Butterfly

~ Release group by Mariah Carey

Album

Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Official
Butterfly CD 14 Sony Records (Japanese imprint) SRCS-8500 4988009850092
Butterfly CD 12 Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP) CK 67835 074646783528
Butterfly CD 14 Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP) 488537 2 9399700040272
Butterfly (manufacturing code 01-488537-13, closed eyes artwork in front) CD 14 Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP) COL 488537 2 5099748853721
Butterfly (01-488537-10, eyes open artwork in front) CD 14 Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP) COL 488537 2 5099748853721
Butterfly Digital Media 12 Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP) [none]
Butterfly CD 14 Columbia (imprint owned by CBS between 1938–1990 within US/CA/MX; owned worldwide by Sony Music Entertainment since 1991 except in JP) 488537.2 4893548853728

Relationships

associated singles/EPs: Butterfly
Honey
My All
Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0000594785 [info]
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/master/78000 [info]
Wikidata: Q255496 [info]
Wikipedia: en: Butterfly (Mariah Carey album) [info]
other databases: https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/mariah_carey/butterfly/ [info]
reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/d2wx [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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Butterfly was Mariah Carey's sixth album and the one where she departed from the formula that had been established on her breakthrough single, 1990's Vision of You. The album was released after Carey's much-publicised split with her husband and mentor, Tommy Mottola, the then-president of Sony Music Entertainment. At the time of the album's release, Carey told the Los Angeles Times: "At this point, I feel free enough to express what I'm really feeling, without using a smokescreen… It's definitely an evolution for me." This evolution meant that there would be a greater acknowledgment of her urban and hip hop influences and the last time that she worked significantly with her original producer, Walter Afanasieff, who had given her signature, ballad-heavy sound.

As a result, Butterfly is Carey's last truly great album to date. The main singles, Honey and My All (both US chart-toppers), demonstrate the record's two approaches. The former is produced by Puff Daddy and his team, with programming by Q-Tip. It's a breezy, street-savvy sound, partially based on the melody from Hey DJ by The World's Famous Supreme Team and Treacherous Three's The Body Rock. It gives new life to Carey's vocals, and for once her performance is relatively restrained, as she sounds positively engrossed in the material. My All, on the other hand, is written and produced by Carey with Afanasieff. It encapsulates her more traditional, straight ballad approach with Latin overtones. Across Butterfly, these styles meld together effortlessly.

However, the real joy is in the relatively dreamy down-tempo vibe of the remainder of the album. The Roof, produced by the then lava-hot Poke & Tone production duo, is probably the best example of this floating, ethereal soul. Featuring a sample of Shook Ones Part II by Mobb Deep, it updates the woozy soul of Marvin Gaye's Here, My Dear. Breakdown features two of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, adding their rolling beats to Carey's melisma-rich vocal. Also surprising is the almost karaoke version of Prince's Purple Rain showstopper The Beautiful Ones, here presented as a powerful duet with Dru Hill.

Of course, being a Carey album, there is some requisite showboating (Whenever You Call, Outside), but judicious programming makes Butterfly a real treat, and comes recommended to those Carey doubters who have never strayed beyond her singles.