Are you ready hear Mariah Carey's 90's punk album?
Just picture it, it's 1995 and Mariah Carey is at the height of her career. She's recording her soon-to-be massive 1995 pop album Daydream. Would you have ever guessed that she also was recording a rebellious, secret grunge album? This is brunette, curly-haired, 90s jeans-wearing Mariah, who is smack dab in the middle of an arguably tragic relationship with record label head Tommy Mottola. She confessed to the existence of this album in her 2020 memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey. This album was released anonymously, under the band name Chick. While Carey's vocals can allegedly be quietly heard in the background, the album had no association with Mariah. A friend of Carey's named Clarissa Dane served as the lead singer for the respected project.
Tracks from the Chick album like Malibu and Demented show a darker side to the pop superstar - a side influenced by rebellious girl groups like Garbage and Hole, and even punk legends like Green Day and L7. Recently, in an interview with Rolling Stone Music Now, Carey hinted at a re-release of the Chick album, but this time with Carey on lead vocals. She was quoted as saying
"I think this unearthed version will become, yes, something we should hear. I'm working on a version of something where there'll be another artist working on this with me as well."
With this release, we can expect Mariah Carey will be flexing her versatile talents, and ability to effortlessly shift between genres. Chick is a good project, even from an alternative rock perspective. Carey felt devastated and imprisoned at the time during her relationship with Tommy Mottola, who was 20 years her senior. No one would have guessed the diva who recorded albums like Emotions and Music Box would have such an unmanicured, unbridled, and disobedient side to her musical personality. Without a doubt, Tommy Mottola would never let the pop superstar release the album under her name back then.
Times have changed, though. Now it seems the lines between genres have become even more blurred, and more urban-focused artists have experimented with rock, industrial and noise elements in the middle of their light, unapologetically catchy pop songs. Carey was quoted as saying: "I was playing with the style of the breezy-grunge, punk-light white female singers who were popular at the time. You know the ones who seemed to be so carefree with their feelings and their image." She told the podcast. "I honestly wanted to put the record out back then under, you know, the same pseudonym, just put it out and be like, you know whatever, let them discover that it's me, but that idea was kind of stomped and squashed."
Let it be no mistake - this isn't Mariah Carey trivializing rock music. This isn't about releasing a fake album for fun, then returning to focus on the music she takes seriously. Mariah Carey has gone through struggles many dedicated alternative singers have never experienced. Between her tumultuous childhood and toxic family, to her unusual marriage to Tommy Mottola, which later became legendary music lore that's still dissected to this day. Carey doesn't shy away from discussing it for herself either, and the dark cloud that her marriage was over her otherwise perfect life.
Mariah Carey has been on a mission to find the original 90s recordings and release them to the public. Soon, we'll get to hear the legendary 90s grunge Mariah Carey's angst for ourselves. She's set to re-release the album with her vocals on the lead. We'll all get to hear this parallel universe, rock, and roll, Mariah Carey. Until then, listen to the original Chick album, which was only recently added to Spotify. Listen to Chick on Spotify here, along with a playlist of songs that inspired the secret project :