Way Back Wednesday: Mariah Carey’s Vocal Journey


    Mariah Carey has been called many things throughout her illustrious career, including diva, icon and legend, but lately another title has been forced upon her by her critics – has been. Thanks to her mastery of her five octave range, it has always been difficult to completely overlook Carey as a viable artist yet for the first time in over 20 years, her talent has been questioned.

    This week’s Way Back Wednesday special will depict the major stages of Carey’s vocal development from her debut in the early 1990s to her most recent live performances in 2010. Let’s host the debate that has been raging on the online forums during the last few years and attempt to come to a suitable conclusion regarding the state of the songbird’s famed instrument.

    Watch the selected live performances from Carey’s career below:

    1991 – ‘Vision of Love’

    1996 – ‘Make it Happen’

    1999 – ‘Vision of Love’

    2001 – ‘Never too Far’/’Hero’

    2005 – ‘Vision of Love’

    2008 – ‘Touch My Body’

    2010 – ‘I Still Believe’

    So, what exactly could we discern from this footage? It’s time to flesh out the details and explain the important points for our debate.

    Carey’s voice was full, husky and robust when she first entered the industry. She had a very powerful belt and an unmistakeable grit to her voice, especially in her lower register, that set her apart from the other technical singers – Whitney Houston and Celine Dion – of that time.

    Of course, Carey’s voice was undoubtedly in its prime in 1996 when she could sing almost any song with the greatest ease and her range seemed limitless. Additionally, her instrument was more flexible than in her early career and she was able to switch between her registers without strain or hesitation.

    However, as Carey aged, her voice gradually got thinner and her husky vocal texture slowly lost its fullness. By 1999, her tone was starkly different and she sounded similar to a smokey Jazz singer instead of a colourful Pop vocalist. Additionally, her upper belting had become limited and she almost completely avoided performing in that part of her range.

    2001 demonstrated a return to form for Carey and it sounded as though the inconsistent 1997-1999 period was short-lived. Unfortunately, her voice slowly became rougher from 2005 and by 2008 she was at the absolute lowest point of her entire career. Basically, Carey was better off lip-syncing than singing live in that year because her voice was so frail that she could not even handle ‘Touch My Body’ or should I say, “stop singing my part now baby?”

    Luckily, pregnancy was a blessing on many levels for Carey and she rebounded once again in 2010. Her voice sounded strikingly similar to early 2005 and she could actually sing her old songs live without relying on a backtrack or cleverly directing the crowd to sing the major segments.

    Still, the most important observation to be made while watching all of these videos and listening to Carey’s albums is that the many changes in her voice have caused her to become a far for efficient vocalist. Indeed, she has more control over her instrument than she did when she first entered the music scene.

    Also, Carey’s is more fluid in certain registers. In fact, Carey’s head voice and whistle register are far more impressive than they in the 1990s – for instance, compare ‘It’s A Wrap’ to ‘Fantasy’ – and despite her lower register losing its strength, she actually has the ability to sing even lower than before.

    Hence, similar to every singer in the industry, Carey’s voice has changed with age. Yes, there are several conspiracy theories regarding what caused certain shifts in her sound – alcohol, nodules and overuse – but the only conclusion that could be derived is that she is just a normal human being.

    Ultimately, to call Carey a “has been” would be an unwarranted insult. Her voice may not be the limitless force that it was in 1996 but it is still in a class above most other vocalists. I sense that once a person sets the bar at perfection then anything less would seem inadequate.


    • Mariah slays

      I think that now she is in great shape. Her christmas apparences were fantastic!!!
      I hope her new album show more of her voice. i liked Memoirs but it was too soft for me.

    • I love Mariah’s music. But, I have to admit Mariah’s live performances have never done anything for me. Great studio artist, amazing songwriter, and everything that doesn’t involve being on a stage…

      I hope all that screaming from delivering ‘dem babies’ will help her on the next album. My body is READY.

    • SparkD

      Thank you Trent for giving a musical education, history lesson, aural pleasure, and legend. She open the doors for so many hip-hop artists.

    • Britt Aye – @Bawssse

      Yes!!! I’ve always loved Mariah’s voice. I’ve never realized a change in her voice until now. Atleast she didn’t go Whitney on us. The queen is still reigning supreme.

    • DOMOdotSCORE

      I like this. It’s a very intriguing post.

      I could tell by the videos that 99-08 were her problem years. In 2001, her voice was alright and it seemed like she was getting better but by 2005, she went downhill again. And that Touch My Body performance was just awful. But from what I could hear in the 2010 clip, her voice is getting so much better. I cannot wait to hear how she sounds now.

    • SparkD

      Trent, you gotta do a Mariah series: Hip-Hip, Career Launches (Joe, Jay, ODB), marriages (real and career, and how it affected), harmonies, and comparisons (current copy-cats), and such. This lady has too many layers to be left to just this!

    • Meme

      Her voice is still better than ALL artists. The only competition she has at present on a vocal level is Celine Dion.

      Touch My Body does not translate live because of the song it had nothing to do with the vocal performance.

    • WonderLand19

      Trent, that was sick! loved it! In Christmas album, her voice sounded really good and the song she did with Tony Bennett sound really good too.
      Iam excited for her new album.

    • Nippy

      Giiirrrrl stop trying to make Mariah relevant. She has been sounding like shit since 1997. Whitney did drugs but still sounds way better. What’s Mariah’s excuse?

    • cliff

      of course shes not gonna sound the same, her voice changed as she got older, i hate when people complain she doesn’t sound the same like wtf? thanks for this. shes still the best in the game !

    • Shea Butter

      I love the write up but I must say it felt like you rushed to wrap it up towards the end.

      I love the video footage you used but was a little disappointed you didn’t use 1996 at the Tokyo Dome “One Sweet Day”, her vocal performance during that concert is definitely one of sheer brilliance. But maybe my choice would have been to predictable.

      I will definitely agree that most recently I have been very impressed with Carey’s vocal performances (in a different way then 1990 and 1996) she definitely has more control over her instrument nowadays, when she hit the scene in 1990 she was overflowing with talent and at times it seem she struggled to contain the power of her voice but she had amazing vocal development from 1990 to 1996. People also point out 97-01 as an era of vocal down fall for Carey which I agree, but I also loved the vocals and music she produced during this era. 2001 – 04 saw a different side of Carey vocally, specifically with the Charmbracelet album like ‘Sublet Invitation’, Brining on the Heartbreak’, ‘The One’ and so on.

    • TheMan4u

      SMh, where do i begin with this. first this is not the first time in 20 years her talent is being questioned, i think when she started lip-synching back in the late 90’s early 00’s was when she got a side eye. and i love how you try to glance over her vocal decline(especially when you can go on for days about whitney’s). Also its funny you want to say it has mostly everything to do with age(side eye) but how is that the case when she started her vocal decline in 96 at the age of 27 right when she should have been in her prime.
      then you guys want to say how great she sounds now from her Xmas performances when they were highly dubbed in her specials and in fact she hasn’t really given a 100% completely live vocal in YEARS, no backing track, no pre-recorded vocals, just her the band, backup singers and a mic. so to say she is in a class above vocalist of today you have to mean the rihanna’s and katy perry’s.

      now on the flip side i will say i saw her live during TEOM era and although she had lost a step in the power department her whistle register was still in tact and sounded awesome and she can still make magic in a recording booth.

    • KingAquarius

      Say what you want, but Mariah’s LIVE performances (save a few) ALWAYS left something to be desired. From her earliest recordings up to the present, you can hear OBVIOUS flaws in her vocals technique that led to her current vocal status. I’ve YET to hear a live vocal performance that has left me absolutely speechless. She is a GREAT studio singer, no doubt, but LIVE she rarely delivers. We know Whitney ruined her voice with drugs. Got it. Whitney had technique, power, TONE, control, and a delivery that was just UNSURPASSED. If you ask me, she and Mariah had opposite problems. Mariah’s catalogue is amazing, but her performances were often subpar. Whitney’s catalogue is “so so”, but her performances where almost ALWAYS an EXPERIENCE!

    • Diva20

      Thank god we found leona Lewis , only she can give you that gorgeous falsetto that mariah once had. I look forward to glass heart. Leonas vocals are the most beautiful in the industry. Love mariah x

    • *V3R*

      @TheMan4U Oh boohoo, spare me your flip side BS, nothing in Mariah’s catalogue will ever flatter you in any way shape or form. You hate her so much as if she beat the shit out of you. So yeah, every negative critique coming from you is expected. Cuz you’re just that: a full blown Mariah HATER. Uhhuh…

    • Shea Butter

      @Diva20 – Leona has an amazing falsetto/Head voice, but beyond that I’m never to impressed with her.

      Hmmmmm…Leona should cover “Mariah – Underneath the Stars”

    • latifa

      i prefer her new voice, her old one was too ‘perfect’ if that makes sense. she has that extra grit to it now which makes it more interesting, especially live. vision of love ’05 over 90’s basically

    • kingboy

      She cant sing like she use to (in the 90’s). Sorry Trent its the truth, her voice is not as good anymore.

    • sean

      bull bull bull! Mariah loves alcohol and her excessive drinking was a direct contributor to her vocal decline in the late 90s. had nothing to do with age. Mariah is great in the studio and you can clearly hear her patching stuff together on MC2U.

      Live, she indulges in trickery that if you strip away the backing tracks, the over dubs her continued vocal decline would be clear. She is the master of tricks which is why i don’t respect her as a live performer. lipping, lipping, backtracks and overdubs. there are so many clips on youtube on her doing this. trent just mad cuz grape juice showed mariah faking on touch my body and can trent go a day w/o mentioning whitney. It’s pathetic now

    • DRB

      Debut was great. 1992 was great. 1993 was a change, 94 is arguably her peak. Oh Holy Night>>
      Daydream was thin and higher but flawless. Hero in London >>>
      1997 was a bad year, she seemed to struggle but definitely appreciate the realness. By the #1s era (late 98 and early 99), much better.

      Rainbow era was horrible for me.

      Glitter vocals were great but the performances weren’t as good but better than RB.

      She whispered through Charmbracelet but by the 2nd half of the tour, she was kicking ass! YouTube “Vision of Love” in Zurich.

      Early 2005 was pretty good, after Live 8, not so much though. Lack of performances, lipping, unprepared.
      2006: The tour was horrible. Pepsi Smash, her voice was there but it sounded tired.

      2008: Dreadful! Starting with The Hills performance. She started the E=MC2 era with a flu. On top of that, her voice just seemed frail. She was lipping everything. (IBLULT in Japan kicks ass though and the intro at Fashion Rocks. The album vocals aren’t great.

      2009: Mess, insecure, lipping. At most, you got a good note out like the group song at the Inaguaration.

      2010: Sounded great on record. Live was better but the special was dubbed and the couple of live performances, she could hit notes but very shaky and nervous still. Her Brazil performances have her singing nasally and higher/whiny than she ought to. She’s been doing that since 08.

      You can tell she isn’t confident anymore and is singing around parts of her voice. She needs to do an honest tell all interview.

    • dom

      @DRB your comment is perfect 🙂

    • Danny LeGuen

      Great article. Leona is the only vocalist that has come close to Mariah. Mimi still has the best voice in the industry even if it wasn’t what it once was.

    • Sam

      And at the end of the day, with an unrested voice and 2.5 octaves, Mariah still sounds better than every other female artist out there today. Whitney stans, sit the eff DOWN! Mariah built herself up to be with hard work and talent (writing, producing, performing).

      Trent, I must say this article did seem rushed. You can’t sum up Mariah’s career in a few paragraphs. It’s a little degrading. Her voice started declining after what year?? Did you not see her live Grammy performance in 2006? Did we miss her live Christmas concert in 2010? That performance of My Saving Grace at the AMA’s in 2003? When she rests her voice Mariah is like no other. And I’m mostly directing this comment at some people commenting saying she’s a “studio” artist. CHILD PLEASE! You can’t judge a year or a few years by a bad performance here and there.

      Loved your last line though. Mariah did set the bar at perfection. There will never be another. Everyone always tries to bring her down. If MJ were still alive they’d be trying to bring him down as well. Let’s all just take a step back and respect the human treasures still amongst us.

    • Sam

      Lastly, in my opinion, I don’t think there’s anything Mariah needs to do vocal-wise (except maybe going back to her power ballad roots). MC needs to regain popularity from those non-lambs that were once fans and make the younger generation fall in love with her. Less diva imagine, glitter and glamour and more VOICE! Follow the Adele formula.

      Watch the throne!! Cause Mariah ain’t ready to give it up..

    • theman

      Mariah sounds more powerful now, before her voice was powerful but light. Now the sound of it sounds fuller. Some people are just haters and thats that. In the “Butterfly Era”, her voice was/is still great she just needed rest. This is a woman who sung live yrs straight at a time, hitting the highest register she could. No other female artists was doing that. Mariah has laid down tons of moving performances. She is the greatest technical female singer bar none. Furthermore, most concert performances are dubbed but she was definitely singing live in alot of those performances. No offense but some people always just wanna accuse her of lipping because of Whitney’s vocal state. If she does a great job haters will say the same thing. No matter what she is the greatest female singer overall. The things she has done/do with her voice are astonishing. Also, does anybody else see this is a cop out on Trent’s behald because he feels sour about the Beyonce post. It seems like you wrote this to show that you are unbiased. It came off as very desperate. You’ve mentioned alot of this before.

    • theman

      For some unknown reason Mariah just have a ton of haters. Yoou idiots should be respecting the woman, because she is real natural talent unlike alot of the trash you call actual artists.

    • theman

      And who the heck is even mentioning the word hasbeen by her name? Did you do this for hits? Cause i don’t get it.

    • Ms Boss

      THIISSSS is why I love this site!! Thanks for writing this Trent! Mariah is a phenomenal talent but she is HUMAN and still GREAT! More posts like this please!

      PS: I see TheMan4U is still hating.

    • theman

      Lol shut your whinning azz up, this is directly….

    • diego

      I think this is quite inaccurate, recently Mariah has lipped and sucked at her live performances. I’ve watched them and I don’t think it’s even decent. 2008, 2009 was absolutely her lowest point, she’s a bit better now but it’s still side by side with Katy Perry and Rihanna… bad vocalists…
      The only hope I got left is Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Adele and hopefully Beyoncé =)

    • CayFRESH

      You are just simply the BEST Trent. I really enjoyed this read. As a huge lamb and lover of music, I could agree that over the years, a person’s voice does change, mature and overall lose some of its stronger points/highlights. I just love thelavalizard.com. Thnks for this..

    • theman4u

      why is it when one doesn’t agree they are hating, i stated facts.

      @the(other)man, wtf are you talking about? i hate it when fans speak out of there a$$ and makes no sense.
      “Mariah sounds more powerful now, before her voice was powerful but light” – HUH, really

      “This is a woman who sung live yrs straight at a time, hitting the highest register she could. No other female artists was doing that” – once again, HUH, When have you EVER heard, whitney, patti, Gladys or chaka lip-synch and they all have been singing way longer than mariah

      “Furthermore, most concert performances are dubbed but she was definitely singing live in alot of those performances” – do you know what dubbed means? and no most dont need to be dubbed go back at look at the many concerts you’ve seen, heck go back to earlier mariah concerts and you will see thats not true

    • kris

      @theman4u Whitney lip-synced many times though. She lipped on the I Look To You tour and even in the 1980s and 1990s. She doesn’t do it as much as Mariah and Celine but she definitely does it.

    • TIMMI


      I just spat my drink out at your comment. I was going to type a couple of paragraphs and slay your ass, but I highly respect Whitney so I’m not even going to go there. For everyone’s sake, leave her out of this.

    • alysua

      @theman4u I totally agree Trent acts like there were no great singers before Mariah…boy please all those female you listed have been around before Mariah and bet she cant see any of those vets. Sure Whitney sounds bad now but Mariah in my opinion is not too far behind, she just has more of the resources to cover her flaws

    • theman4u

      why does it have to turn into a whitney v mariah thing, what does she have to do with mariah’s vocal decline and vice versa?

    • Ariana

      Unless Mariah doesn’t give a 100% live performance any time soon I’m not cosigning that her voice has improved.
      She sang nicely at Christmas in Washington but I’m still not sure whether all the high notes were sung live or not.

      I’m really tired of her lip-syncing and backtrack shit. I didn’t want to comment on this post because it truly bothers me the fact that she hasn’t been honest on her singing. All singers mime every now and then & she can do it every time she feels to but for a woman who has been a vocalist, an AMAZING vocalist repeating the same trick over and over is beyond unacceptable.

      I love her, I own every single album, I just want her to be able to accept what she’s capable & not capable to do. She has to realize that she isn’t perfect and that wonderful voice she had when first came out isn’t there anymore. I’m not saying she can’t sing anymore (c’mon, she still slays your faves) I’m just saying that she needs to embrace this “new” voice.

      You better be confident girl, make great music and sing live. You can be a diva as much as you want, just leave the nonsense behind when you’re singing.
      I’m done.

    • theman

      @Diego you need to get your hearing together because Christina Aguilera’s best performance in a while was her last one, and she got a vocal coach to help do that. Mariah does sing live in parts which she does very well. Kelly Clarkson can sing very well, but her voice is tired now, and she needs rest. As far as Mariah not seeing any of those vets vocally she’s already surpassed them so theres nothing to see.

    • *V3R*

      The Madonna and Whitney fans are the main ones that hate Mariah so much. Why? Because Mimi zoomed right past their favs in the first 10 years of her career. And as a singer/songwriter, she emerged as the best selling female artist of all time right next to MJ. Mimi’s got it all, talent, look, confidence, self assurance, #1 hits, god given gift: her voice and now a good husband and dem babies. When they first took notice that Mimi out ranked all of them, what do you get from that?!? Jealousy and Hatred ofcourse.

      Mariah is the BEST, hands down, and she ain’t done with music until she says otherwise. Yep yep yep, now hate on that haterz lolz! 😛

    • theman

      I think Mariah can sing what she wants, but sometimes she may not do certain things because of herself. Whe i said that Mariahs voice is more powerful now i mean’t that her voice sounds fuller, the overall sound. Thats what i’m talking about. As far as dubbing goes, alot of concerts today are dubbed, check Whitney’s Gm America or whatever morning show she was on performance. Chaka/Glady’s have nothing to do with this just as you claim others don’t, Why are you always up her azz anyway. It ain’t ever a post where you ain’t reaching.

    • theman

      But speaking of Chaka she’s great and all but anybody could just scream, that isn’t singing.

    • Bee

      To be honest, the only people calling Mariah a ‘has-been’ are people who are not seasoned music fans, but rather those who know nothing about music beyond their favourite artists (i.e. Rihanna) or beyond the last few years in music. In others words, those whose opinions were not valid in the first place. You do not call people like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson ‘has-beens’.

    • theman

      ^^^ Exactly, especially when your favorite artists are having an extremely difficult time getting a #1 album, or even going platinum with tons of hits, then over top of that they lack what matters most. Raw Talent.

    • TIMMI


      You are the one who dragged Whitney’s name into this when you referred to Whitney never lip-synching and “singing way longer than Mariah”. So don’t ask dumb questions about what she has to do with it unless you are asking yourself.

      A Mariah vs. Whitney post is exactly what I did NOT want, which is why I previously advised you leave Whitney out of it. Again, I will reserve my comments about the comparison YOU made.

    • Just a thought

      With all the achievements in her career, it´s absurd and uneducated to refer Mariah as a has been. She has set so many records in the music industry comercially wise (a lot of them yet to be beaten), not to mention there`s no other pop artist around with a 5 octave vocal range. Of course, I can see why people compare MC with other divas both from the past and present, but again most of them only have to take care of their beltings (and to be fair some of them, can only scream,growl, or belt with more head voice with nasal tone as they can`t hit a belt higher than C5 properly) as they can´t whistle, hit a note in the 2nd octave, whisper and switch all those registers like Mariah. Vocally wise, Mariah is in her own league. Even now, after more than 20 years of career, she`s still able to record songs so difficult than nobody else can sing and that`s saying a lot. You just can`t expect a God gifted talent like Mariah`s voice to be intact forever. Decline happens to every artist, model and athlete around. It`s the life law: you are born, develop to a certain point (peak) and then decline up to your death. While is true Mariah`s voice is not what it was back in the 90`s, it`s also a fact that her vocal register has remained intact and has even expanded since her debut in 1990. She still can hit notes in the 2nd and 7th octave. If she feels the need to lip in order to prevent her voice from more damage, then she can do it, she has nothing left to prove.

    • AJ

      Mariah has ruined her once golden voice by overindulging in alcohol–mainly champagne. She is no longer the powerhouse that she used to be. The problem is that we like to compare this singer to that one when they should stand on their own merits. Mariah and Whitney will never have the career they once enjoyed because of their self destructive ways. Mariah’s complete public breakdown didn’t help her career at all. Artists should not have to make a “comeback.” If they truly had staying power they would have never left.

      Trent, say what you will, but that is why an artist like Beyonce is always in demand and sought after more than the “greats” (hasbeens) that you always compare her too. Clint Eastwood is not checking for Christina (see Burlesque, drunken tabloid stories, catty remarks about others), Mariah (see Glitter, childish obsessions–Hello Kitty, public meltdown, narcissistic behavior, dated Eminem, also catty remarks about others), or Whitney (see any crack related posts).

      Mariah and the others lost what made their careers to begin with; discipline, hard work, and focus. We only now remember what Mariah used to be which is just sad.

    • TheMan4u

      @Timmi, i answered a question posed by another person about who else has been singing live for years and i actually brought up 3 other names, but i guess none ruffles the feathers of the lambs like the name whitney, smh

    • Bee

      Just to clarify LOL I never said that Trent called Mariah a has-been, however, he did say that her “critics” call her that. Those “critics” in my experience are usually very unseasoned music fans whose opinions are not valid anyway, which is what I stated in my earlier post. That post was also directed at those “very unseasoned music fans”.

    • Mr. XYZ

      LOL @ some of these comments. Some people seem to forget you can’t compare Mariah to other singers because her voice is not like anyone else’s. After all, vocal critics still can’t agree on what category her voice belongs in. Also, I wish people would stop saying 1997 was her “vocal decline” when in fact her voice became much, more beautiful than ever before. The Butterfly era is my favorite era of her voice & that album is her best work. Check out her singing live on SNL, that year =========> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI2ZoQnrH-w. As for her voice now she sounded really well in 2010 singing “One Child” & ” O Come All Ye Faithful…” for the President. Check them out here =======> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1Q-2tPFyaY & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHVXHTsQOis&feature=related.
      SN: For some of you people if Mariah came to your house and sung to you, you would still say she lipped.

    • Mr. XYZ

      P.S Mariah Carey is more than just a voice….

    • Shea Butter

      @AJ – I really think your analysis of the situation is off. You stated “Artists should not have to make a “comeback.” If they truly had staying power they would have never left.”

      Several of the industry’s most powerful names have had to make comebacks. MJ, Madonna, Sarah Vaughn, Diana Ross, Cher, Tina Turner(people argue her comeback was bigger then anything in her earlier career sales wise), Elton John, Bee Gees, Celine Dion and etc. And lets not for get about Beyonce closet (Internal conflict with the members of DC, heavy allegations of of plagiarism, scandal with Matthew Knowles). I’m not trying to bring Beyonce down but she is just like many of the artist before her, and she at one point may need to make a comeback.

    • theman

      Aj you are way off basis. Breakdown? More like exhaustion. Thats been expired. Still reaching???You are talking about apples & oranges. Mariah always reigns whether you like it or not.

    • TIMMI


      There are no feathers ruffled here. The reason I singled out Whitney from the other three names you mentioned is because truth be told, Whitney has experienced a much greater vocal decline than Mariah and I don’t think your use of her name in your argument holds any validity.

      Yes, Whitney has been singing in the spotlight longer than Mariah (only about 5 years or so, so I wouldn’t say “way” longer) and yes Mariah does have more of a tendency to lip-synch than Whitney does. However, Whitney’s performances over the recent years have consisted of her talking her way through the song. I’m sure Mariah is more than capable of doing that too, but instead makes the choice of pre-recording vocals if she feels she may struggle.

      Whilst this may seem like trickery in our eyes, I feel it is only for the best. Showing your voice is shot will do no favours for your career. Look at the backlash Whitney received for her latest tour. Whilst I do not condone lip-synching, sometimes it is the best choice to make. Sometimes I even wish Whitney had chose to lip-synch when she was first experiencing vocal difficulties, just so that she could have the opportunity to rest her voice and prevent any serious/permanent damage.

    • theman

      Also, if you still have issues hitting high notes in the studio then……….. Mariah has hit a bunch of notes live in the upper register. While the other….

    • *V3R*

      Lolz, well excuse me for my irrelevent posts, I guess I should just leave the debates to these ignorant BIG SHOTS…ciao!

    • Matthew Charlery-Smith

      Mariah’s voice did sound great at the start of her career, though not as soulful as Whitney’s. However, by the time Music Box came and I heard Dreamlover I could hear her whistle register was airy, husky and inconsistent sounding. Fast forward through many other albums with good but not great (by early Mariah standards) vocal performances and we get to Glitter. That album was a surprise to me because her entire range had never sounded so perfect since her first 2 albums. Her belts, sustains, whistles and riffs were amazing…and the album ws panned! I don’t know why…but when the media turns on you, it really does!

      I think Charmbracelet and all subsequent albums found Mariah trying to recover from the past few years and years of vocal overuse. She still can probably sing well but her version of Hero on X Factor was really unsettling, even Simon Cowell looked nervous.

      I’d like to know if the damage is repairable.

    • Allison

      The damage is repairable, but she’d risk losing her “high” register, so she hasn’t had her nodules removed. She’s had them since she was a little girl, and speaks openly about them, but surely they’ve gotten worse over the years. Her voice did sound fantastic when she was pregnant, though, and as much as I can’t stand the “self-induced” vocal decline (as opposed to the age/nodules argument), I do think her not drinking while pregnant had a lot to do with how fantastic she sounded in 2010:

      Even Touch My Body sounded good (a million times better than in 2008):

    • sharee


    • Cindy

      last paragraph says it all, that and her Merry Christmas II You album and her live performances of it in front of Obama, Christmas 2010. I frickin love this post i see reciepts (e.g. videos) to back it up, this is journalism!!

    • Slaying

      This site just keeps getting better!

    • JKZ

      Mariah Carey is the best singer I believe since Minnie Ripperton. Honestly I feel it has nothing to do with the whistles or whispers or even the belts. It is the fact that her technique cannot be duplicated or mimmicked. Just listen to how the song Emotions, Dreamlover, Always Be My Baby,& even Oh Santa start. Most of her songs start with some sort of falsetto, head voice, whistle, belt mix. She’s even stated she finds it difficult to do that when practicing. Another thing is that most Fucking Retards don’t realize is that 1 most parts of her songs that are dubbed and played back are harmonized parts, 2 she’s stated that belting everything is boring as hell, 3 she does write her own stuff so she can sing however the hell she feels, & 4 she says she is an alto with a five octave range. Her speaking voice is raspy so singing wise good or not it’s an extension of that. Natural rasp speech natural rasp singing. Also her ability to switch registers quickly with fast or slow vibrato or a mix of the two shows full control and very impressive craftsmanship. Hands down she is the best singer. Whitney to me has great breath control and tone, Beyonce has a good Falsetto yet doesn’t use it, Christina has a very light lower register which she doesn’t access enough, Chaka has had a very breathy Chest register since forever, & some other artists such as Katy Perry aren’t using their talents. Leona Lewis’ voice is too soft for me. Not enough rawness. Nicole from PCD is just another singer with lungs and no idea what to do with them.

    • JKZ

      There is no singer that can in the same boat as Mariah technique wise. Now there are some that come close as hell and they are not everyones porn wish artists like Beyonce, Christina, or Whitney. Yes some of ya are like on some extra shit.I could imagine how ya are about male singers… Lol… But anyway only Chante Moore & Ms.Ripperton herself come close to MC. They each have unique techniques and voices. And as added bonus, can all sing in their respective lower chest head and whistle registers FUCKING BEAUTIFULLY. Even though one of them is dead. Once again Mariah Carey is and will always be one out of a many. No she’s like, no she’s just as good as, nothing. She has these singers nowadays, who all use shit for their pitches and shit, beat in money, sales, and personality because she is the cutest person I’ve ever met… Lmao… Love Her…

    • hi great job done on mariah can you also profile one on lisa lavie as well that would be awesome thanks

    • hi great job done on mariah can you do a profile on lisa lavie as well that would be awesome thanks

    • faz chan

      MARIAH on her worst, still sounds A L-O-T better than artists of today e.g katy, rihanna, gaga, minaj, swift, cyrus and the likes. u know? the bitches who are just a product to sell. no quality in them music. therefore, i conclude that MARIAH on her worst days (vocally) can blow any mediocre artist out of the map STILL. the only real competition is Ms. Houston.

    • faz chan

      in 1990, Mariah stole my heart and never gave it back . LAMBS GO HARD. stay #triumphant MARIAH 🙂 the highest paid judge on American idol. A.I + NEW ALBUM + the butler = WINNER