Mariah Carey - The Rarities OUT NOW

Whatevar

OH LORD THEY DO TRY
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
11,372
Location
Devon
I think the very beginning of her vocal decline was probably during the recording of Butterfly. It's very hard to tell because she sings in a generally much smaller range across the Butterfly album compared to before - almost no belting whatsoever - which is clearly a deliberate choice but makes it much tougher to decipher when the decline actually began and which part of her voice it punished first. I've heard people claiming her singing technique while recording Butterfly is actually what damaged her vocal chords, because that "whisper singing" (sorry I don't know the technical term) is supposedly much worse for the vocal instrument than full use of your range. but who knows.
What are you on about? The vocals on Butterfly probably showcase her range more than ever. Yes her whisper register is more prevalent than before but there’s HUGE full on belting on loads of tracks, it’s just done in a more subtle way - usually saved till the climax. I really don’t see how anyone could argue that her voice was “damaged” at this point.
 

Whatevar

OH LORD THEY DO TRY
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
11,372
Location
Devon
Rainbow also has pretty amazing vocals. I can’t think of a track where she sounds off, apart from maybe After Tonight but I think that’s more down do poor vocal production.

Glitter was the first time I noticed any vocal decline and we all know why that was.
 

Suedey

C'est SEX.
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
56,166
I distinctly remember the reviews & interviews at the time and I agree entirely with @Whatevar : her vocal technique on Butterfly was definitely intentional and had nothing to do with any 'decline'.

Yes, of course, her vocals have declined over age but name one singer, male or female, in the entertainment/pop industry whose voice has not declined over age? Touring, live singing, recording and, yes, age takes its toll on vocals just like anything else really.
 

Suedey

C'est SEX.
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
56,166
Rainbow also has pretty amazing vocals. I can’t think of a track where she sounds off, apart from maybe After Tonight but I think that’s more down do poor vocal production.

Glitter was the first time I noticed any vocal decline and we all know why that was.

'Through the Rain' was the first time I noticed clear evidence of a decline but yeah, Glitter makes more sense..
 

Jark

we did it for fun, we did it for free
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Messages
40,771
Location
Ams
I agree entirely with @Whatevar : her vocal technique on Butterfly was definitely intentional and had nothing to do with any 'decline'.
but that's not what I said hun, try reading. I said her intentional vocal technique in recording Butterfly was probably responsible for vocal chord damage. It's not a stretch given that on Rainbow she sounds quite tired and there's a distinct lack of the previous rich quality her vocals had, even though her range is in tact. Age can also play a part, yes, but she was only 29 at the time.
 
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
2,218
Location
Ireland
Emotions is better than Music Box. Emotions is her most underrated album by far. It always feels a bit forgotten, even by the core fanbase, sandwiched between the debut with its iconic run of singles and Music Box being a huge multiplatinum phenomenon, but Emotions is by far the tightest of her first four records, as well as being the most fun, most sonically varied, and introducing the next-level songwriting that would define her 90s discography.

Sooo true.
 

Suedey

C'est SEX.
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
56,166
Emotions is better than Music Box. Emotions is her most underrated album by far. It always feels a bit forgotten, even by the core fanbase, sandwiched between the debut with its iconic run of singles and Music Box being a huge multiplatinum phenomenon, but Emotions is by far the tightest of her first four records, as well as being the most fun, most sonically varied, and introducing the next-level songwriting that would define her 90s discography.
No lies detected!
 

Suedey

C'est SEX.
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
56,166
but that's not what I said hun, try reading. I said her intentional vocal technique in recording Butterfly was probably responsible for vocal chord damage. It's not a stretch given that on Rainbow she sounds quite tired and there's a distinct lack of the previous rich quality her vocals had, even though her range is in tact. Age can also play a part, yes, but she was only 29 at the time.
Hun I did read and I really can't see how that could cause such damage though. Recording sessions are a fairly safe environment for a singer, and in spite of repeated takes etc. to record one album, from a clinical perspective, it just doesn't make sense to cause permanent vocal damage from recording sessions for one album. Unless of course there was drugs/alcohol/smoking involved, which we all know was not the case. Now if she had gone on a 200-date world tour where she sang live night after night after night in that technique, fair enough, but not just from recording.



Read U wrote U.
 

Whatevar

OH LORD THEY DO TRY
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
11,372
Location
Devon
but that's not what I said hun, try reading. I said her intentional vocal technique in recording Butterfly was probably responsible for vocal chord damage. It's not a stretch given that on Rainbow she sounds quite tired and there's a distinct lack of the previous rich quality her vocals had, even though her range is in tact. Age can also play a part, yes, but she was only 29 at the time.
This is what you said:

I think the very beginning of her vocal decline was probably during the recording of Butterfly. It's very hard to tell because she sings in a generally much smaller range across the Butterfly album compared to before - almost no belting whatsoever

Which isn’t the case.
 

dUb

EXCITING WEIRD
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
34,414
I know they're great but I still don't really claim the debut and Emotions as much as everything else. Merely because I wasn't aware of them at the time, and my fandom/standom/lambdom started with Music Box

Well that's because my sisters never stopped playing it and I had to buy Daydream myself because they'd decided they hated her by the time that came out :(
 

Whatevar

OH LORD THEY DO TRY
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
11,372
Location
Devon
Major lavish virtuoso belting on Butterfly, My All, Breakdown, Whenever You Call, Outside and many more
 

Jark

we did it for fun, we did it for free
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Messages
40,771
Location
Ams
This is what you said:

I think the very beginning of her vocal decline was probably during the recording of Butterfly. It's very hard to tell because she sings in a generally much smaller range across the Butterfly album compared to before - almost no belting whatsoever

Which isn’t the case.
she does sing in a much smaller vocal range across the album. it's not in question
 

Suedey

C'est SEX.
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
56,166
I know they're great but I still don't really claim the debut and Emotions as much as everything else. Merely because I wasn't aware of them at the time, and my fandom/standom/lambdom started with Music Box

Well that's because my sisters never stopped playing it and I had to buy Daydream myself because they'd decided they hated her by the time that came out :(
Well I became aware of Mariah with 'Make it Happen' (in fact it was the first song of hers I ever heard, at the age of 12) and I loved it. Music Box came shortly afterwards and I was obsessed. I knew every single lyric and note on that album by heart. Of course my card carrying Madonna stan days were in full drive with the Erotica backlash, and in many ways Mariah was the anti-Madonna for me but it worked. It was a nice antidote to go home after school and listen to Erotica and then wash myself clean afterwards with Music Box.

But by the time Daydream came around she got too schmaltzy and commercial for me and I had discovered indie music, so I had my own Mariah backlash. But less about me more about The Rarities.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dUb

Whatevar

OH LORD THEY DO TRY
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
11,372
Location
Devon
YES but me listening to Against All Odds for the first time and hearing that cracking on the climax I was very much

I don’t share that memory but I’ll go back and listen to it 10 times.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dUb

Jark

we did it for fun, we did it for free
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Messages
40,771
Location
Ams
I know the album so well hun that your opinion of my opinion doesn't bother me much :D sorry
 

dUb

EXCITING WEIRD
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
34,414
I don’t share that memory but I’ll go back and listen to it 10 times.
Listening to it, I would DIE for that kind of vocal now and I'm sure MANY would claim it's simply a stylistic choice to express the emotion of the moment but I couldn't help feeling that something was UP

was i wrong
 
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
2,218
Location
Ireland
The vocal decline/change/maturation/whatevah had clearly begun by Butterfly. Maybe it was always going to change as she aged, and it’s not that she didn’t still sound uhmayzing, but you can definitely hear it by 1997. Even Daydream didn’t have quite the same effortless vocal as before.
 

Loufoque

BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
65,199
The idea that Whenever You Call, Butterfly and My All - some of her most difficult and vocally-acrobatic vocal climaxes EVER - signal a vocal "decline" is certainly... an opinion
 

Loufoque

BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
65,199
Live, her vocals during the Butterfly era were certainly weakened, but the studio recordings were recorded during the Daydream promotion / tour cycle, when she was at her most powerful, gymnastic and resonant.
 

Loufoque

BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
65,199
And YAS to the Emotions stans. The atmospheric ballads on that album (Can't Let Go, Til The End of Time, The Wind, If It's Over) are all top drawer, and sound fall less schmaltzy than the Music Box downtempos. And then there are those classic uptempos that give us that unique post-disco gospel-bop sound.
 
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
2,218
Location
Ireland
The idea that Whenever You Call, Butterfly and My All - some of her most difficult and vocally-acrobatic vocal climaxes EVER - signal a vocal "decline" is certainly... an opinion

Completely disagree. She sounds incredible, but there’s a LOT more switching between airy and chest voice going on in all of those. She doesn’t sound anywhere near as smooth and ‘elastic’ as she did before. I noticed at the time immediately.
 

funky

User
Joined
Apr 30, 2004
Messages
81,277
The vocal decline/change/maturation/whatevah had clearly begun by Butterfly. Maybe it was always going to change as she aged, and it’s not that she didn’t still sound uhmayzing, but you can definitely hear it by 1997. Even Daydream didn’t have quite the same effortless vocal as before.

I was about to say, you can definitely hear a decline on Butterfly. At the time it didn’t really matter because the quality of the music was so strong, her perfect marriage of pop and R&B, no other Mariah album has found that mix as well. But while she still hits the notes on the big ballads, the effortless technique has gone. Her voice has aged, if not spent, on these recordings. Compare to anything from the first 3 albums for context.

i always thought the dependency on her higher register was a reaction to her vocal restrictions - not because she couldn’t, but because she needed more of a range of sounds if she was going to be able to sing live for another 20 years. Butterfly was all about future proofing. Alicia Keys has done the same on her last 2 album, albeit with less success.
 

funky

User
Joined
Apr 30, 2004
Messages
81,277
Completely disagree. She sounds incredible, but there’s a LOT more switching between airy and chest voice going on in all of those. She doesn’t sound anywhere near as smooth and ‘elastic’ as she did before. I noticed at the time immediately.

100%. I remember hearing it when I first listened to the album. But it didn’t bother me until RAinbow.
 

funky

User
Joined
Apr 30, 2004
Messages
81,277
Also you know Lou is THAT hardcore queen when I give my most positive review of Mariah in over 20 years, and he gives me one sentence of “oh thx hun” and 7 paragraphs of “fuck you funky and your poison”.

I mean I try. I do try :(
 

dUb

EXCITING WEIRD
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
34,414
Ranking the NEW songs (+ Loverboy)

All I Live For
Out Here On My Own
Loverboy - Firecracker - Original Version
Here We Go Around Again
Mesmerized

Can You Hear Me
Lullaby of Birdland
One Night
Cool On You

I Pray
Save The Day
 
Last edited:

Loufoque

BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
65,199
Also you know Lou is THAT hardcore queen when I give my most positive review of Mariah in over 20 years, and he gives me one sentence of “oh thx hun” and 7 paragraphs of “fuck you funky and your poison”.

I mean I try. I do try :(
I appreciated the intention. I just didn't live for the substance :basil:
 

Loufoque

BATTLE FOR YOUR LIFE
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
65,199
My updated rank / rate
  1. Everything Fades Away (13)
  2. Loverboy (11)
  3. Out Here On My Own (10)
  4. Slipping Away (10)
  5. Mesmerized (9)
  6. One Night (9)
  7. Here We Go Around Again (8)
  8. Do You Think of Me? (8)
  9. Cool On You (8)
  10. Can You Hear Me? (7)
  11. All I Live For (7)
  12. Save The Day (7)
  13. Close My Eyes (7)
  14. Lullaby of Birdland (7)
  15. I Pray (5)
 
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
2,218
Location
Ireland
I know they're great but I still don't really claim the debut and Emotions as much as everything else. Merely because I wasn't aware of them at the time, and my fandom/standom/lambdom started with Music Box

You're AFFLICTED with the same condition as those Mariah Report podcast guys. I sometimes want to UNSUBSCRIBE when I hear Burgess glaze over every time the first couple of albums are mentioned.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dUb

dUb

EXCITING WEIRD
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
34,414
He didn't hop on the lamb express til Rainbow! I'm HARDLY at that level :side-eye:

Incidentally I saw there's a new Mariah podcast, Me. I Am. A Memoir. The Meaning of 'The Meaning of Mariah Carey' so I'll be giving that a go
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom