THE DAILY BEAST: In the age of overwrought, overproduced, oversung "artpop," Mariah Carey's latest ballad is refreshingly straightforward and simple - even if there's no real chorus. The timing of the release of Mariah Carey's latest single, "The Art of Letting Go," couldn't be more refreshing. It arrives the same day as Lady Gaga’s new album, ARTPOP, a dizzying kaleidoscope of production tricks and vocal ticks. The simplest of ballads, "The Art of Letting Go," is a much-needed lesson that great pop music is composed of the most basic group of ingredients - a stellar voice and straightforward orchestrations ... There's an undeniable throwback vibe to the Rodney Jerkins-produced song that recalls "Vision of Love," a ballad stripped down to a piano, heartfelt lyrics, and the vocal pyrotechnics of Mariah.
ROLLING STONE: The melancholy number finds Carey in fine form, exploring loss over a smooth, orchestral production. The song builds steadily over three and a half minutes, and just when you think that it might be one of Carey's more controlled performances in years, she brings it home with classic Carey high notes.
BILLBOARD: The heartfelt ballad, produced by Rodney Jerkins, finds Mariah showcasing her vocal prowess as she sings of life after heartbreak . "Letting go ain't easy/ It's just exceedingly hurtful/ Cause somebody you used to know is flinging your world around/ And they watch as you're falling down," she belts.
USA TODAY: Proof that Mariah Carey could, indeed, sound captivating singing the phone book. Released Monday on her Facebook page, The Art of Letting Go is a vent disguised as a gospel ballad and has lyrics that often sound rushed and awkward. And there's not so much a chorus as a bolero-like crescendo with organ and strings. But, oh, does she sound fine.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The song has a nice throwback vibe to it (think "Vision of Love").
MUSIC TIMES: Carey's vocals are high up in the mix, allowing her one-of-a-kind voice to penetrate the listener's ear. A small electronic drum keeps time as a piano riff plays alongside an orchestral string arrangement. As a whole, there are small influences of jazz in the instrumentation, as the piano shuffles along to the beat. It's classic R&B in every sense of the word, as Carey sings about her relatable problems to some old school, beautiful instrumentation.
BUSTLE: One listen to "The Art of Letting Go" will remind nostalgics of Carey's Daydream or Butterfly - albums that saw the musician making use of her insane five-octave register. Just how low (and high) can she still go? "The Art of Letting Go" seems to indicate that she hasn't quite let go of her range yet - shawty gets low, low, low, low.
Queenriah does it again