Mariah Carey, And Her Place In Music

Contributed anonymously:

As much as we would like to compare Mariah to the likes of Madonna and Michael Jackson in terms of status, I think Mariah still has to go a long long way before she could be considered a superstar. I think it’s not the number of sales, but the impact of the music she makes that will determine her status in the end. She may be a certified hit-maker, but not a maker of songs that define generations and culture. Madonna helped usher the 90s sexual revolution, and shaped dance music, and Michael spoke about racial unity, and set the standard for performers. If MC will be known for anything, it will be for her self-help songs, and love songs. Her voice may be the greatest of all, but no one really becomes a superstar for voice and some boring ballads, and besides she shares the stage with Whitney Houston and Celine Dion. Moreover, no one also becomes a superstar in R&B. Michael and Madonna are able to re-invent themselves because pop is flexible, and pop is really the music of the world. Mariah is at a very respectable place now in music, but for an artist with so much potential, she should take risks and try to sample new music and new concepts. Whitney, and Celine are singers, but MC is more than that – she’s actually an artist, and if guided to the right direction, she can create music as great as the greatest we know.

Madonna and Michael have become so successful because they are pop artists. Mariah could do more when she’s pop. MC has always taken the “safer” paths, paths that have worked for some artists before. MC was Whitney, Celine, and Minnie on her 1st 2 albums. She was Janet/Whitney hybrid on Music Box and Daydream. She was a Mariah-ized version of Janet/Madonna on Butterfly and Rainbow, while trying to be Prince in Glitter. She then became her 90s self in Charmbracelet, and Beyonce/Usher in Mimi. All her albums were carved out from already surefire themes. I just wish she’d have the courage to create her own concept, a concept that’s entirely Mariah. I say she should try on different producers, and be more extroverted with her lyrics. I just wish she’d be pushed to the direction where she could really experiment with new music (not with new rappers). She can’t possibly be music’s golden singing girl forever… MC can write and produce her own music, for this she deserves more! If stripped off of her popular derivative music, MC is at her roots a genuine artist with a very versatile talent for song-writing and creating new sound.

I see MC as a valedictorian in popular music getting the highest grades (sales), and being taught all her life to be always #1. She’s oriented to getting flawless records, by recording only surefire hits. As a result, what she worked for 10 years already surpassed what Madonna, Whitney, and Michael worked for nearly 20 years. But just like any honor student who gets her first failure (Glitter), MC suffered and got ridiculed, just because all her life she’s taught that it’s all about being #1. But while she remains to be #1 in music because of sales, she’s not the most popular. Instead, the popular are those who grab people’s attention, and those that represent what the majority thinks is cool. Majority of people loves sex and controversy… so when they see somebody proclaiming the message, they buy her gimmick. Mariah has never been “cool” as far as her image is concerned. She always looked somewhat awkward and un-convincing when she changes her image. Well, all I want to say is that she’s got a lot to work on. And considering the reception of people to “Mimi”, people are willing to wait for her to truly emancipate the butterfly within her. As a fan, I just don’t want people to remember her as somebody greater than Whitney or Celine, the best vocalist, or the biggest artist of all time, we really don’t want to always remind people of her sales or records, or her 5 octaves…I want her to be remembered as “simply Mariah, THE artist”.

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8 thoughts on “Mariah Carey, And Her Place In Music

  1. RadioFreeRoscoe says:

    Somebody please tell me how this sh** is relevant?

  2. astrange1 says:

    “Madonna helped usher the 90s sexual revolution” The sexual revolution began in the 1960’s and reached its peak in the 1970s. Whatever it was that Madonna ushered in would have been in the 1980s.

  3. Kizzardkid says:

    um mariah has been in the buisness for 15 years not 10 and she’s already made a name for herself. Plus she was out before Celine Dion so saying that on her 1st album she has whitney/celine/minnie is just stupid. anyway when people hear the name mariah they think of the voice.

  4. JLOVER101 says:

    not that I’m agreeing with this essay, or that particular observation, but Celine’s’, ‘first album was in 1988. 2 yrs before Mariah’s.

  5. LucyB927 says:

    I agree with a couple of things you say but not everything. You said that no one becomes a superstar in RnB and I have to let you know that you are wrong. Do you know how many rnb superstars are out there today? You got Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross…etc. The list goes on….people need to understand that Pop music is just short for “popular” it just means that your music is popular it’s not actually a form of music. I think Mariah has a good voice but sometimes live she isn’t all that. Mariah is a good artist because she sings and writes but so is a Whitney Houston and a Celine Dion…they aren’t just singers. And really I don’t think Mariah tries to be like anyone to be honest. You shouldn’t try and compare her to anyone because she is her own person. I don’t think you should say she sounds like this person on this album or that person on another album I feel as if you should not compare her. So what you think some of her albums sound like a Janet or Whitney album it really doesn’t matter. Let Mariah be Mariah if that’s the stuff she likes to put out let her.

  6. yelenerz says:

    Neither Alicia, Usher or Beyonce are superstars. Compared to the others they just started their careers. You can’t be a superstar after 2 or 3 hit albums

  7. ilovechristinaaguilera says:

    You are joking, right? In the 90’s, she basically’, ‘set the *****in’ tone 4 people like Beyonce, etc. And so what are u trying to say that she needs to be more sexual to be more “popular” and earn her place in music history? LMAO!!! And this is hilarious: “And considering the reception of people to “Mimi”, people are willing to wait for her to truly emancipate the butterfly within her.” HELLO? It’s already sold 2.2 million and is 3 times platinum, still selling over 120k a week and earned her her 16th number 1? Why don’t u take that into account when u say that? Because, according to this, the people’s reception to Mimi is AWESOME and some people would say that the butterfly in her has emancipated. Now, if u don’t believe that, fine. I have no problem with that. I do however have a problem with you when u write lies and don’t know what the hell u are talking about. When your facts are straight and your ready to be mature about it, come back so we can talk about it maturely. Thank you and good-bye.

  8. SaNKa says:

    That was a good essay i really liked it and i mostly agree, especially when you said Mariah has never really been considered cool. She does have alot more cred than other artists though, xtina for example.

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