Best Mariah Carey Albums

The Top Ten
1 Butterfly

Honestly, it boils down between this and Daydream. But I love Butterfly a little more for several reasons. She grew up from Daydream and the previous albums. It's like she said, "Cut the crap, I'm singing for real. Forget the princess-y singing, I'm doing me." and thus Butterfly marked a new starting point in her career. Only true Mariah fans would know what I am talking about. Daydream is an awesome album too, but when you compare it to this album, Butterfly wins because it is simply more "realistic" in a sense.

2 Daydream

This is such a beautiful, daydreamed album. "Fantasy" is my favorite song because this is the vibe I needed to make my dreams come true, especially for me having intimacy and passion on Aladdin and Aladdin and Jasmine's love relationship (even though they are not Christians, as one of the lyrics of that song is "Images of Rapture"; I had my own meaning for that one in a different way because that's what I wanted, hehe!). "One Sweet Day" was also such a perfect song for Aladdin and Jasmine because I imagined them singing this song with these same exact voices in the original song in my mind (with the Genie doing a couple speaking parts in the song)! This song is also so satisfying to me! Otherwise, the songs were really good in this album!

3 Mariah Carey

This and Butterfly are easily her best albums. Both have beautiful ballads and danceable tracks which are not reductive hip-hop songs.
Top picks: Vision of Love, Vanishing, Love Takes Time & There's Got To Be A Way!

The Emancipation of Mimi is overrated and Charmbracelet and Emotions are underrated.

A very impressive debut. This album was just the starting point of her career, and she kept getting better as the 90's moved along. This is just a little effort in comparison to what she would later do, and later become..

4 Music Box

To me, I prefer this album better than the rest, and this is my personal favorite album of Mariah Carey. In my opinion, the theme is really beautiful, compared the albums like Butterfly and Daydream, especially on Mariah's music and looks, and this is how I want a perfect pop album by a female artist. My favorite song by her is "Without You". Even though it is a cover, the song is so perfect; it had a vibrant and enjoyable vibe to the music, it gives us emotions, and the vocals, especially at the end, are so heartwarming. I also believed that it should easily become a 1# hit since the vocals are very satisfying to some music fans. I also loved the album package, especially on the front cover of the cropped version of a photo shoot. If you see the entire version of that photo, she looked so beautiful, especially her curly hair full of cinnamon and elegance. "Hero" is a great song too; the theme is like how you are being yourself for a reason. The songs are all perfect in my opinion, especially the pop ones, and I am glad this became a generation of pop music. I am also surprised that this became Mariah Carey's best-seller worldwide! Way to go Mariah for keeping up on the songs and vocals!

5 The Emancipation of Mimi

For those who listen to the details, like me, this is the most elaborated album, recorded by Mariah Carey. And, honestly, it's a fantastic body of work! On one hand you've got the breathtaking songs "Mine Again", "I Wish You Knew", "Circles" and "Fly Like a Bird" which no one else in the world could sing the way she did, and on the other hand you've got tracks like "One and Only", "So Lonely", "We Belong Together", "making' It Last All Night" and "Joyride" that are true mood setters and are just brilliantly crafted up to their very last second! A must for everyone who enjoys good music with stunning vocals!

6 Emotions

I love Mariah so much, but this is the only studio album that there are no songs that I was class as bad/just okay. The singles are classics, the uptempos are underrated (as in "So Blessed"), but the final two tracks take the cake: "Till the End of Time" is in my top 10 favourite Mariah songs and "The Wind" stands out as completely unique in Mariah's catalogue and is chilling. This took the formula of her debut and made it SO much better. "Butterfly" is very close and has more standouts, but "Emotions" is more consistent.

7 Rainbow

This album was made in only 3 months, because she was really trying to leave her recording contract with Sony/Columbia. This album proves that she only got better throughout the 90's, but still she left some songs incomplete like "Rainbow" and decided to make an interlude out of it. I believe that if she spent more time on this album instead of rushing it, it would have been better than Butterfly. However, this is her best theme for an album. Her vocals are explosive, more upbeat songs than any other album she did in the 90's, and yet most personal one of the 90's, with lots of emotion. This is her most "pop-ish" album though.

8 Caution

I believe this album is like a follow up to E=MC2 (but with no fillers). It's fun and sounds really current - with the exception of With You and Portrait. This album will capture the young generation

9 E=MC2

Not my favorite from her, because many songs are a little superficial. However, I think this is a very fun album, because she finally got to a place where she did not have to prove herself vocally for everyone to know that she is one of the greatest artists ever. Tracks 7-11 should have all been scrapped, and she should have used some of the left overs from the last album and this album to replace them. "Once in A Life Time", "Sprung", "4real4real", "Secret Love", would have made this album a force to be reckoned with. The album is worth listening to, but the best song is "For the Record", Her longest whistle note to date.

10 Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse

Believe it or not, this album is what made me become a huge Mariah fan. It is the best one she made since 2005. The only song I don't like is "You Don't Know What to Do" ft. Wale. Mariah just continues to prove that she can stay relevant, and true to her sound. I played this album for some of the kids of this generation, some not even knowing who she was, and agreed that she has a really good voice (understatement) and the music is REALLY good. Even grown folks like the album.

An underrated gem, to be honest! This gives a good example of what good music is compared to nowadays music! Good thing, Mariah Carey still makes good music! That album is also pretty interesting as well.

The Contenders
11 Charmbracelet

This is one of the best, if not, her best album. Between 1997-2002 (with the exception of Glitter) Mariah wrote the most personal songs of her career. There is not one bad song on this album, and I continue to be uplifted by My Saving Grace and Through the Rain, which are in my opinion her best (most inspirational) and my two most favorite songs in her entire career. Sorry, We Belong Together, Touch My Body, Don't Forget about Us, and Obsessed my be the biggest songs of the latter half of her career, but to those who have not heard Charmbracelet, you're missing out BIG TIME.

12 Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel

Great album, but too many slow songs. The songs are all great, don't get me wrong, but a little more upbeat would have been great. Nevertheless her most soulful album of the 00's. Almost every song is guaranteed to get you hooked. There is not a bad song on this record.

The most soulful album she's made in the 00's. Too many slow songs and not enough upbeat ones, however there is no bad track on this album. Any song is guaranteed to get you hooked.

13 Merry Christmas

I'm only ten but grew up on Mariah Carey, so I'm blasting this at full volume in October. Anyone else?

14 Glitter

A criminally underrated album. Incredibly diverse songs, very high production quality, god level songwriting. Her vocal work here is just beyond perfect. Stand out songs: Reflections, lead the way, never too far, twister, want you, didn't mean to turn you on, don't stop, loverboy...

This album has some of Mariah Carey's best vocals - listen to Lead The Way...but Loverboy, Want you and Didn;t Mean to Turn You On - this is the sort of music that inspired absolutely brilliant album.

Mariah never sang so powerfully and fully like she did here. Vocally this beats out all of her previous eras.

15 MTV Unplugged

I wouldn't consider this an album, but more of a cd with live performances (if there is a difference). There is no new material except for the Jackson 5 smash hit cover. She proves that she can sing live just as well as she can in the studios, and that her voice is not a trick of the studios but the real McCoy.

What is better than a Mariah 90s album? An album of songs Mariah performed live!

16 Merry Christmas II You
17 #1 to Infinity
18 #1's
19 The Ballads
20 The Essential Mariah Carey

I remember listening this album on the Etihad airplane, this album made me fall in love with Mariah Carey!

Very nice album! We belong together is a very good song.

21 The Art of Letting Go
22 The Remixes

I don't consider this to be a real album, but a great asset to have for those who collect Mariah's albums. I am not to crazy about the house remix cd, but the hip-hop/r&b remixes are where it is at. Mariah knows how to make remixes. Everyone else needs to take notes. To make a true remix you have to:
1) re-sing the song, but add something new or different to it. Don't completely copy the original
2) Don't be afraid to incorporate songs/lyrics from another source. If you want to truly have legendary remixes, musical allusions are always nice... Just be as original as possible.
3) Make it better than the original. That should always be your goal when re-doing your work. Do better, not mediocre.

23 Angels Advocate

The Nicki Minaj assisted track Up Out My Face is the standout here

24 Valentines
25 Japan Best
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