In recent years the explosive growth of information affects the flood of information. The amount of information must be followed by the development of the effective Information Retrieval System (IRS) so that the information will be easily accessible and useful for the user. The source of Information contains various media format, beside text there is also image, audio, and video that called multimedia. A large number of multimedia information rise the Multimedia Information Retrieval System (MIRS). Most of MIRS today is monolithic or only using one media format like Google1 for text search, tineye2 for image search, youtube3 for video search or 4shared4 for music and audio search. There is a need of information in any kind of media, not only retrieve the document in text format, but also retrieve the document in an image, audio and video format at once from any kind media format of the query. This study reviews the evolution of IRS, regress from text-based to concept-based MIRS. Unified Multimedia Indexing technique is discussed along with Concept-based MIRS. This critical review concludes that the evolution of IRS follows three paces: content-based, context-based and concept-based. Each pace takes on indexing system and retrieval techniques to optimize information retrieved. The challenge is how to come up with a retrieval technique that can process unified MIRS in order to retrieve optimally the relevant document.