USA Today’s Ken Barnes filled in for Edna Gunderson in an online chat with readers on Tuesday, and was asked for his thoughts on Mariah Carey’s next album, which should be out later this year. “I would be surprised if Mariah didn’t try to go back to her old ballad style, at least for much of the forthcoming album,” he said. “But I don’t think anything is going to bring her back to her previous status. Too many new divas (including a couple of Idols) and the reign of the big emotive ballad, while it can never be counted out, may be lessened, with hip-hop, R&B and upbeat pop on the ascendent. Or so I hope, anyway.” Check out the entire chat, with remarks about Avril Lavigne, Madonna, newly crowned ‘Idol’ champ Fantasia Barrino, and more, here.