Mariah Carey (a.k.a. “Mimi”) may have been quieter musically as of late, though she has recently revealed that she intends on releasing a new album later this year in a method similar to the self-titled surprise album Beyonce released back in 2013. Carey has released 13 studio albums over the course of her career thus far, and she has sold over 200 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling musical artists in history.
With that many albums to her credit, you just know that there are some great songs the casual Mariah Carey fan may have missed. Surely, we can’t list them all here, so we’re giving you our five favorites from the ‘90s, her best decade so far.
5. “And You Don’t Remember” (from the album Emotions)
The second track on Emotions, “And You Don’t Remember,” captures perfectly the young broken heart. It was co-written by Carey and Walter Afanasieff, the latter of which has co-written several of Carey’s most beloved tunes over the years, including “Hero” from Music Box and “One Sweet Day” (with Boyz II Men) from Daydream.
4. “Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)” (from the album Butterfly)
Normally, we find reprises to be throwaway filler tracks, but “Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)” is appropriate here. While hit song “Butterfly” mimicked the sad joy one feels at watching someone “spread [their] wings and fly away,” the reprise feels like the celebration of the butterfly leaving the cocoon. Plus, this track was co-written by none other than Elton John and Bernie Taupin, so really, how could you go wrong?
3. “Now That I Know” (from the album Music Box)
“Now That I Know,” the fifth track from Music Box, encapsulates that “I want to shout it from the rooftops” kind of feeling that stems from when one’s affection is returned. On an album that is otherwise full of tender, poignant ballads, like its title track, “Hero,” and “Without You” (to name a few), “Now That I Know” is a welcome shift into more of an upbeat dance territory.
2. “Whenever You Call” (from the album Butterfly)
Despite releasing five of the twelve tracks on Butterfly as singles, we were still able to include two of the remaining songs that impressed us from the album. Butterfly was a solid effort, and it showed Carey’s versatility as she dipped her toes into the world of R&B. That being said, “Whenever You Call,” the ninth track on the album, still gives us chills to this day. It calls back to Carey's younger days when she was the queen of power ballads, and its sentiment is simple yet relatable.
1. “Looking In” (from the album Daydream)
Another Carey/Afanasieff track, “Looking In,” the last song on Daydream, was the companion to every ‘90s high schooler who felt like no one understood him or her. One of Carey’s most endearing qualities is how she often inserts “big words” into her lyrics (with “disenchanted” being the case in point here), proving that she has always been more than a (sexy body and) pretty face.