Playlist: Solving for “X” in Mariah’s “Infinity” equation

Vincent Anthony
7 Min Read

On social media and in the press, lambs, fans and critics alike are singing Mariah Carey’s praises for her witty new single, “Infinity” – not to mention, trying to solve who the (e)X is that she’s talking about. However, her true fans know that Mariah has been crafting witty lyrics since day one, and we also know that the storyline of “Infinity” is unfortunately nothing new for the newly-single diva.

We discovered the first clues of Mariah’s waning relationship status on her most recent album, 2014’s Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse. There were a number of songs (9 to be exact) on the album that referenced her troubled relationship with x, featuring emotions ranging from pure heartbreak, to forgiveness, to ubiquitous shade. With this playlist, experience it all.

  1. Cry.” is the opening track on MIAM and sets a melancholy tone for the album. It plays like a confessional in regards to a love gone wrong. Here, she delivers heartbreaking lyrics such as “Might as well tell the truth about the matter… Yes, I guess it’s selfish of me to just expect that I’m entitled to have you.”
  2. Faded” follows, continuing the themes of “Cry.” but with a more accusatory tone. On this slinky, bass-heavy mid-tempo, Mariah tells X that he’s “so intangible, just like an echo” and “you’re always somewhere, but you’re not there for me!”
  3. Thirsty.” If any song on this list is the big sister to “Infinity,” it’s “Thirsty.” The song is laced with shady, biting lines that are even slicker than those on “Infinity” – with a bit more complexity, and maturity, too. Not to mention, the track hits harder than most tracks by “real” hip-hop artists (in our book, Carey is one) – both musically, and for X.
  4. You’re Mine (Eternal)” is potentially referenced directly in “Infinity” when she sings, “I was yours, eternally” and is about being unable to let go of X, as she’s reminded of “springtime eyes that get you every time, and I just can’t seem to give you up, you’re mine (eternal).”
  5. You Don’t Know What to Do” brings us back to the shade, as MC reads X for being a confused mess and feels rather emancipated since being “turned loose.” The 70’s inspired, disco-infused jam is perfection for its flawless vocal, clever lyrics, catchy melody, live instrumentation and Wale’s flow which effortlessly rides the beat – second only to Mimi herself.
  6. Camouflage” is the saddest track on the set, and kindred spirits with Butterfly‘s “Breakdown,” as she pleadingly sings, “I cry and cry as you laugh and laugh at the question, but I need to know.” What she “needs to know” is if in fact X still loves her.
  7. Money” follows “Camouflage,” preceded by her saying, “I can’t leave it like that” perhaps indicating a reconciliation, considering she happily sings about her relationship on this uptempo number. The fun, breezy track featuring Fabolous has a catchy hook, on which she sings “Money, this, that, the other… but I come home to you” and references her song “The Impossible” from 2009’s Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, singing “I dream the impossible dream when you and I are alone.”
  8. One More Try” is a cover of George Michael’s 1987 hit that Mariah said she decided to cover for personal reasons. The song is about giving X “one more try” – pretty self explanatory – though it’s a bit gospel-tinged and seems as though she’s speaking to both X, and to God.
  9. The Art of Letting Go” is about just that – letting go of an X, or any situation, that is bringing you nothing but negativity. She sings, “letting go, ain’t easy…” but the implication here is that it’s oh so necessary. With lines like “Go to Mimi on your contacts, press delete” and “Got a bundle of your all possessions, outside the kitchen window right now… letting go!”
  10. Infinity” not only continues the orchestral sounds of “The Art of Letting Go,” but also expands upon it’s messages. She even mentions said bag of X’s possessions: “Could it be you just lost the best you’ve ever had, that’s your bag, yep that’s too bad.” But check our full review of the song here.

For the full experience, which I like to call Me. I Am Mariah… #1 to Infinity, add in the remaining 6 unrelated tracks from the album (Dedicated, #Beautiful, Make It Look Good, Supernatural, Meteorite and Heavenly) and her 18 #1’s for good measure.

Bonus tracks: 

  • Love Story” from E=MC² also may be referenced in “Infinity.” The melody and some of the lyrics of “I was yours eternally, there’s an end to infinity” from “Infinity” is suspiciously similar to that of “Ours for all eternity, there’ll be no end to our love story” in “Love Story” – which just so happened to be dedicated to Mariah from an X. Credit to our writer Jason for this astute observation.
  •  “The Impossible” from Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel was dedicated to said X and features lyrics referenced in “Money” as mentioned above. However, it also bears similarities to “Infinity,” as both reference the idea of “forever” and an impossible dream. On “Infinity,” she sings that she believes “infinity is more than just a made up dream.”


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Vincent is the founder of the magazine and has had a strong passion for popular music since, well, 1997! If it's not obvious, his favorite artists include Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, P!nk, and many more. Vincent lives in New York, where he is a high school English teacher, and currently he is pursuing a Master's in Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.