on October 31, 2009
"Music Box" is Mariah Carey's best selling album and often seen as Mariah Carey's 'masterpiece'. I feel a little differently, I think Mariah Carey's first masterpeice was "Butterfly" where she truly expressed who she was and came out into her own.
The thing with Mariah Carey's earlier work is that it seems very tame and marketable, and at times kind of forced. Of course everyone knows that Mariah Carey was under the thumb of Tommy Mattola at the time in the early nineties and unfortunately recorded a lot of songs she didn't necessarily want to record. Yes - Mariah Carey wrote her own music but from reading interviews and the turn in an R&B direction she took on in the later nineties with "Butterfly" and beyond, I honestly think that is the direction Mariah Carey wanted to be in the whole time.
That aside, 'Music Box' is a slow and more adult-contemporary album. The songs themselves set a mood.
The singles themselves are effective. "Dreamlover" is a breath of fresh air even all these years later and a Mariah classic, "Hero" - it's very schmalzy but even then I think it's pretty effective and Mariah brings so much passion and emotion to the vocals. I love "Everytime You Need A Friend", what a beautiful and moving song. "Without You" is a cover song that was originally by Badfinger and I think Mariah's version is nice.
The title track, 'Music Box' is cute.
The album tries to have a bit of a fun side with songs like "Now That I Know" and "I've Been Thinkin' About You" but they don't fit in in my opinion.
It kind of seems like they were just put there to give the album a bit of a fun side because the majority of the album is very mellow. Not a bad idea, but these songs aren't that great. Perhaps if they were mixed differently or just not included at all, it's be better.
As for the remainder of the tracks - "Never Forget You", "Just To Hold You Once Again", and "All I've Ever Wanted" are nice ballads.
To conclude, 'Music Box' is a nice album. The ballads are beautiful but because of how mellow it is, they shouldn't have included those upbeat dance songs, it really ruins the overall relaxing mood of the album.
In retrospect this album is a landmark and important part of Mariah Carey's discography because of it's cultural impact and significance but in my opinion, it is not her best work in the scope of her career
on December 27, 2002
"Music Box", Mariah Carey's third long play album (1993), remains her most accessible work for general public. It is ballad-heavy, making the singer one of top balladeers of 1990's and sending her songs among the most requested in various shows (I suppose especially those where you could send a song to your darling).
In fact, "Music Box" is so free of anything controversial that it looks suspicious, especially now that we know real Mariah is different and that she said she had felt in her marriage with Sony Music boss Tommy Mottola like a bird trapped in a golden cage. She never sounded so incurably romantic, never anymore was such a conventional woman as here.
Indeed, nearly all the songs are about Mariah being deeply in love, Mariah dreaming of true love, Mariah crying over lost love or saying goodbye to a-still-beloved person. Besides, there is her famous tune "Hero" and friendship anthem "Anytime You Need a Friend".
The collection is by far the most melody-driven Carey has ever put out. "Music Box" is a true gem, a beautiful song. "Without You" was a cover that made her famous throughout the planet, especially in Europe (where her appeal was low before 1994). In "Never Forget You" collaboration with Babyface (at the time at the height of his fame) and "Just to Hold You Once Again" Carey perfectly displays tenderness and fragility.
Two cuts prepared by Clivilles & Cole duo (the last two ever, as David Cole later succumbed to AIDS) do not sound as fresh as they did back then, but hold up rather well, chiefly due to Mariah's dynamic voice.
"Music Box" remains among Carey's most commercials albums. At the time of its release, Mariah had such a strong position on the charts that blockbusting success was sure -- although it came on the heels of such huge female smashes as Whitney Houston's "Bodyguard" and Janet Jackson's "janet." Over Christmas in 1993, both the single "Hero" and the album dominated the US sales.
on November 2, 2002
The third album in the singer's catalog begins to show Carey's desire to be more accepted by the "hip-hop" generation, and that is cause for concern. While she is gifted with a magical set of pipes (and a killer bod, to boot), Mariah's decision to incorporate rap rhythms makes this one a kind of schizophrenic undertaking. She bounces for "ingénue" to "home girl" in such a manner that she is somewhat musically confused.
The cut "Dreamlover" will be "recycled" in subsequent releases as "Honey", "Fantasy", and "Heartbreaker", respectively.
Also, this album began Carey's tendency to have THE INSPIRATIONAL ANTHEM, you know, the one that can be sung at any function, regardless of one's ethnicity, religion, or economic standing.
"Hero" is the song of choice here. That song will be done for years to come. We can either praise or condemn Carey for that, depending on our respective points of view.
Overall, however, the disc comes recommended for its contribution to female pop of the 90's.
on August 6, 2001
Wow, the old Mariah..This album was really one of the last truly great moments of her career(at this point). This was before the arrival of "Butterfly", and the departure of most of her clothing(not that I mind that part, but still..). I was only a sophomore in highschool when this was released. As much as I would like to blame this appreciation for Mariah on a girlfriend at the time, I can't. I discovered her all on my own, a time when most of my peers were indulging in "Stone Temple Pilots", "Nirvana", and "Pearl Jam", but I'm not ashamed to say these songs have helped me through some rough times. As most have pointed out "Hero" is a truly wonderful song, sometimes I'm not in the mood for it, but it still can be soothing. "Without You" could possibly feature the most heart wrenching vocals I have ever heard, she puts' so much into that one, the angst can really be felt. "Just To Hold You Once Again", very simple, no dramatic pick up in the music, just a great expression of desperation, and a missed opportunity for a single..As for the rest of the album, "Never Forget You" is one I have always liked, originally I simply viewed it as another ending of a relationship type song, but I believe this one goes a little deeper than that, to deal with the loss of a loved one. "Dreamlover" is some decent pop, but honestly, for the most part, I have never cared too much for the upbeat music Mariah has released, not that it's bad, but with this style, I usually am only drawn to the more emotional material. Well, I suppose that about says it all, this was before Mariah "Jumped The Shark", but I still believe she has it in her to be this good again. Even her last couple of releases have contained some powerful performances. She has a beautiful voice and is a talented songwriter, and this album is the perfect example..Maybe someday she will quit selling herself short.
on March 16, 2001
1. Dreamlover- (10/10) I love this song. It's my favorite song on the album. Strangely it sounds like Christmas music. It has a great beat. #1 Hit.
2. Hero- (9/10) A little too slow and boring for me. It sounds like it should be a theme to a movie. Actually it was going to be but Tommy Mottola said that it was too good for a movie. #1 Hit
3. Anytime You Need A Friend- (10/10) This is a very good song! It reached #12 on the Billboard charts. It has a gospel choir in the background.
4. Music Box- (10/10) This song is wonderful! The sounds of a music box can be heard throughout the song. The lyrics are extremely well written.
5. Now That I Know- (8/10) One of Mariah's early-90's upbeat dance songs. It sounds like To Be Around You, So Cold, and I've Been Thinking About You.
6. Never Forget You- (8.5/10) This song is okay. There is nothing incredible about it but its a nice slow song.
7. Without You- (8/10) This song hit #1 in the UK. I really don't like it though. It's a cover of the Nillson song.
8. Just To Hold You Once Again- (8/10) This song is pretty boring. It never picks up anywhere. It just keeps going on and on searching for a climax that it never reaches.
9. I've Been Thinking About You- (9/10) See #5
10. All I've Ever Wanted- (9.5/10) This song is beautiful. It is one of the best ballads on this album.
11. Heroe- (8.5/10)Spanish version of Heroe featured only on Spanish Imports. See #2. The only reason I gave this one a lower score is because it doesn't even mean the same thing in Spanish. Mariah keeps singing about LIBRO or BOOK never HEROE.
on April 25, 2000
In retrospect Music Box was the beginning of Mariah Carey's slide towards market-tailored material, the loss of the artistic soul that she was beginning to show, the end result being her overvocalized, soulless hits from 1995 on.
But Music Box still contains strong moments. Opening track "Dreamlover" was a massive hit, a semi-interesting dance groove, melodically unmemorable, but far less offensive or cutesy than "Fantasy" or "Honey". And Carey still excelled at ballads: The R&B track "Never Forget You" sounds great, and her cover of Nilsson's "Without You" almost comes close to the original. The Ham/Evans song is so catchy that it's hard to miss, and even if Carey's rendition lacks the quiet elegance of Nilsson's delivery, it does provide a suitable opportunity for Carey to cut loose her voice. And "Hero" is the most unselfconsciously anthemic song in the Carey catalogue, not in a bad way, and even if it's schmaltzy and obvious, it's still ear candy.
But other songs fare far less well. "Music Box" is positively anemic and lyrically incredibly inept; "All I've Ever Wanted" is a shameless ripoff of the retch-inducing Whitney Houston megahit "I Will Always Love You", right down to those senseless yowls that emote nothing but aim to shatter eardrums and glasses alike. And it manages to sound even worse than Houston's song. And "Anytime You Need a Friend" is sleep-inducing feel-good material, along the lines of "Make It Happen" from Emotions.
If you can, find the Japanese import version of Music Box. My second copy of this album (I was a very big fan in the early '90s) has two very good Carey ballads as bonus tracks, which appeared as B-sides to the first two singles from Music Box, "Dreamlover" and "Hero". "Do You Think of Me" is a breathy, very sexy ballad, almost carnal in its evocation of desire; and "Everything Fades Away" invites back those sorely missed gospel vocals -- though the lyrics are pretty plain, the sonic punch of the track is great, and the melodies sure and catchy. That package I'd bought also contained a mini photo booklet and nicer packaging than the normal editions.
on March 24, 2001
Often described as one of Mariah's best abums (second to her debut),I actually find some of her later ones better. It IS very good,however. The first track is by FAR my favorite and the best (in my opinion.) Even though later tracks such as "Fantasy" and "Heartbreaker" have been compared to it,I see no resemblance. "Hero" is also phenomenal (one of Mariah's best ballads) and one of her most well known tracks. Two other standouts on this disk are also "Anytime You Need A Friend" and the title track "Music Box." All in all,good album,but if you like this,I reccomend "Daydream" and "Butterfly" by Mariah. They blow this album out of the water! Thanks for reading.
on November 18, 2003
This one is a very good album. Mariah Carey is a very very good singer. She sings better than Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne or Jeniffer Lopez, without a doubt. You could be better listening to Mariah Carey, instead of Britney Spears, and all of those pop princesses.
On this album the songs are fine, but not each of them. I did not give this album 5 stars, because here are some poor songs, like Anytime You Need A Friend 2/5, All I've Ever Wanted 1/5, I Been Thinking About You 2/5. My favorite songs from this album are Withhout You 5/5, Dreamlover 5/5, Hero 4/5, and Never Forget You 4/5. When you want to buy an album, first read a review !!! I really really recommend it for you. ....
on November 13, 2003
MUSIC BOX was released in 1993 following three albums since 1990,the year her self-titled debut was released. EMOTIONS followed in '91,and the live 30-minute MTV UNPLUGGED in '92. Mariah covers WITHOUT YOU originally recorded by the late Harry Nilsson. Air Supply covered the song after Mariah. Aside from WITHOUT YOU,hits include DREAMLOVER,HERO and ANYTIME YOU NEED A FRIEND. Total playing time of this CD is 42 minutes and 1 second. Some CD players read it as 41 minutes and 59 seconds. It's worth listening to,though.
on October 4, 2003
mariah does it again. she is one of the few artists which i will listen to and get serious goosebumps goin on me for a while, listening to her hit that high-pitched tune of hers. she does jus that in "anytime you need a friend". i can't listen to that song w/out getting goosebumps and feeling how powerful both the song AND her voice really are... gee whizz.
what else can i say? i think when something has that effect on you, you sure are bound to be blown away :)