Mariah Carey’s Albums, Ranked

Mariah Carey is one of the most influential singers of all time. She has some amazing albums and here is the ranking

BYBarnell Anderson
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Mariah Carey is one of the most successful singer/songwriters ever. With a career spanning multiple decades, Mariah has 15 studio albums. She has 19 number-1 hits on Billboard and has sold over 200 million records globally. Besides having several mega-hits, Mariah Carey is known as an album artist. This means fans can enjoy her full albums instead of only the singles on the radio. 

Throughout her storied career, Mariah Carey has been seen as the blueprint for many artists. In fact, Rolling Stone even included her in the top 5 of their greatest singers of all time list. Of course, that list has been questioned by many, but there is no denying that Mariah Carey has one of the most important voices in music. What makes her singing so unique are the high notes and her voice's breathy nature. She has worked with several other greats, including Whitney Houston, Boys II Men, and, most recently, Brandy in 2022. 

Mariah Carey's musical catalog is unmatched. In many ways, she is the epitome of what it means to be an R&B/Pop singer. Luckily, Mariah is still making great music. To some fans, her newer albums are even better than her older and highest-selling bodies of work. 

Here are Mariah Carey's albums, ranked. This list does not include soundtracks or extended plays.

12. Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse (2005)

Last on the list ranking Mariah Carey's albums is her 2015 release. Me. I am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse is a sporadic group of songs. Though most fans consider it a solid album, it's a bit all over the place. Fans got their first taste of the album through its lead single, #Beautiful, and yes, the hashtag is actually in the song title. Though a moderate hit, many complain that the featured artist on the song, Miguel, has more to do on the track than Mariah. Standouts from the album are Cry. and Faded. 

11. Music Box (1998)

Music Box is actually one of Mariah Carey's biggest commercial albums. However, this album doesn't entirely feel like a Mariah album. It's a bit subdued in comparison to her better works. Still, it has some iconic songs. Most fans would know Hero and Dreamlover from this one. Mariah released it in 1998, and it's her third album. 

10. E=MC2 (2008)

Mariah Carey's 2008 album, E=MC2, had a lot of pressure to be a hit. It followed her big comeback just two years prior, where she racked up tons of awards and proved to the world she still had it. Mariah released Touch My Body as the lead single, and it became her 18th number 1 hit. Though the album has some memorable songs besides the lead single, it's just not super memorable. However, check out Side Effects, Love Story, Last Kiss, and I'm That Chick. 

9. Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel (2009)

Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel is one of Mariah's best albums. However, it's simply not as known as some of her biggest. Released in 2009, the upbeat song Obsessed was chosen as the lead single. Famously, it's also a bit of a diss track to Eminem. Unfortunately, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel didn't have much staying power. Despite this, it's a fan favorite. You should listen to Candy Bling, Standing O, Ribbon, It's A Wrap, and her remake of I Want To Know What Love Is. 

8. Rainbow (1999)

Rainbow is Mariah Carey's last album of the 1990s. It's one of her most famous albums and includes one of her biggest hits, Heartbreaker. Many fans also regard the album for songs such as After Tonight and Petals. However, Rainbow was also her first album in a while to not reach number 1. It debuted at number 2 with over 300,000 units sold. 

7. Emotions (1991)

Mariah Carey's Emotions is only her second album, but it's also one of her best. Released in 1991, it's an excellent display of Mariah Carey's voice. With this album, Mariah Carey had much more creative control and could deviate from the usual 1990s musical formula. She released the title track as the lead single. 

6. Caution (2018)

Released in 2018, Caution is Mariah Carey's latest album. Fortunately, it's also one of her best. Most importantly, it showed Mariah's ability to adapt to a new sound while also including elements of her music fans have always loved. It may not have been a blockbuster seller, but it's one of the most important R&B albums of recent years. 

5. Mariah Carey (1990)

Mariah Carey's self-titled debut album came in 1990. It has a strong 1980s sound, which you can hear in the hit Vision of Love. As many fans know, Vision of Love is one of Mariah Carey's most recognizable songs. Notably, it's considered one of the most difficult songs to sing. Mariah won Best New Artist at the Grammys as well as Best Female Pop Vocalist during the album cycle. 

4. Charmbracelet (2002)

Though considered one of Mariah's best albums, Charmbraclet is often overlooked. Released in 2002, it was her first album since both the failure of her movie Glitter and her public breakdown. The first single, Through The Rain, is a fan favorite, but it wasn't a big hit. The album sold 241,000 units in its first week. You should also check out The One. 

3. The Emancipation of Mimi (2005)

The Emancipation of MiMi is the big comeback we previously mentioned. Released in 2005, the first taste was the lead single It's Like That. However, things really ramped up with We Belong Together. Not only was it Mariah's 16th number-one hit, but it remained in the top spot for 14 non-consecutive weeks. Billboard even named it the song of the decade. The entire album is iconic and can be listened to from top to bottom. 

2. Daydream (1996)

Mariah's fifth album came out in 1996. It features three of her biggest hits and is considered a masterpiece. Many fans say this is an album most artists would work their entire careers to produce. She received several Grammy nominations for the album but was completely snubbed the night of the ceremony. Still, it was one of the biggest albums of that year. 

1. Butterfly (1997)

Butterfly is Mariah Carey's best album. Most people feel this way because it's super personal and shows the singer truly experimenting with her songwriting. The album's most famous songs are Honey, Butterfly, and The Roof. Mariah even released a 25th-anniversary version in 2022. One of the highlights of the rerelease was Mariah Carey and Brandy working together on the new version of The Roof.

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