crazy is as crazy does. watching some of the footage of leona lewis on youtube has inspired this post. she was clearly influenced by early mariah – the shy girl with the big voice who dressed mostly in black and had curly hair to die for.
the fact that she became infinitely more successful in a global sense once she lost the plot and started squeezing herself into clothes three sizes too small is a worry. early mariah blows mad mariah out of the water as far as i’m concerned. she was real and had humility.
she has bounced back remarkably well from her 2001 nervous breakdown and even seems to be relearning the fine art of putting on clothes that fit. whatever you thought of glitter, i found it to be her most honest work to date. clearly mariah loves the old skool and this shone through the soundtrack.
in the uk, we have been fans of her remixes but less so of her ballads. we’re less tolerant of oversinging and melisma than the US. so when she brought out a collection of remixes it was something i had expected for a while. its never really been cool to own a mariah cd since music box but her remixes are undeniable.
here are some rare tracks and some that newer fans might not be familiar with.
twelve mariah tracks under the radar – download here
weakness of the body
a mid 80s demo that sounds like something taylor dayne might have recorded. i actually like her early vocals, and she doesn’t really sound that young.
always my favourite track from her debut and i loved this new jack swing mix.
sent from up above
amazing midtempo track that i appreciate better now i’m older. apparently there is another album’s worth of unreleased material from her debut recording sessions.
mariah rapping? nothing new. this sounded pretty bad at the time but is now pleasingly retro.
to be around you
one of the best tracks on ‘emotions’ that often gets overlooked as it sounds so 1991.
now that i know
another housey uptempo that gets glossed over. this, and the track before, were not quite enough for the dancefloor and too bouncy to chill to.
do you think of me
this was a music box era b-side and again it does sound very early 90s. crashing instruments and general moodiness.
always be my baby
for some reason i didn’t pay much attention to this when it was first released but now i love it. there is a youtube clip of leona lewis singing this in a karaoke competition back in 2004. i don’t see the huge problem with leona ‘copying’ early mariah. we need more artists like that, rather than more beyonce clones.
underneath the stars
as i didn’t have the daydream album, i didn’t hear this track until later. its very relaxed vocal for mariah
moody hiphop track.
well, i didn’t originally realise that this wasn’t on daydream…i wonder why not? i definitely prefer her midtempo to ballads.
funny that destiny’s child are thought to have invented speedsinging about a year after mariah released this track…hmm.