My Mariah Top 20: #20 – #11

It took me a long while to post all the Mariah album reviews, but I finally got there. I wasn’t even writing them this time, I did all this about a year ago! Never mind, here you go…

20. Anytime you need a friend
From Music Box

Let’s PLUNGE right into the early 90s, lots of B&W art shots, kiddies playing etc. HOW NICE!

Gospelly and uplifting, with a great chorus. I WILL. BE HEEEERE

 

19. One sweet day (with Boyz II Men)
From Daydream

Louis Walsh might not remember this one, but I’m sure plenty of Americans do, with this having spent approximately 12 years at #1.

I’m not a massive Boyz II Men fan (why WOULD I BE?), but this is one of the biggest examples of a great Mariah duet. AWESOME.

 

18. Thank God I found you (with 98 degrees)
From Rainbow

Onto another schmaltzy duet, this time with crummy late 90s boyband 98 Degrees. I shouldn’t really like this, it is a pretty sickly love song, but it just WORKS for me. Rainbow did peter out towards the end, but this was a late highlight in an overlong tracklist.

 

17. When you believe (with Whitney Houston)
From #1s

Oh OK, one more duet, this time with old NIPPY herself. A CLASH of the TITANS, surely?

Well not QUITE but it’s a lovely song, with some lovely lyrics keeping it from getting TOO drowned in syrup. Problem is that neither is really trying to outshine the other, so it’s a competent but restrained duet. Hate Whitney’s hair though, how old does she look?

 

16. Open Arms
From Daydream

I remember having the CASSINGLE of this one. OK I’m picking a lot of ballads here aren’t I? I suppose several of them are pretty much as good as each other, while the uptempos are left to have a bit more identity.

I love this though, Daydream was the first Mariah album (at least singles-wise) that I really paid attention to, and sounds like the VOX were still there at this point.

 

15. I want to know what love is
From Memoirs of an imperfect angel

Oh yes I know, it’s not really up there in her well-known CANON so I’m well prepared to get it in the neck for including this. But the truth is that I already loved the song, and here comes Mariah singing it ballad-style, very gently to start, then the traditional gospel choir pops up for the FINALE.

It’s just a well-written song, performed well. That video really is fucking cheap though!

 

14. Never too far
From Glitter

While we are getting the commercial disasters out of the way, it’s as good a time as any to talk about Glitter. Of course this project nearly fucked everything up for her (let’s leave it to Charmbracelet to give the deathblow). But it wasn’t all bad, this main theme from the movie was lovely.

Stretching the vox all over the place, great big note at the end followed by a lovely non-whistling glory note *head explodes*.

Just don’t expect to see Last Night a DJ Saved My Life higher up this chart.

 

13. Migrate (ft T-Pain)
From E=MC2

Finally we get out of that stretch of ballads with the opening track from E=MC2. I do wonder how well this will age in years to come, given the slightly stale feel Mimi has these days, but so far so good.

LOVE that sample they make from her voice, really fresh and nothing like she’s done before. Could do without T-Pain’s rhyming dictionary though.

 

12. We belong together
From The Emancipation of Mimi

Let’s get another biggie out of the way, and her signature hit of the 00s I think. Great video, looks the sort of quality she should have been producing for the earlier part of that decade.

I hadn’t really got into the song until the Live8 performance, really worked for me. The vocals get a bit hysterical near the end but I think I rather LIKE that.

 

11. Touch my body
From E=MC2

In a similar vein, we have Mariah’s attempt to re-bottle the lightning she got with WBT. It might not have reached that high watermark, but it was another #1 and I think it’s a wonderful summer song. I love the sense of humour there too, threatening to hunt a guy down if he puts a sex-tape online, and yet the whole song is sweet as pie, who could get away with that?

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