First Hit #1: September 13, 1997
Mariah Carey has been big enough, and distinct enough, that she could actually have a template single. Honey sounds pretty much exactly how you would expect Carey to sound, a layered vocal that comes through on the chorus, a song that is essentially about the joy of love, and a generally smooth and accessible sound that is pretty much the definition of a ’90s ballad. Sure, she has a bit of a hip hop influence here – something she did sporadically, often via a remix – but that’s kind of window dressing really, it’s a slightly different flavor for the core meal, which is based around her voice as a main ingredient. This is moving in a more breathy vocal than what she did on the past couple albums, but it’s still pretty well what Carey does best, and what she always has done.
The video is bizarre, a weird bit of spy comedy that I can’t quite connect with the song it’s supposed to support. Some people have suggested that it was a metaphor for her marriage, but I think it was just Carey being a bit indulgent. She was the biggest female star in the world, she could afford to be indulgent.