Mariah Carey’s “Charmbracelet”

Released: December 3, 2002

Genre: R&B

Label: MonarC • Island

Producer: Mariah Carey • Lyor Cohen • Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis • Just Blaze • Randy Jackson • Jermaine Dupri • Damizza • Dre & Vidal • James “Big Jim” Wright • Bryan-Michael Cox


The early 2000s was a huge time of commercial and personal turmoil in Mariah Carey’s life. Despite that, Mariah Carey remained one of the most successfully commercial artists of all time.

After the poor reception of Mariah’s debut film and accompanying soundtrack Glitter, her controversial appearance on TRL, being let go from her label at the time and hospitalized among other things, she eventually traveled to Capri and started writing for her follow up album, which was eventually titled Charmbracelet.

Released December 3, 2002 by Island Records and Mariah’s own label MonarC Entertainment, Charmbracelet is a homage to Mariah’s R&B & soul roots. People like to discuss Charmbracelet as a “comeback” album, but Mariah has never left? Mariah Carey’s consistency during the 90s and early 2000s was and is STILL truly unmatched. With a central theme of love, Charmbracelet is also an album with elements of soul, R&B, pop, gospel, heavy rock and more.

Selling 241,000 copies the first week, the album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 & number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop charts respectively. The album has since been certified platinum by the RIAA, and is one off the most beloved albums in her discography by her loyal fan base.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Mariah Carey’s Charmbracelet.

Through the Rain

Written by Mariah Carey ・Lionel Cole

And every time I feel afraid

I hold tighter to my faith

And I live one more day

And I make it through the rain

-Mariah Carey, 2002.

Through the Rain opens the album, and is the perfect song to do so. From a lyrical perspective, the song has an inspirational message of inner strength and serves as a metaphor for perseverance and getting through the troubles in our lives.

Produced by the immaculate Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Through the Rain is one of Mariah’s strongest songs vocally and I stand on that. The song was a hit record in the UK, peaking in the top ten on the pop & R&B charts respectively.

Boy (I Need You) featuring Cam’ron

Written by Mariah Carey ・Justin Smith ・Norman Whitfield ・Cameron Giles

Boy (I Need You) is a song! Produced by Mariah & Just Blaze, the song is considered to be one of the singer’s favorites from the album. A reworked version of Cam’ron’s hit 2002 single Oh Boy, the songs are built around a sample of Rose Royce’s I’m Going Down.

The One

Written by Mariah Carey ・Bryan-Michael Cox ・Jermaine Dupri

I love The One!! From what we know of Mariah’s love life, she’s had her share of heartbreak. From a lyrical perspective, The One speaks on finally meeting someone that could potentially be the one…but the fear of being hurt again literally scares the singer from pursuing that love that they’re worthy of getting from someone. I love the remix that features Bone Crusher.


Written by Mariah Carey ・James Harris III ・Terry Lewis ・James Wright

When Mariah collaborates with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, you know it’s going to be a wonderful thing, and Yours is definitely one of those moments for sure. Using a soft whistle register, Mariah sings about the beauty of belonging in a wonderful love.

You Got Me featuring Jay-Z & Freeway

Written by Mariah Carey ・Shawn Carter ・Leslie Pridgen ・Justin Smith

You Got Me is truly a song! With features from Freeway & frequent collaborator Jay-Z, You Got Me should’ve been released as a single, cause whew, it is truly another masterpiece from Mariah & Just Blaze on the production tip.

I Only Wanted

Written by Mariah Carey ・Lionel Cole

I Only Wanted is truly a gem in Mariah’s catalog overall. & Mariah can stop reading my mind cause whew chile. From a lyrical perspective, the song speaks to wanting for their lover to be there and allow their words to mean something. Pretty positive it should be quoted in the Bible.


Written by Mariah Carey ・Vidal Davis ・Andre Harris

Nobody cares when the tears of a clown fall down..

Mariah Carey, 2002

One thing about Mariah, is she’s going to choose violence!! Clown is a direct response to rapper Eminem after his claims that he and Mariah had a romantic relationship. Clearly he was delusional, because the singer went in the booth on straight business chile. He lied about having sexual relations with Mariah and among other things, prompting a feud that has gone on for years. Mariah’s 2009 hit single Obsessed was also another record about the rapper.

My Saving Grace

Written by Mariah Carey ・Kenneth Crouch ・Randy Jackson ・Trevor Lawrence

A Mariah album is always going to have a record that has gospel influence, if it isn’t a gospel song in the first place. My Saving Grace serves as an autobiographical piece for Mariah and speaks of how God really saved her during the trails and tribulations that she has gone through.

You Had Your Chance

Written by Mariah Carey ・Bryan-Michael Cox ・Jermaine Dupri ・Leon Haywood

You Had Your Chance is a song that speaks to Mariah being fed up with someone who blew his chances at a promising love romance and that she no longer will not be a fool for this man. The song heavily samples Leon Haywood’s I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You.


Written by Mariah Carey ・Vidal Davis ・Andre Harris

Lullaby serves as a continuation of Mariah’s song The Roof from her 1997 Butterfly album.

Irresistible (West Side Connection) featuring Westside Connection)

Written by Mariah Carey ・O’Shea Jackson ・Quincy Jones III ・Theodore Life ・ Dexter Wansel ・Damion Young

Irresistible (West Side Connection) is a SONG for your ass! Featuring the hip-hop supergroup Westside Connection (Ice Cube, Mack 10 & WC,) Irresistible speaks about how she tries to pull away from him, something keeps her coming back. The song heavily samples The Show Is Over by Evelyn “Champagne” King..which ironically Ice Cube sampled for his song You Know How We Do It.

Subtle Invitation

Written by Mariah Carey ・Marcus Vest ・Randy Jackson ・Kenneth Crouch ・Lloyd Smith ・Rob Bacon

Subtle Invitation is my favorite song from the album 100%, and is proof that we need a jazz album from the Queen. Subtle Invitation is a song where the singer subliminally invites a former flame to reach out if he ever wants to rekindle their romance.

Bringin’ on the Heartbreak

Written by Steve Clark ・Joe Elliott ・Pete Willis

It wouldn’t be a Mariah album, if she didn’t include a song that she covers. Bringin’ On the Heartbreak was originally recorded by the English rock band Def Leppard, being the second single from their 1981 album High ‘n’ Dry.

Sunflowers for Alfred Roy

Written by Mariah Carey ・Lionel Cole

Sunflowers for Alfred Roy is a song dedicated to her father, who passed away from Cancer while Mariah was working on this album.

Alfred Roy Carey.

The song is a beautiful ode to Mariah & Alfred’s relationship which was complex at times. Speaking that this was a very personal song for the singer, an important message I want people to get from this song is Mariah found herself at peace with her past with her father and that bitterness isn’t worth holding on to if it is absolutely repairable. Rest peacefully Mr. Carey.

Mariah Carey, Alfred Roy Carey & Shawn McDonald, Mariah’s nephew.

Through the Rain (Remix) featuring Joe & Kelly Price

Written by Mariah Carey ・Randy Jackson ・Kenneth Crouch

Through the Rain (Remix) closes out the album with features from Joe & Kelly Price, who sang background for Mariah Carey for years before embarking on her solo career.

Charmbracelet didn’t receive the commercial attention it receives and is truly one of her underrated works. The album truly serves its purpose of being one of the best R&B albums from the 2000s. -MW

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