It was one of those magical musical moments the first time I heard Mariah’s voice doing “Vision Of Love”. You JUST KNEW there was something unique and special about her from one song. Her debut CD was amazing, the breathtaking heartbreak ballads “Love Takes Time” and “I Don’t Want To Cry”, the hopefulness of “Someday”, and my favorite, “Prisoner”. Mariah actually “raps” the intro, then the disco beat drops, and Mariah defiantly sings she’s had enough. “You don’t think I’ll be strong enough, I won’t be a prisoner of your love, I’m not the girl you thought I was!”
1991 – “MAKE IT HAPPEN” from EMOTIONS
One of my all-time favorite songs, Mariah takes the congregation to church in another song of personal empowerment. Mariah wrote the song with musical help from C&C Music Factory. The song describes Mariah’s rise to the top and how her faith in God helped maintain her motivation. Hearing Mariah sing this with a full choir is an EVENT, the power of music is nothing to take lightly.
1993 – MUSIC BOX from MUSIC BOX
Hands down, my favorite Mariah Carey CD was Music Box. Listen to the ten tracks and you will appreciate that Mariah’s voice is a gift from up above. Her ballads like “Hero”, “All I’ve Ever Wanted” and “Without You” soar and her R&B jams like “Dream Lover” and “I’ve Been Thinking About You” are some of the best of the decade. No filler, ten top notch Mariah songs! “Hero” is probably the best song but “Music Box” is so angelic and sweet, I’ll choose it.
1995 – ONE SWEET DAY with BOYZ II MEN from DAYDREAM
In 1994, Mariah released her Christmas CD and then my least favorite of Mariah’s CDs, Daydream. It’s not as consistent and there are filler tracks (her cover of Journey’s Open Arms didn’t work) but you can’t deny the hits. “Fantasy” with O.D.B., “Always Be My Baby”, “Underneath The Stars”, and the LONGEST RUNNING # of WEEKS AT #1 OF ALL-TIME, “One Sweet Day”. If that’s considered a weak CD, then what do I know! Her harmony with Boyz II Men is perfection and the song’s message has helped so many people who’ve lost loved ones.
1997 – HONEY from BUTTERFLY
I’ve only been in the front row one time of all of the non-general admission concerts I’ve ever been to and it was for Mariah’s Butterfly Tour. The crowd was primarly female and Mariah sang a lot looking right at me, so in my eyes, we had a moment 😉 Butterfly is her first big crossover CD. “Breakdown” with Bone Thugs N Harmony, “Baby Doll” with Missy Elliott, “Whenever You Call” (Brian McKnight). Her biggest ballad, “My All” also came from this #1 CD. I chose “Honey” since it captures the 90’s (P. Diddy, big budget video, hip hop meets pop) and because Mariah just looks so hot in the video. Come on, who comes out of the water looking like that!
1999 – CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY (Mariah’s Theme) from RAINBOW
Mariah continued her R&B transformation with her 7th CD. She teamed with Jay-Z for Heartbreaker and duets with Usher, Mystikal, Snoop Dogg, Da Brat, and Master P were all included on the CD. She tackled Phil Collins “Against All Odds” and “Thank God I Found You” is incredible (all 3 versions!). But there is something special about “Can’t Take That Away From Me”. Mariah asked her fans to send in video clips of what motivated them. Those images accompanied by violins really struck emotionally the message of the song. During this time, Mariah’s very public divorce had hurt her bad but she wanted to send the message that she can’t be held down. Written with Oscar winning songwriter, Diane Warren, the lyrics helped others find the inner power to move forward. It’s truly a magical way for Mariah to end the decade.