Mariah Carey, The Butterfly

by | Apr 16, 2019

Mariah Carey: Artist profile

Mariah Carey is a popular singer who has enjoyed quite the renown in several decades. She is better known for the range and beauty of her vocals (in particular the whistle range) and a lot less for her abilities as a songwriter. She is not the occasional songwriter either, penning most of her vast catalogue. She might not be anywhere near a Carole King but she can boast more sales (although no doubt other “qualities” come into play here) than her idol and has had the privilege of writing a song with her. In her writing lies the mixture of a child trying to hang on to the magic of life, a diva choosing to leverage its privileges. The variety of her offering show a multi-music-cultural writer stuck at the crossroad of her varied influences. They are in her self-penned songs as much as in the amazing way she reinvents every song she covers, from “Without You” to “Open Arms” to “Against All Odds”, to “Beautiful Ones” to “I’ll be there” to her whole Christmas album (the first one) which remains the number one Christmas album played year in year out.

Mariah Carey: The Voice

At the centre of her songs, is her main performing instrument, her voice. It ranges from wind (whistle range and breathing voice) to her soprano and alto vocal. Her ability to play with these is astonishing within the range she controls. It is used to express a core feeling of loss of the child within looking for the freedom (self-expression…) denied to her by the commitments of her personal, professional, societal and interpersonal (including marital) duties. The peripheral circle without is made of songs that encourage her listeners (starting with herself) to break through the barriers of negativity erected around them and shine. The external circle very much shows her own idea of breaking through as she takes her place at the centre of the entertainment action, playful and defiant, in both lyric and vocal demeanour. Her song selection below reflect all these.

Mariah Carey in 10 songs

  1. Always be my baby – Arrangment, instrumentation, and her voice made this song one of her most critically acclaimed and known song
  2. Hero – The chorus of this ballad sums up its idea: “And then a hero comes along, With the strength to carry on, And you cast your fears aside, And you know you can survive, So when you feel like hope is gone, Look inside you and be strong, And you’ll finally see the truth, That a hero lies in you”
  3. If it’s over – This Carole King-Mariah Carey collaboration is a powerful protest against the point when love stagnates. Brillantly sung by Mariah Carey during her MTV unplugged appearance, it showcases the singer’s vocal abilities but much more so, the higher potential of her songwriting when she partners with a songwriter with which she connects.
  4. Close my eyes – This track is a brilliant melody and among her deepest lyric hiding behind unassuming and uncanny pop sound.
  5. Mariah Carey Butterfly 1997 Cover artMy All – The track is a critically acclaimed ballad and a standout on the album Butterfly.
  6. Emotions – This song is the perfect showcase of Carey’s vocals that soar to match the lyrics. A touch of musical cleverness
  7. Outside – Like a number of her ‘lost’ songs, outside has the quality of her vulnerability adding to the performance and enriching the song itself. But much more than any of those songs, Carey showcases her arrangement abilities that give layers to the music, beyond just stacking up some harmonies.
  8. One Sweet Day (and Boyz II Men) – a duet that stayed consecutive weeks on the charts.
  9. Thank God I found you (with 98 degrees) –
  10. Vision of loveMariah Carey Vision Of LoveA breakthough her childhood difficulties expressed and exhaled through her first ever single.

You can also hear more of the artist’s music on the radio show I Write The Songs featuring Mariah Carey.

Some songs written or co-written by Mariah Carey

  1. A No No
  2. Always Be My Baby – Daydream · 1995
  3. Anytime You Need a Friend – Music Box · 1993
  4. BabyDoll
  5. Beautiful – Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse · 2014
  6. Boy (I Need You) – Charmbracelet · 2002
  7. Breakdown – Butterfly · 1997
  8. Butterfly
  9. Bye Bye – E=MC² · 2008
  10. Can’t Let Go – Emotions · 1991
  11. Can’t Take That Away (Mariah’s Theme) – Rainbow · 1999
  12. Close My Eyes – Butterfly · 1997
  13. Crybaby – Rainbow · 1999
  14. Don’t Forget About Us – The Emancipation of Mimi · 2005
  15. Dreamlover – Music Box · 1993
  16. Emotions – Emotions · 1991
  17. Everything Fades Away
  18. Fourth of July
  19. Fly Like A Bird – The Emancipation of Mimi · 2005
  20. H.A.T.E.U. – Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel · 2009
  21. Heartbreaker – Rainbow · 1999
  22. Hero – Music Box · 1993
  23. Honey – Butterfly · 1997
  24. I Don’t Wanna Cry – Mariah Carey · 1990
  25. I Still Believe – Around the World · 1999
  26. I’ll Be Lovin’ U Long Time – E=MC² · 2008
  27. I’ll Be There – The Adventures of Mimi · 2007
  28. If It’s Over (written with Carole King) – MTV Unplugged
  29. It’s Like That – The Emancipation of Mimi · 2005
  30. Love Takes Time – Mariah Carey · 1990
  31. Loverboy – Glitter · 2001
  32. Make It Happen – Emotions · 1991
  33. Melt Away (with Babyface) DayDream
  34. Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel · 2009
  35. Music Box
  36. My All – Butterfly · 1997
  37. Obsessed – Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel · 2009
  38. One Sweet Day (and Boyz II Men) – Daydream · 1995
  39. Reflections
  40. Say Somethin’ – The Emancipation of Mimi · 2005
  41. Shake It Off – The Emancipation of Mimi · 2005
  42. Someday – Mariah Carey · 1990
  43. Thank God I Found You – Rainbow · 1999
  44. The Roof – Butterfly · 1997
  45. Through the Rain – Charmbracelet · 2002
  46. Touch My Body – E=MC² · 2008
  47. Underneath the Stars – Daydream · 1995
  48. Up Out My Face – Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel · 2009
  49. Vision of Love – Mariah Carey · 1990
  50. We Belong Together – The Emancipation of Mimi · 2005
  51. When You Believe – My Love Is Your Love · 1998
  52. With You  – Caution · 2018

Songs covered by Mariah Carey (we are still adding)

  • Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) – Rainbow · 1999
  • All I Want for Christmas Is You – Merry Christmas · 1994, Under the Mistletoe · 2011
  • All My Life (Rick James) . Glitter . 2001
  • America the Beautiful (Katharine Lee Bates, Samuel A. Ward).  Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse . 2014
  • Bringin’ On the Heartbreak (Steven Maynard Clark, Peter Andrew Willis, Joe Elliott) . Charmbracelet . 2002
  • Charlie Brown Christmas (Vince Guaraldi, Lee Mendelson) . Merry Christmas II You . 2010
  • Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) (Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, Phil Spector), Merry Christmas . 1994
  • Do You Know Where You’re Going To – #1’s · 1998 (international bonus track)
  • Endless Love’ (with Luther Vandross) (Lionel Richie) – Songs · 1994
  • Every Time I Close My Eyes (Babyface)
  • Everybody Hurts with Helping Haiti artists (Bill Berry, Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, Peter Buck) . 2010
  • I’ll Be There’ (featuring Trey Lorenz) – (Berry Gordy, Bob West, Hal Davis, Willie Hutch) – MTV Unplugged . 1992
  • I Want to Know What Love Is”I Want to Know What Love Is” Hash-tag Mick Jones Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel . 2009
  • Fantasy – Daydream · 1995: although Mariah is definitely one of the writers, this song ends up as a cover here due to its heavy sampling of Tom Tom Club – Genius of Love. The arrangement and instrumentation combined with Carey’s voice make it a tune for the partaking. It mixes the child in her with the playful and unapologetic. It is infectiously catchy.
  • Open Arms – Daydream · 1995
  • The Beautiful Ones (Prince)
  • The First Noel”/”Born Is the King (Interlude)” Hash-tag Traditional (Public Domain) Merry Christmas II You 4:33 2010 [19]
  • Without You, Originally by Badfinger – Music Box · 1993#
  • When You Believe (with Whitney Houston)
  • God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” Hash-tag Traditional Merry Christmas 1:18 1994 [18]
  • Got a Thing 4 You” with Da Brat featuring Elephant Man (Robert Caldwell, Da Brat, L.T. Hutton, Alfons Kettner) Charmbracelet . 2002
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/ Gloria (In Excelsis Deo) (traditional) (Felix Mendelssohn, adapted by William H. Cummings) – Merry Christmas . 1994
  • Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) / Housetop Celebration(Public Domain) (Gene Autry, Oakley Haldeman, Benjamin Hanby) – Merry Christmas II You . 2010
  • I Still Believe (Antonina Armato , Giuseppe Cantarelli) – #1’s . 1998
  • “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On” Hash-tag Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Glitter 4:54 2001 [23]
  • I Know What You Want (with Busta Rhymes featuring the Flipmode Squad (Trevor Smith, Rashia Fisher, Roger McNair, Ricardo Thomas, W. Lewis, L. Jones) – Charmbracelet . 2003
  • Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child (Traditional) Merry Christmas . 1994
  • Joy Ride (Jeffery Grier) – The Emancipation of Mimi 4:03 2005 [37]
  • Joy to the World” Hash-tag Traditional Merry Christmas 4:20 1994 [18]
  • Just Stand Up!”with Artists Stand Up to Cancer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds Ronnie Walton N/A 3:34 2008 [53]
  • O Holy Night (Traditional) – Merry Christmas . 1994
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem / Little Drummer Boy Medley (P. Brooks, L. H. Redner, K. Davis, H. Onorati, H. Simeone Merry) Christmas II You . 2010
  • One More Try (George Michael) Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse . 2014

Mariah Carey website