Entertainment Weekly (10/13/95, p.76) - "...it's easily the best collection Carey has put out since her self-titled 1990 debut, the album DAYDREAM most resembles in its emphasis on R&B grooves..." - Rating: B
New York Times (Publisher) (1/6/96, p.C16) - Included on Stephen Holden's list of the Top 10 Albums of `95 - "...her newest album carries choral rhythm-and-blues to new heights of sophistication..."
Personnel: Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men (vocals); Dave "Jam" Hall, Jermaine Dupri, Manuel Seal (various instruments); Dann Huff, Tristan Avakian (guitar); Terry Barrus (piano); Lori Holland (Hammond B-3 organ); Babyface (keyboards, background vocals); Walter Afanasieff, David Morales, Satoshi Tomiie, Dan Shea (keyboards, synthesizer, programming); Steve Thornton (percussion); Gary Cirimelli, Randy Walker (programming); Kelly Price, Melonie Daniels, Shanrae Price (background vocals).
Producers include: David Hall, Walter Afanasieff, Mariah Carey, Jermaine Dupri, David Morales.
Engineers: Jay Healy, Kurt Lundvall, Andy Smith.
All songs co-written by Mariah Carey except "Open Arms" (S. Perry/J. Cain). Samples included "Genius Of Love" (as performed by Tom Tom Club).
DAYDREAM was nominated for 1996 Grammy Awards for Album Of The Year and Best Pop Album. "One Sweet Day" was nominated for Record Of The Year and Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals; "Fantasy" was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance; and "Always Be My Baby" was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
On DAYDREAM, Mariah Carey's singing expands the panorama of its emotional release--her voice, having been a strictly powerful pure instrument, now taking on the thespian strategies of great vocalists. She has added subtle understatement to her bag of tricks. On the hit single "Fantasy," a groovin' piece of soulful pop based on a sample of the Tom Tom Club's "Genius Of Love," the chorus layers generous helpings of her voice. But rather than featuring the high-pitched lead she's famous for, the vocal parts reflect off each other in penetrating harmony. When she gets to cooing the key "I'm in heaven..." refrain as the fade-out hook, Carey's voice carries an enticing faux-innocence to match any of Madonna's good girl/bad girl come-ons. There is also her cover of Journey's "Open Arms," on which the a capella opening drifts into the stardust sound effects and the electric piano accompaniment, and the singer pours herself into a striking, minor-key declaration.
There's also a more obvious modern R&B sheen to DAYDREAM than any of Carey's previous work. "One Sweet Day," her collaboration with Boyz II Men, sways with the sugary gospel cum synth-soul feel of the Philadelphia quartet's grandest romantic ballads. "Always Be My Baby," co-produced by Carey and Jermaine Dupri, expresses the simple, catchy melodic poise of the R&B girl-groups of the late 1950's and early '60s. And a Carey album wouldn't be complete without a track that rushes the listener onto the dance-floor. DAYDREAM'S nominee is David Morales' rolling "Daydream Interlude (Fantasy Sweet Dub Mix)" which explodes from a duet between Carey's vocal runs and a minimal keyboard part, into a house groove spurred on by tinklingly funky piano licks.
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