The Mariah Carey Discography Rate Pt.1 • FINISHED

Time to cut another single . . .


So now I come to you with open arms
Nothing to hide, believe what I say
So here I am with open arms
Hoping you'll see what your love means to me


"Open Arms"

Score: 7.317
High scores: 10×6 (@WhatKindOfKylie?, @GimmeWork, @londonrain, @Slice of Life, @PayMe, @Remorque), 9.5×1 (@RUNAWAY), 9×6 (@P'NutButter, @AdzBrown, @Robsolete, @ysev, @Blond, @RainOnFire)
Low scores: 1×1 (@BreatheBox), 3×2 (@Ana Raquel, @DominoDancing), 3.5×1 (@Aester)
My score: 8.25

5 ballots: #38 (tied), 8.55 avg.
10 ballots: #40, 8.215 avg.
15 ballots: #55, 7.743 avg.
20 ballots: #55, 7.583 avg.
25 ballots: #57, 7.406 avg.
30 ballots: #58, 7.412 avg.
35 ballots: #52, 7.396 avg.
40 ballots: #57, 7.371 avg.
45 ballots: #57, 7.252 avg.
50 ballots: #56, 7.287 avg.
55 ballots: #54, 7.361 avg.
60 ballots: #55, 7.323 avg.
61 ballots: #55, 7.317 avg.

Our next single to fall is "Open Arms", a cover of Journey's 1982 US #2 hit single. It was written and composed by Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain and arranged and produced by Mariah and Walter Afanasieff.

"Open Arms" was released as the third single from "Daydream" outside of the US on December 5, 1995, and was a top ten hit in several countries, including the UK (#4), Ireland (#7), and New Zealand (#8). The single release went on to sell over 260,000 physical copies worldwide. A Spanish language version of the song, titled "El Amor Que Soñé", was included as a bonus track on the Latin American release of "Daydream" and was also used as the single's b-side in Australia. A live performance was used for its music video, but it's blocked in the US; watch it here if you can.

This is gorgeously performed, no surprise. I don't listen to this a lot, but I always enjoy it when I do. Somehow, even though this wasn't released as a single in the US and I didn't listen to this album in full until I was a teenager, I can still remember hearing this as a kid, weirdly... I guess she was just so big at the time that even her album tracks got play or w/e? (or maybe my mind has just completely fabricated this memory dddd)​

@WhatKindOfKylie? (10) — "This is just beautiful. I know that Mariah's take on this Journey classic was a controversial choice and one that didn't exactly get a lot of praise at the time either I believe. In my view though, she takes the song and as she always does with her classic covers, revamps it and makes it her own. I think this is severely underrated compared to the likes of I'll Be There and Without You, which is a huge shame in my book. It's just wonderful on every level."

@GimmeWork (10) — "One of my favorite Mimi covers. Her rendition just feels fresh but classic."

@londonrain (10) — "Way to take a schmaltzy Journey song and infuse it with real heart. Right from her delivery of 'Lying beside you here in the dark' I'm so invested in this story, and she pulls it off with such aplomb."

@Blond (9) — "Not gonna lie, I fucking love the original. Mariah kills it as well."

@Music Is Life (8.5) — "A cover of a Journey song (random but okay) this is pretty good. I don't know the original, so I can't compare the two, but this suits her lyrically, and the production and her vocals are great."

@Seventeen Days (8.5) — "The first time I listened to this, I had no clue it was a cover. Then I listened to the original and... well let's just say Mariah could run circles around Steve Perry and Journey. Can you imagine if she covered 'Don't Stop Believin''? Those high notes, yas."

@pop3blow2 (7.7) — "Just a bit unneeded. Without You part 2... and that song was kinda unneeded. I personally think Mariah was a bit over all this AC ballad stuff by this time, but 'had' to include stuff like on her albums. She wanted to be more stuff like Fantasy & Underneath... and I think the powers that be still wanted her to be everything to everybody."

@bonnieetclyde (7.5) — "beautiful lyrics. Lovely arrangement. I don't know the original however."

@abael (7) — "Vocally powerful, emotionally bereft."

@nikkysan (7) — "This gets a bit of flack from stans and I never really understood why? It's a solid cover and I've never even heard the original."

@Veeis (7) — "I wasn't really a fan of it but I like it more now. It's nice showstopper on Daydream after 3 huge tracks."

@Oceandrive (7) — "The cover version that absolutely no one ever asked for. It kinda works though."

@godspeed (6.5) — "'Open Arms' is the mandatory 80s rock cover of the album. It's cute and vocally Mariah truly hit a peak with this album in my opinion, so just for the vocals alone this track is worth your time. It's not necessarily a song that I would skip but it's by far the less memorable thing on Daydream."

@Imagineitwasus (6) — "So-so."

@DominoDancing (3) — "And this is just boring and feels like it consists of nothing but the same long belted notes over and over. I actually really like some of Mariah's 80s rock ballad covers (especially Bringin' On The Heartbreak), but this is really not it for me."

@BreatheBox (1) — "boring ass cover...can't believe it was a single and was (kinda) heavily promoted."​


y'all ballad haters need to cease and desist immediately, thanks.
The majority of our first 20 eliminations were Walter Afanasieff co-productions . . .

Will we be cutting the C+C Music Factory tracks in quick succession now?

It sure seems that way . . .


I've been around you
A thousand times before
And you've always been a friend to me
But now I'm wanting more


"I've Been Thinking About You"

Score: 7.346
High scores: 10×3 (@Music Is Life, @WhatKindOfKylie?, @Tigerlily), 9.5×1 (@codecat), 9×6 (@soratami, @Pinky25, @Ana Raquel, @londonrain, @Blond, @Posh Spears)
Low scores: 1×1 (@CasuallyCrazed), 4×1 (@RainOnFire), 5×4 (@EricG1990, @godspeed, @japanbonustrack, @Lost In Japan.)
My score: 8.75

5 ballots: #41, 8.35 avg.
10 ballots: #51, 7.685 avg.
15 ballots: #61, 7.49 avg.
20 ballots: #54, 7.593 avg.
25 ballots: #46, 7.814 avg.
30 ballots: #49, 7.678 avg.
35 ballots: #51, 7.41 avg.
40 ballots: #50, 7.471 avg.
45 ballots: #52, 7.474 avg.
50 ballots: #55, 7.337 avg.
55 ballots: #53, 7.365 avg.
60 ballots: #52, 7.368 avg.
61 ballots: #53, 7.346 avg.

"I've Been Thinking About You" is the ninth track from "Music Box". Its lyrics were written by Mariah and David Cole and it was composed, arranged, and produced by Mariah alongside Robert Clivillés and David Cole (aka C+C Music Factory). "I've Been Thinking About You" samples both Melvin Bliss' 1973 single "Synthetic Substitution" and Slave's 1979 US Hot R&B #9 hit "Just A Touch Of Love".

What a B O P, honestly. I think Mariah's / the label's single choices were mostly pretty spot on for the early albums, but not releasing this feels like such a missed opportunity to me! A Jermaine Dupri-produced radio edit fully leaning into the R&B elements of the track and a couple of extended C+C dance mixes on the maxi-single and I think this could've easily been another huge hit for her. Plus, I can just envision the funky early-'90s music video it would have received... oh, well. It's still a bop.​

@Music Is Life (10) — "Another up-beat dance song, this had me bouncing and singing in no time. So good, I especially love the production on this one."

@WhatKindOfKylie? (10) — "Her first real foray into a more R&B banger I think. And one that would nicely sit on her next two albums as a result in my book. Adds a nice bit of uptempo oomph to the ballad heavy Music Box album."

@Ana Raquel (9) — "Another bop after three ballads what a blessing."

@londonrain (9) — "Such a classic nineties sound and I'm so here for it."

@Blond (9) — "This 90's R&B production is so up my street. Amazing."

@Posh Spears (9) — "We love a banger hidden amongst ballads."

@ohaimanabu (8) — "Man, I love me some urbanriah!"

@abael (8) — "The track may be kind of simple but it's a new direction for Mariah that I enjoyed and suits her pretty well."

@pop3blow2 (8) — "A decent bop... I did always think the album tailed off a bit (even though I wouldn't admit it to many... haha!)"

@evilsin (8) — "The bee-bee-beem synth in the background is everything."

@Seventeen Days (8) — "I was lowkey hoping this was Mariah covering the Londonbeat track, but this is just as good. Definitely a catchy track, I love the beat."

@bonnieetclyde (7.5) — "almost sounds like a track from Christina's debut [which I love FYI]. It's another toe-dipped into that R&B/pop sound that she would later move into more and more. A nice bop."

@Veeis (7.5) — "It's fun and that middle-8 is great."

@Imagineitwasus (7) — "A cute urbanish thing. I cannot help hearing Ariana's 'Too Close' over it."

@If You Go (7) — "In the grand scheme of Mariah up-tempos I don't rate this one too highly, but it certainly sounds great between two of her most boring ballads!"

@DominoDancing (6) — "Not nearly as memorable as Now That I Know."

@Oceandrive (6) — "Genuinely the part of music box where everything seems to blur into one."

@godspeed (5) — "This could have used a hip hop remix in my opinion to really make an impact. It would have been a nice touch, probably. Just like most songs on Music Box, it is for me unfortunately very underwhelming."

@japanbonustrack (5) — "Obvious filler."​