The Mariah Carey Discography Rate Pt.1 • FINISHED


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@vague managing to run a Mariah rate of such an incredible standard that even certified Mariah hater @berserkboi is following it?




Staff member
I honestly don't want to open this can of worms in this thread. Let's just say I don't quite get the hype of Butterfly...
Okay, I’m probably unusual among lambs in that Butterfly isn’t my favourite Mariah album, but it’s still easily in my top five albums by her. Her shift into an R&B sound on that album is what really got me into the genre and made me the R&B fan I am now.
Thanks for tagging me to participate in this rate @vague

Sorry I didn’t, but when I found out about the rate I didn’t have much time as I’ve been on holiday. Also, although I’ve had Greatest Hits for years I’ve only started getting into Mariah’s back catalogue since buying and loving Caution. Therefore most of these songs are quite new to me, so I didn’t want to do them dirty after only a few listens.

I’m following the rate though and looking forward to learning more about Mariah and her songs and finding out the definitive PJ stance on them. After catching up on the start to date I’ve been inspired to play an album as I’ve been reading. Today I’ve chosen Daydream. Not long listened to Long Ago, what a tune.

Also, I was surprised to see Do You Know Where You’re Going to out so early. That would have been one I’d have rated fairly highly.
Those of you wishing for "Emotions" and "Music Box" to get a break are in luck, 'cause neither cut today is from those two albums...


With no beginning and without an end
You are the one for me and it's evident
And your eyes told me so, yeah
Your eyes let me know


"When I Saw You"

Score: 7.016
High scores: 10×3 (@playboy69, @EricG1990, @tylerc904), 9.5×1 (@Daniel_O), 9×1 (@ohaimanabu)
Low scores: 3×2 (@Ana Raquel, @Sail On), 4×2 (@If You Go, @Aester), 5×5 (@Imagineitwasus, @Tigerlily, @soratami, @Hurricane Drunk, @codecat)
My score: 8.75

5 ballots: #43 (tied), 8.25 avg.
10 ballots: #62, 7.435 avg.
15 ballots: #59, 7.557 avg.
20 ballots: #58, 7.493 avg.
25 ballots: #64, 7.154 avg.
30 ballots: #64, 7.168 avg.
35 ballots: #60, 7.144 avg.
40 ballots: #64, 7.001 avg.
45 ballots: #64, 7.022 avg.
50 ballots: #62, 7.05 avg.
55 ballots: #63, 7.073 avg.
60 ballots: #67, 7 avg.
61 ballots: #67, 7.016 avg.

"When I Saw You" is the seventh track from Mariah's fifth studio album "Daydream". As is the norm so far for this rate, the song was composed, arranged, and produced by Mariah and Walter Afanasieff, with its lyrics written solely by Mariah.

God, this is just melodically and vocally stunning. And even though this is one of her more melisma-heavy tracks, it still feels rather restrained to me oddly? There's not really a huge vocal climax where she lets loose with her whistles or a big, belted glory note or w/e (I mean, sure, the middle 8 comes pretty close, but the point still stands ddd). Her falsetto has always been one of my favorite aspects of her vocal prowess, too, and it's used masterfully here, giving the song a really soft, airy quality that perfectly encapsulates the feeling of falling in love at first sight that she's singing about. Simply a gorgeous, gorgeous song. It's really a pity this was never performed live.​

@tylerc904 (10) — "I know it's a bit simplistic, but I love it."

@ohaimanabu (9) — "Fun fact: Gackt (JPop star) plagiarized the lyrics of this song for a Malice Mizer song in the 90s! Her impact." (is he the one who had a single with AOA?)

@japanbonustrack (8.5) — "Reminds me of someone I had a crush on. Really sad stuff."

@Music Is Life (8) — "Okay, this is kind of cheesy, but it's still got great vocals and production, and to be honest the lyrics really aren't that bad. Kind of more of the same from her, but that's fine."

@godspeed (8) — "To me, beyond 'One Sweet Day' and 'Underneath The Stars,' there are two other classic ballads on Daydream. One of them is 'Melt Away' and the other one is 'When I Saw You.' Lyrically speaking, the latter might not be as stellar as other songs on the album, such as 'I Am Free' for example, but that chorus is just so beautiful and makes you wanna belt along every damn time. 'When I Saw You' is the kind of big ballad Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff knew how to craft so well and could have been, in my opinion, another big hit single for Mariah."

@londonrain (8) — "A very straightforward song in terms of that chord progression (which has been used to death in pop) but it hits in all the right places. I'm not sure about her use of the word 'wakening', though." (dddd for years i thot the line was 'weakening you inside'. tbh it still sounds like that's what she's singing to me)

@DominoDancing (7.5) — "Quite lovely, I especially like the descending chorus melody."

@pop3blow2 (7.2) — "A bit redundant in her catalog both sonically & lyrically. Just sounds like a b-side. I mean, parts of this song sound directly lifted from One Sweet Day. Wasted track on such an overall classic album. Also two back-to-back ballads here was a weird choice & sort of messes up the albums flow."

@WhatKindOfKylie? (7) — "The most classic sounding Mariah track from the 90's on this album. To be honest, am almost surprised Sony didn't push for it as a single. Kinda glad they didn't, but good song though."

@Jimmyandroid (7) — "I loved this song when I was 12. I was set homework to write a song for Romeo and Juliet and just submitted the lyrics to this. I was appalled when my English teacher felt the need to suggest amendments." (oh my god)

@Seventeen Days
(7) — "A bit 'generic ballad', but still some great vocals from Mariah, as always."

@bonnieetclyde (6.5) — "you can't fault Mariah's voice here but the song is basic and a tad dull."

@abael (6) — "Nice, but nothing special."

@Veeis (6) — "Her vocals and the way she sings here is so bizarre to me."

@Imagineitwasus (5) — "This is vertiginous, in the wrong sense. This goes too far in the melisma territory."

@If You Go (4) — "This song is almost good. It has the makings of a great 90's ballad with a great twinkling production, but something is off, the chorus doesn't hold up to the verses and comes across as weak particularly the repetition of the title in the chorus, something about that irks me so much! Basically 'Forever' does what it's trying to do much better."​



Staff member
How many acts can pull off "Dawn's ribbon of light bursts through the dark" in a pop song without sounding awkward? Mariah's lyrics remain iconic.

More ambivalent I'd say...
In the words of Mariah herself:

"Don't be ambivalent towards me."

I came into this fully blind to what the prevailing opinions over Mariahs discography was, just going over my album averages and found that to be the case. At this point I feel essentially like a psychic unconsciously sabotaging myself.
This was my approach to the Sugababes rate (which was my first ever rate on the forum), and my 11 ended up winning the rate despite (in my opinion at the time) being an obscure album track that people don't usually talk about... so maybe the same will happen to you.

When I Saw You is definitely part of a collection of songs on Daydream that, while saved somewhat by their perfect execution, feel like they could have been (standouts) on Music Box. That said.... it went way too soon.
Like way too soon. Should have been top 30.