From the Vault...


Mariah Carey

© Columbia Records

Year of Release: 1997

track listing
  • Honey
  • Butterfly
  • My All
  • The Roof
  • Fourth Of July
  • Breakdown
  • Babydoll
  • Close My Eyes
  • Whenever You Call
  • Fly Away
    (Butterfly Reprise)
  • The Beautiful Ones
  • Outside

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    Mariah Carey

    Ever since Mariah Carey first burst on the music scene in 1990, she has accomplished an interesting piece of music history... She has had at least one (if not more) #1 song(s) every year since, except for 1994, unless you count "Hero", which reached #1 in December, 1993, leading into 1994... I don't know if any other music talent has ever come this close, and with her upcoming 2001 album Glitter (and movie!) released at the end of August, it'll be interesting to see if she will continue her so-called record. (Note: Her latest single, "Loverboy" is in the Top 3, as of this week...)

    Her 1997 release, Butterfy features two #1's... And since her last release before Butterfly, (Daydream), Mariah Carey's music was changing to the more modern trend in today's music; that being towards hip-hop. Mariah Carey a rap artist? Not so, but she did incorporate a well-known rap artist to help her out on this release, that being the artist formerly known as Puff Daddy. (He is known as P. Diddy these days...)

    The leadoff track is "Honey," which Puff Daddy helped produce, and serves as a guest vocalist. This song also reached #1, and it proved once again that Mariah's music was changing with the times, as this song has a hip-hop dance beat, where any Janet Jackson fan would truly enjoy.

    The title track is co-produced with Puff Daddy, along with Mariah Carey, and despite my arguable fact that Mariah's music is much better in her early years, songs like "Butterfly" and even "My All" (the remaining #1) proves this: They are ballads, and this is the style where Mariah is defined best at. Her ballads are powerful, and would easily get more exposure and much better comments regardless. Especially "My All" -- a beautiful song, never tiring, and deserved to reach every musician's dream -- a #1 record.

    Mariah Carey's "new style" of music continues with "The Roof," a more modern dance/hip-hop style (Janet Jackson), where "Fourth Of July" blends more soul than hip-hop (this one should get better reviews over the "hip-hop" type-songs).

    The hip-hop of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's "Tha Crossroads" is heard in "Breakdown," where today's music has sampling and/or actual excerpts of well-known songs from previous decades is used. In "Breakdown," the actual recording of "Tha Crossroads" is not used, but the resemblance is definitely there. Easily play this song back-to-back with "Tha Crossroads," and there really isn't much difference.

    "Babydoll" has today's definite sound, comparing to the likes of Janet Jackson, and newest sensation, Destiny's Child. Returning to the soul ballad format, "Close My Eyes" could easily be compared to her early years, as it has a soulful beat, and could easily be compared to George Michael's "Father Figure," yet with a slower beat.

    "Whenever You Call" is another beautiful ballad, and can easily be compared to Whitney Houston's ballads. "Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)" is probably the only song not to play on a regular basis, where most reprises are not as good as the original. Well, probably only one comes to mind, that is just as good -- the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Reprise" is probably the only one that stands out; other reprises I've heard were never as good as the original songs they were related to.

    The remake of Prince's "The Beautiful Ones" (from Purple Rain) has Dru Hill sharing vocals, and as much as this remake is quite good, it would of been awesome if the Purple One himself shared vocals with Miss Carey. The album's closing tune, is another nice ballad, "Outside," and it is just as good as such ballads as "Whenever You Call," from this album.

    Butterfly features different trends in music for Mariah Carey. Not only does she perform her best with the ballads on this release, these are the ones that always stands out as her best material, likewise from previous releases before and after. As much as Mariah points in the direction to today's dance and hip-hop music styles, it's best to keep her main formula intact, and that is perform the soulful ballads everyone knows her famous for.

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