From the Vault...


Mariah Carey
"Music Box"

© Columbia Records


track listing
  • Dreamlover
  • Hero
  • Anytime You Need
    A Friend
  • Music Box
  • Now That I Know
  • Never Forget You
  • Without You
  • Just To Hold You
    Once Again
  • I've Been Thinking
    About You
  • All I've Ever Wanted

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    Frank Zappa/Mothers Of Invention--Fillmore East, June 1971
    Mariah Carey
    "Music Box"

    The peak (and best years) of Mariah Carey's career were in the years 1990 to 1995. 4 albums and a Christmas one, Mariah's music was Pop, Soul, maybe even classified as R&B. Music Box from 1993 was her 3rd studio album, as her first two albums Mariah Carey and Emotions were outstanding. Music Box is no exception. Two #1 hits from this album, and album cuts just as exceptional. However, after 1997 with the Butterfly release, she became involved with more of today's music, being that of Hip-Hop and Rap. After a disastrous movie (Glitter) in 2001, a failed (first) marriage, it seemed to be downhill for her. In the 1990s decade alone, she had at least one (if not more) song reach #1 on the Billboard 100. The first 10 years of the new millennium seemed grim.

    In 2005, her Emmancipation Of Mimi album bought her back to the top of the charts. Even the next release, E=MC2 achieved a #1 hit. Things were going back on track.

    On July 23, 2012, it was announced that Mariah Carey would become the newest judge on the music reality show, American Idol, Season 12. After Season 11 ended, judged Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez left. Randy Jackson would be the only original judge left on the panel. (It was announced that Jackson would leave the show as judge and become a mentor, but he would return as a judge.)

    With Mariah Carey as the newest Idol judge, who would be next? On September 16, 2012, it was announced that Country artist Keith Urban and Hip-Hop artist Nicki Minaj would be the newest judges. The panel was now set: Carey, Urban, Minaj and Jackson. Season 11 winner was Phillip Phillips, a singer who admitted after winning, that he couldn't really sing. I think this is the reason why both Tyler and J'Lo left the show. I was lucky not to have watched this season, as I had watched each year, since Season Two. After listening to Phillips' sing, it was obvious: American Idol had gone on for too long. And with the new judges, would it be the season of triumph or demise? Quite honestly, I really don't plan on watching Season 12. When Mariah Carey was announced as judge, I felt it was a very good choice. As for Urban and Minaj, I'm not really sure how they can panel up. Will Season 12 be based on the judges, or based on what it should be: How the contestants SING.

    Getting back to the Music Box album... This is when Mariah was at her best. The album's first two tracks went to #1: "Dreamlover" (8 weeks) and "Hero" (4 weeks). "Anytime You Need A Friend" is another great Mariah tune, having an R&B/Gospel and soulful feel. The title track is another great soulful ballad. "Now That I Know" has an upbeat, almost hip-hop'ish style. "Never Forget You" returns to the soulful ballad that she is most famous for.

    "Without You" is a remake of the classic #1 tune, originally recorded by (Harry) Nilsson. Just like any other great ballad by Mariah, "JUst To Hold You Once Again" is another entertaining and soulful tune. "I've Been Thinking About You" is another upbeat number, and better than the preceding one heard on this album, "Now That I Know." "I've Been Thinking About You" can easily be compared to an upbeat song by the late Whitney Houston. Closing out the album is another great ballad, "All I've Ever Wanted."

    the ballads truly stand out on Music Box, including the #1 hit "Dreamlover" being upbeat to the ballads. Mariah's early years were her finest, in my honest opinion. Mariah now has another "comeback" (so to speak) by appearing as an American Idol judge. Will this be a triumph or failure? By this time next year, we will know. I've always admired her music, especially her early works. She still is a Diva, and although she has adapted to today's music trends, her ballads will always showcase her outstanding voice. Her being compared as a Diva, along with Whitney and Celine, that list will go on with others, such as Streisand and Aretha. Now, who can we add to the Diva list in our current musical endeavors? Mary J. Blige? (Probably) Adele? (Definitely) Nicki Minaj? (ugggh) [Some will agree/disagree, and some will have others to add to this list, I'm sure.]

    Mariah Carey IS the Diva, and Music Box proves it.

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    Previous Review: #1330
    Body Count--Murder 4 Hire
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    Frank Zappa/Mothers Of Invention--Fillmore East, June 1971