Here’s what a steamy new Mariah Carey album is supposed to mean, but it just sounds corny

Mariah Carey, releasing her 18th studio album on Wednesday, has had an unremarkable 2018. It’s been an embarrassment of riches over the past decade.

Although Carey’s career has been overshadowed by the ongoing legal battle with her ex-manager, she’s still a pop music icon. She’s scored a duet with Whitney Houston in 1997 and a long string of hits that include “Always Be My Baby,” “Hero,” “We Belong Together” and “We Are the World.”

Carey has been making music for almost 40 years and here she is at 59. Wearing black thigh-high boots, a camouflage mini-dress and a matching blazer, she looked elegant as always.

Despite the artistic missteps, Carey’s body of work will always outweigh them.

Her new album, “Caution,” is a smoldering look at love and sex, with 14 tracks made up of more danceable pop songs such as “Someday,” “Doesn’t Mean” and “Fantasy.”

Many of Carey’s biggest hits, such as “Vision of Love,” “Heartbreaker” and “Always Be My Baby,” are included on the album. She also sings a duet with new boyfriend, billionaire James Packer, on the album.

Although both she and Packer, 48, say their romance is a very serious one, she also sings about her fling with businessman Rossano Brazzi, 42, on the album’s second single, “Anytime.” That song includes lines such as, “I love just being part of you, making you laugh,” and “I’m a walking symbol of love, I’m something that I’m waiting for.”

That song may come off as out of touch, but when it comes to the star, it’s about what’s normal.

“She’s one of the icons of pop music of all time,” music industry writer Elahe Izadi, 29, told The Washington Post. “Her music is timeless. She lives for the love of making music.”

Carey has always been a gift to the world. She uses her fame and talented mouth to give people pleasure, without being preachy. Every decade, there are rumors about her crumbling marriage to longtime producer Tommy Mottola, but the tabloids always gets it wrong.

But in 2018, in the face of constant rumors of back pain, Carey has had a life-changing year, in which she ended her four-year engagement to Australian billionaire James Packer. It was the second serious relationship she’s ended in less than three years.

Ever since 2009, she’s had an on-again-off-again relationship with ex-husband Nick Cannon. He’s been an unlikely co-parent to their twins, Monroe and Moroccan, whose parents include Carey and Cannon. In fact, Cannon is the one who convinced her to release her 18th album in today’s social climate.

“He has a wife, kids, a show and the same schedule that Mariah is on. He told her, ‘A year from now, your year is done. You need to retire,’” a source told E! News last year. “Mariah said, ‘F— it. Let’s do it.’”

And yes, she made that album.

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