Where To Start With… Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey. The diva who all other divas tremble at the manicured feet of. The woman with a five-octave vocal range and career sales of over 200 million albums. She’s released great albums, she’s released horribly misguided albums, but she’s always entertained. She returns next week with her 14th studio album, the wonderfully titled Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse, it’s her first non-Christmas song based release since 2009 and includes the hit singles ‘The Art Of Letting Go’ and ‘Beautiful’.
To prepare you for Mariah’s return, we’ve put together a little guide to her back catalogue, here are her five best moments…
(you can preview/download each track in our digital store by clicking on the title)
From Carey’s very early material, this is the very best. It’s a big, 80s influenced pop song, with her huge vocal range shown off to the max along with her ability to pen a stupendously catchy pop song.
1993’s Music Box album saw Carey move away from the 808 drum machines and straight pop production into a more laid back, glossy world. This is the pick of the bunch from that album, it’s a proper lovelorn ballad with an incredibly whistleable hook.
The lead-off single from Carey’s hugely successful album Daydream, this remains one of her absolute career highlights. Music Box had hinted that the singer was looking to experiment more and more with hip-hop production, but on this record she embraced it whole heartedly. ‘Fantasy’ is an icy cool mixture of R’N’B and ballad-led pop, with Carey’s breathy vocals and huge range layered over a bombastic, groove-laden beat with a bounce and swagger.
There’s also an excellent remix of this track featuring the sadly missed Ol’ Dirty Bastard, who adds his distinctive filthy gruff tones to Carey’s immaculate vocals.
1999’s Rainbow album was perhaps the last time Mariah Carey was truly on top of her game and this track is the finest thing on that record. Sassy, refined and very playful, this track features a killer guest spot from Jay-Z, a chorus so utterly hummable it will stick in your head for weeks and a brilliant beat. This is Mariah at her most fun and it’s incredible.
You cannot look through Mariah Carey’s career and not include this track. A staple of every Christmas party playlist since its release in 1994. The opening tinkling of notes on the xylophone and the gentle brush on the cymbals is absolutely unmistakeable. It’ll be 20 years old this year, but remains as uplifting and unashamedly festive as ever it was. Wonderful.
Mariah Carey’s new album Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse is released on May 26th and is available for pre-order in hmv stores now.