Mariah Carey – Dreamlover

First Hit #1: September 11, 1993

A great singer can make a song better than what you would expect from the lyrics, melody and general arrangement. So, while I might have issues with Mariah Carey, Dreamlover is evidence that she is, in fact, a good singer. It’s nothing special on paper, a pretty standard song about a woman wanting some kind of lover – a dream lover, one might call him – to whisk her away. It could be a song for a Disney princess, maybe that was even the intent, but Carey herself is what separates the song from its content. It’s the vocal, as Carey glides around her range and just sounds so appealing that one would want to rescue her. The song is largely fine outside of that, the beat is functional and it comfortably slots into what was going on in the decade. But Dreamlover is a song that is defined by the vocal, and is made worthwhile because of the vocal. I might not always love Carey, but this is an example of how her powers can be used to elevate a song from something pretty generic into something fun and almost exciting, a performance that can distract you from how surprisingly inane all the words are.

Also, we are just speeding through 1993. The ’90s in general saw the amount of turnover at the top of the charts get reduced dramatically, and while there are any number of theories as to why it wasn’t a good development, year long chart stays made it incredibly easy to get sick of songs, even good songs.

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One Response to Mariah Carey – Dreamlover

  1. RBerman says:

    Chart monotony also makes the decade go by quickly. This song is catchy enough just from the meat of the melody and instrumentation, but the whistle-toned riff, like the sparing autotune gimmick in Cher’s “Believe,” adds that “little something extra” that keeps you listening, wondering, “When is that part coming around again? Is it now? How about now?” She does it just enough to tease you along until the next one. Clever trick.

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