Top 40 single reviews

Don't Forget About Us
Album: The Emancipation of Mimi (Ultra Platinum Edition)
Year: 2005

Mariah Carey tells her ex-boyfriend their relationship will never truly be over in the poised "Don't Forget About Us."

Mellow bass and gentle handclaps opens the single, setting a muted tone.
In the intro, Carey pleads with her ex-boyfriend to hold onto the past.

"(Don't forget about us)/Don't baby, don't baby, don't let it go/No baby, no baby, no baby no/Don't baby, don't baby, don't let it go/My baby boy."

Their longtime romance ended slowly. They gradually drifted apart and one day, just stopped talking to one another. She admits it was both their fault, regardless of who did what to who. Her eyes well up. It's painful for her to think of the last time she heard him say 'I love you.'

"Just let it die/
With no goodbyes/Details don't matter/We both paid the price/Tears in my eyes/You know sometimes/
It'd be like that baby."

In the first bridge, Carey will often see him at a mutual friend's house. When he asks how she's doing, she replies with a breezy 'great.' She wants him to think the breakup wasn't a big deal for her and that she's moved on. However, at the same time, she wants to confide in him. But she simply says that it was nice to see him again. They were the premier couple among their friends. She tells him to think of the inside jokes and the long conversations they had.

"Now everytime I see you/I pretend I'm fine/When I wanna reach out to you/But I turn and I walk and I let it ride/Baby I must confess/We were bigger than anything/Remember us at our best/And don't forget about."

In the chorus, she encourages him to remember when they would make love and then cuddle for the rest of the night. She says a part of her will always love him. She notices his glances remain fixed at her sometimes. He still has feelings for her. She's gone a few dates but none of the guys do anything for her. She notes that their love is authentic and will continue for as they long as they live.

"Late nights, playin' in the dark/And wakin' up inside my arms/Boy, you'll always be in my heart and/I can see it in your eyes/You still want it/So don't forget about us/I'm just speaking from experience/Nothing can compare to your first true love/So I hope this will remind you/When it's for real, it's forever/So don't forget about us."

In the second verse, she found out about his new girlfriend. But he's on the rebound and even he is aware that it's going to be short-term. Their relationship was special and loving. It will be hard for either of them to find something like that again. They understood each other and had fun.

"Oh they say/That you're in a new relationship/But we both know/Nothing comes close to/What we had, it perseveres/That we both can't forget it/How good we used to get it."

In the second bridge, she says they were best friends. They were the perfect couple and were always glowing when they were together. They have a lifelong bond that can't broken. She tells him that they have another chance. If they don't take it, then they will be wondering what-if.

"There's only one me and you/And how we used to shine/No matter what you go through/We are one, that's a fact/
That you can't deny/So baby we just can't let/The fire pass us by/Forever we'd both regret/So don't forget about."

After the chorus, Carey raps. His new girlfriend is manipulating him into thinking that his past relationship with Carey meant nothing. Although he feels differently. The rebound girl is trying to emulate Carey at the same time, remembering what little things she would do for him. However, Carey points out that he will never be able to love her. She's not the one he really wants.

"And if she's got your head all messed up now/That's the trickery/She'll wanna have like you know how this lovin' used to be/
I bet she can't do like me/She'll never be MC/Baby don't you, don't you forget about us."

The chorus is sung twice.

The intro ends the single. However, Carey adds a line from the chorus.

"Don't baby, don't baby, don't let it go/No baby, no baby, no baby no/Don't baby, don't baby, don't let it go/When it's for real, it's forever/So don't forget about us."

There's a lot of unfinished business between Carey and her ex. The relationship never formally ended and there is so much that needs to be said. She handles the situation delicately. It seems as though it's common knowledge that his new relationship is a farce. Fortunately, it works in Carey's favor. She does not come across as desperate or delusional in her attempt to win him back.

"Don't Forget About Us" uses the same midtempo style her earlier singles had. Except it's been updated to be a R&B song. The only new element is the intro. However, it works as a bookend and functions as more than a marketing tool. The major slip-up in the single is the rap. Carey's handled it with aplomb in the past ("Prisoner," "Get Your Number"). However, she's out of practice here. Her phrasing is awkward and rushed. In the single, Carey has finally balanced the R&B with the adult contemporary tempo which made famous.

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