JR, it's no more basic than, say, John Legend's album. Mariah actually mixes more styles of R&B on her album than he does, and his album is a critical fave.
Anyway, if you look at her topic sentence, she says it's the albums that burned her iPod this year. Good albums aren't just about innovation; they need a listenability factor as well. TEOM is fresh (why it's popular), well-made, and listenable; that's all you need for a good album. Madonna's new one is similar in that regard, but just a different style of music.