Rolling Stone (10/30/97, pp.66-67) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...moves still further away from the warmed-over Whitney Houston of Carey's early recordings and firmly into the milieu of modern, hip-hop-inflected R&B. The surprise is that she does it rather well..."
Personnel: Mariah Carey, Mase the Lox, Dru Hill (vocals); Michael Cirro (guitar); Donald Parker (piano, keyboards); Walter Afanasieff (keyboards, synthesizers, programming); Stevie J, Dan Shea, Cory Rooney (keyboards, programming); Peter Scwartz (keyboards); Gary Montoute (Hammond B-3 organ); Artie Reynolds (bass); Nathaniel Townsley (drums); Q-tip (programming); Krayzie Bone, Melonie Daniels, Wish Bone, Mary Ann Tatum, Kelly Price, Trey Lorenz, Clarence (background vocals).
Producers include: Sean "Puffy" Combs, Stevie J, Mariah Carey, Walter Afanasieff, David Morales.
Engineers include: Dana Jon Chappelle, Rich Travali, Glen Marchese, Mike Scott, David Gleeson.
Principally recorded at: The Hit Factory, New York, New York.
"Butterfly" was nominated for a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. "Honey" was nominated for 1998 Grammy Awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.
A mature and contemplative Mariah Carey emerges as if from a chrysalis on her seventh album, displaying her now-familiar otherworldly vocal abilities tempered by a new restraint, as well as an infallible ear for irresistible rhythm-based, hook-laden music. BUTTERFLY's uptempo songs, including "Honey" and "Fly Away (Butterfly Reprise)," are flawlessly produced and catchy, and the title track soars with the spirit of independence and freedom.
BUTTERFLY is full of such hopeful, uplifting moments, but it is equally infused with a deep sense of sadness and loss, as displalyed on the album's numerous ballads, most notably "Breakdown," a simple, honest song with a "Tears Of A Clown" motif, on which Carey sings of hiding her sadness from the world. Both joy and grief are explored on this album with equal tenacity.
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