Top Ten Songs by Mariah Carey

Debuting in 1990, Mariah Carey has achieved recognition (good and bad) within the avenues of singing, songwriting, record producing, as well as acting. There is no doubt that Carey has worked hard to accomplish the many milestones throughout her life, including several #1 Billboard hits and Grammy Awards.

In the public light, Carey has transformed in front of our very eyes. The change was rather prominent after she parted ways in 1997 with then-husband, Tommy Mottola, who guided her with the release of her first five popular singles. She began to showcase more of a hip-hop influence throughout her later works, which although quite popular, received mixed reviews. Presented by album, I have listed what I believe to be the top ten songs by Mariah Carey.

Mariah Carey (1990) ___________________________________

#1 Vision of Love

First time I heard this song (from Carey’s first album), it seemed soon after, middle and high school girls were preparing their vocals for the next talent show centered on this track. This song served as Carey’s first mark on the music industry, resulting in high reception across the United States and international board. “Vision of Love” reached the #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100, as well in Brazil, New Zealand and Canada.

Memorable Lyrics:

“You treated me kind
Sweet destiny
And I’ll be eternally grateful
Holding you so close to me
Prayed through the nights
So faithfully
Knowing the one that I needed
Would find me eventually”

#2 Someday

I remember the video for this song, which focused on a boy regretting how badly he treated a girl during his youthful school days. We see Carey dancing with hip-hop dancers in the hallways of a high school. It speaks to every “ugly duckling” that once suffered emotional distress over rejection, bullying or teasing. The song went on to win a BMI Pop Award.

Memorable Lyrics:


“Someday oo someday
One you gave away will be the only one you’re wishing for
Someday hey hey
Boy you’re gonna pay ’cause baby I’m the one who’s keeping score”

Daydream (1995) ____________________________________

#3 Fantasy

With this album, we begin to see the influences of hip-hip and R&B within Carey’s work. It gained recognition from the likes of the New York Times and People magazine, stating that it was one of the top ten albums of 1995. The song explores the bliss of being with someone whose company you truly enjoy.

Memorable Lyrics:


“I’m in heaven
With my boyfriend
My laughing boyfriend
There’s no beginning and there is no end
Feels like I’m dreaming but I’m not sleeping
Sweet fantasy
Sweet fantasy”

Butterfly (1997) _________________________________________

#4 Honey

This song was the first single released from the album, “Butterfly.” Writing credits for the song go towards Carey, as well as Q-Tip, Stevie J and Sean Combs (P Diddy), who also appeared in the video. It was the video that also remains quite memorable. It is the first time we see Carey sporting a newer, sexy look as she dives into a pool, emerging in a skimpy, skin-showing outfit. The line between pop and hip-hip was certainly crossed with the creation of this song, which gained two nominations at the Grammy Awards.

#5 The Roof (w/ Mobb Deep)

The song deals with the memory of a sexy rendezvous on top of a roof. Whether or not this is one of Carey’s memories is unclear. Carey sings over the Mobb Deep sample of “Shook Ones Pt. II.” The original song does not feature the Mobb Deep rap, but I prefer the version showcasing their lyrics.

Memorable Lyrics:

“It wasn’t raining yet
But it was definitely a little misty on
That warm November night
And my heart was pounding
My inner voice resounding
Begging me to turn away
But I just had to see your face
To feel alive
And then you casually walked in the room
And I was twisted in the web
Of my desire for you
(And I was twisted)
My apprehension blew away
I only wanted you
To taste my sadness
As you kissed me in the dark


Every time I feel the need
I envision you caressing me
And go back in time
To relive the splendor of you and I
On the rooftop that rainy night”

#6 Breakdown

As Carey continued to collaborate with hip-hop and rap artists, “Breakdown” features the raps of the popular group, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. The song deals with an individual who has recently separated from her love and laments while home alone.

Memorable Lyrics:


“Well I guess I’m trying to be nonchalant about it
And I’m going to extremes to prove I’m fine without you
But in reality I’m slowly losing my my mind
Underneath the guise of a smile gradually I’m dying inside
Friends ask me how I feel and I lie convincingly
‘Cause I don’t want to reveal the fact that I’m suffering
So I wear my disguise ’til I go home at night
And turn down all the lights and then break down and cry”

#7 My All

Latin guitar and chords are presented throughout this track, which became the fifth single from the “Butterfly” album. Carey sings the declarations of a woman who would give her all so that she could enjoy another night with her lover. Quite touching, if you ask me.

Memorable Lyrics:


“I’d give my all to have
Just one more night with you
I’d risk my life to feel
Your body next to mine
‘Cause I can’t go on
Living in the memory of our song
I’d give my all for your love tonight”

The Remixes (2003) _________________________________

The Remixes marked the 13th album for Carey, which was broken into two separate discs. Disc One offered dance remixes, while Disc Two offered hip hop remixes and collaborations.

#8 Sweetheart

Performed with Jermaine Dupri, Carey sings of her sweetheart and how she hopes to live the life of the romances found in storybooks.

Memorable Lyrics:


“Baby, won’t you be my sweetheart
We could share a storybook romance
Won’t you be my sweetheart
We could share a storybook romance
(What you think about,
What you think about you and me baby going one on one)
Just you and I”

Emancipation of Mimi (2005)____________________________________

This album should be called the “Comeback of the Decade.” When Carey returned to the music scene, she came with a BANG. Eventually, the album and songs earned her eight Grammy Award nominations, which was the most she had received in a one-year period. It is viewed as one of the best-received albums for Carey since she began to publicly admit past breakdowns and excessive stress.

#9 We Belong Together

This particular song touches people in many different ways. For me, I think of romance and love, while others interpret the song to speak about a loved one who has passed away. This was the second single released from “Emancipation of Mimi,” which was dubbed the largest hit in 2005. The song put a stronghold on the #1 position on the Billboard’s Hot 100 and remained there for 14 weeks. This marked the longest time a solo artist has ever held this coveted spot.

The video is a continuation from the “It’s Like That” video (first single from “EmancipationâÂ?¦”), which both featured Eric Roberts. A lot of buzz was created in regards to the video because Carey chose to wore the same wedding dress from her failed marriage to Tommy Mottola.

Memorable Lyrics:


“When you left
I lost a part of me
It’s still so hard to believe
Come back baby please
We belong together
Who else am I gonna lean on
When times get rough
Who’s gonna talk to me on the phone
Till the sun comes up
Who’s gonna take your place
Baby nobody else
We belong together”

#10 Shake It Off

Carey effectively belts out her thoughts on leaving a stale relationship with the third single released from the “Emancipation of Mimi” album. The song shot up the charts, picking up where “We Belong Together” left off. The video was an entertaining array of street, high school bleacher and bathtub scenes, where Carey luxuriously flirted inside a petal-filled bubble bath.

Memorable Lyrics:


“I gotta shake you off
Cause the loving ain’t the same
And you keep on playing games
Like you know I’m here to stay
I gotta shake you off
Just like the Calgon commercial
I really gotta get up outta here
And go somewhere
I gotta shake you off
Gotta make that move
Find somebody who
Appreciates all the love I give
Boy I gotta shake you off
Gotta do what’s best for me
Baby and that means I gotta
Shake you off”

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