Mariah Carey, "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel" (Def Jam)

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Mariah Carey, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” (Def Jam)

“I should crack you right in your forehead,” Mariah Carey sings on the breakup tune “It’s a Wrap.”

The song, on her latest CD, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel,” finds a hungover Carey kicking her lover to the curb with particularly harsh words.

“Another early morning, and you walk in like it’s nothing … ain’t no doughnuts, ain’t coffee,” she sings with attitude in her signature high-pitch tone. “Let me take a breath and regain my composure, told you more time, if you (expletive) up it’s over.”

But even though she’s spitting venom, Carey’s cooing on the doo-wop sounding song is so sensuous and sweet, even the song’s intended target will remain under her spell – as will her listeners.

“Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel” is an exceptional album that is about love – being in it, out of it, over it and trying to reach it. While the subjects are tried and true, they are never tired, thanks to Carey’s approach, which mixes a good dose of humor and wit with her multi-octave voice.

“Betcha Gon’ Know,” the disc’s opening track, sets the tone as Carey compares the seriousness of her broken heart to news programs like “60 Minutes,” “20/20” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Carey produced and wrote the majority of the album with Christopher “Tricky” Stewart and Terius “The-Dream” Nash – and those hitmakers add their own touch to “Imperfect Angel” without overdoing it.

“Ribbon,” which bumps with southern flavor, is radio-friendly, showcasing The-Dream and Tricky’s signature sound. As does “Standing O,” with its addictive hook.

Other notables tunes include “H.A.T.E.U.” (“Having a Typical Emotional Upset”), a beautiful heartbreak ballad, and the top-notch “Candy Bling,” a teenage love affair tune that finds Carey so in love she “can’t delete your picture from my mind.”

Some of the tracks use samples: “Inseparable” interpolates Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” and “The Impossible” finds Carey “layin’ in the bed bumpin’ Jodeci.” The latter samples the R&B group’s hit song “Forever My Lady.”

“Imperfect Angel,” though helmed by The-Dream and Tricky, still maintains a classic Mariah sound – especially on the soothing “Angels Cry” and its accompanying prelude, and the personal “Languishing,” highlighted by a piano.

No one is perfect – that’s obvious. This CD is – that’s obvious too.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: “It’s a Wrap” joins tracks like “Vision of Love,” “Always Be My Baby” and “We Belong Together” as a classic Mariah song.