August 27, 2001 12:00 PM

Mariah Carey (Virgin)

Those looking for signs of Mariah Carey‘s recent emotional breakdown in the pop diva’s latest album will find a few possible clues in the short, spare ballad “Twister.” “She was kind of fragile and she had a lot to grapple with/ But basically she kept it all inside,” sings an unusually subdued Carey on the disc’s most introspective track. It’s a brief but telling moment of reflection on Glitter, which also serves as the soundtrack to the semiautobiographical film of the same name starring and produced by Carey.

The rest of Glitter, however, doesn’t shed much light on Carey’s psyche, having been heavily inspired by the movie’s setting in ’80s New York City nightclubs. While Carey shines on a cover of Cherrelle’s 1984 dance hit “Didn’t Mean to Turn You On,” her version of Indeep’s “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life” succumbs to the bombastic rap attack of Busta Rhymes and Fabulous.

Though not technically remakes, “Loverboy” and “Don’t Stop” borrow a little too lazily from Cameo’s “Candy” and Tom Browne’s “Funkin’ for Jamaica,” respectively. But original songs “Want You” (a duet with costar Eric Benét) and, especially, “All My Life” (written and coproduced by ’80s Super Freak Rick James) truly sparkle.

Bottom Line: Bright spotty

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