First Hit #1: November 10, 1990
This is relatively minimal for Mariah Carey. There’s not that much instrumentation, she mostly keeps it within one part of her range – going for a slightly breathy sound – and it almost seems like a counterpoint to her first hit. Before, we got Carey, the voice, so we got every note in her range and a complete lack of subtlety. Here we get Carey, the interpreter of song, relatively restrained – though far, far from a subtle performer – and attempting to prove that she can invest emotion into her songs. The end result is, well, it sounds like a slow motion film of a million curtains blowing in the wind. A bit overwrought, but it is kind of mesmerizing and it has a great sense of motion as it billows around. A subtle Carey is still a big-voiced diva, and she’s just not meant to keep her range in check – even if she would like to convince us otherwise, mostly by taking not particularly glamorous roles in films like Precious, Carey is only comfortable when she is showing off. There’s almost a sense of relief when she can stop holding back and just belt it out during the chorus, it’s what she lives to do.