Favorites: Can’t Let Go, If it’s Over, You’re so Cold, So Blessed, And You Don’t Remember, The Wind, Emotions, Make it Happen & ‘Till the End of Time
September 17th, 1991 was the day Mariah Carey released her second studio album, Emotions. After the huge success that her self-titled debut album was, the anticipation for her next studio effort was high in the clouds. Although Emotions was not as huge as it’s predecessor, it’s cemented her status as the DIVA with the incredible vocals she is today..at the tender age of 21.
It was hard to avoid Mariah Carey in the 1990s. She had a hit single (or more,) almost every single year in that decade, she released albums like clockwork and was the best selling artist from the 90s easily. I know when I was a kid, I loved songs like Fantasy, Heartbreaker, Honey, Vision of Love, etc..but when I became older, I sat and listen to Mariah’s discography and was appreciative of what she’s brought to the table in her 20+ year career. The album that had me hooked the most, was Emotions.
Her fifth #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 (which is also the same name as the album,) is the only memorable thing to come from the album in music fans eyes. However in MY eyes, Emotions is a memorable album, and very underrated when it comes to her bigger works like Daydream, Butterfly & The Emancipation of Mimi. Emotions was far from a sophomore slump, but critics at that time felt it was dull, and that her voice only made the album great (which meant the songs didn’t have any substance. I personally think they did, but those critics can sail on).
I think Emotions is a winner, because each song pays tribute to the Motown sound…and/or gives you a 50s, 60s feel when you are listening to it. If It’s Over alone, is a doo-wop song that sounds like something her idol Aretha could have recorded.
Every single song tells a story, whether if it’s someone making you feel like you’re on top of the world, or fail to remember how you loved them, or can’t let go of their sorry butt..Emotions is IT!!!! Her best vocal work at that moment, Emotions gives you chills! If you don’t get chills from the first minute of “You’re So Cold,” you just don’t get why I am IN LOVE with Mariah Carey.
Side note: I am STILL upset with Columbia for not going through with You’re So Cold being the album’s first single. I am positive it would’ve been a HIT!
Make It Happen is a standout track on Emotions for me, because it got me through the toughest times in my life. I struggled with insecurities, depression, suicide the fear of being a failure at life, and my sexuality.
Make It Happen feels like a personal testimony from Mariah, telling me: “Markiz, I have went through similar situations like yourself. I worked various jobs to make ends meet too! I barely had more than one pairs of shoes, and everything else. You have to keep going, and hold on the faith that you will prevail and SUCCEED.”
One thing I love about Emotions, is MARIAH’S PEN. She is beyond slept on, in regards to songwriting..and I just don’t understand it. Her best work sits on this album, and you cannot tell me anything different. Can’t Let Go, The Carole King & MC masterpiece If It’s Over..I mean every song is not an album filler to me. Skips cancelled.
The album track ‘Till the End of Time is my all time favorite, and has to be played in heavy rotation at my wedding. “the end of time” is the most beautifully written song I have ever heard. It sets the mood for what’s to come (ballad wise) from Mariah on Music Box, and even Daydream. It also serves as an interlude to the tear jerking jazz ballad “The Wind.”
With The Wind closing the album, it is the tale of a loved one gone too soon. It reminds me instantly of my family members and friends that meant the world to me..being taken away at a young age.
The underlying message for this entire review is to show love & appreciation for this album, as it is lost and often neglected for her bigger albums. If you ever want to start listening to Mariah’s discography, I recommend starting with Emotions. If you ask me, it is her best album in regards of vocals…from her early days. I am not even being a diehard when I state how I feel about this album.
It does not matter if you are young, or old…this album sends the message of love, heartbreak & hope through gospel/motown-inspired songs. Mariah proved and worked hard early in her career, to do what she does today. She has been broken and put together so many times, that it’s impossible for her to be human…The way she always comes out a winner is astounding..just like her discography.
As we wait for her next studio album..it’s so obvious that we cannot let go of the songbird supreme. With a voice like hers…do you blame us? – MJ.
Stream EMOTIONS HERE: