Whenever someone on The Radio was good enough, Mom would buy their albums so she could play them at the house whenever she wanted. One time she brought home an especially good one.
“This is Mariah Carey,” Mom told me. “She has the highest, most powerful female voice in all of music.”
I agreed Mariah Carey was much higher and at times as powerful as the mighty Steve Perry, especially on “Any Time You Need a Friend.”
“Any Time You Need a Friend,” is a song about not being lonely. Mariah promises that whenever you’re about to get lonely you can call her, and she’ll come over and hang out with you and be your friend.
At first Mariah Carey’s holding back in the song, using a voice of normal highness and power to gently lure you in. But then at the chorus these gospel-style backup singers come in, and Mariah Carey rises over the top of them with a sudden boom of highness and power. The song rises in intensity until another little holding back part at the bridge, but when the chorus comes back Mariah Carey unleashes her full strength. She sings the “I” of “I will be here,” so high any other singer would crack their voice. And she sings the “Don’t” of “Don’t worry,” with a ferocious animal power-growl. Then she gets on a roll, singing things like “Don’t you ever be lonely,” and “It’s alright,” and “ahhh-ahhh-ahhh” and then out of nowhere she goes up like two octaves higher to belt out a long run in the super high and rare whistle register. It’s like she’s trying to destroy Alone Reality with nothing but her voice. Even as the song fades out Mariah Carey is still going full power and you wonder if she just kept singing like that for the rest of the day. After listening to the song you’re certain you’ll never be alone again. I had The Chills the whole time I was growing up, cuz Mom played it all the time.