wanna hold you, touch you/Feel you, be near you, I miss you baby baby baby/I'm tired of tryna fake through, but there's nothing I can do/Boy I can't wait to hate you.”)
The chorus is sung again to end the song.
Carey’s withering vocals dissipate, unable to hold onto the notes. The fraility of her voice is uncomfortable to hear, as though the wrong high note might cause everything to give out completely. It also weakens her to the point that she’s willing to do anything and desperate to be with someone – even with someone indifferent than be alone.
The dated “H.A.T.E.U.” hasn’t moved past 1992.