I Still Belive
Mariah Carey dreams of getting back together with an ex-boyfriend in the scrupulous cover of “I Still Believe.”
In her cover, the synths are replaced with sympathetic strings and a plaintive drum. It sets a woeful tone.
In the first verse, she remembers how they used to look into each other’s eyes for hours while sitting on their bed. She has held onto her love for him, even though it’s likely he has moved on and is married to someone else.
“You look in my eyes... And nothing's changed.”
In the chorus, she says they will meet again and be together, as it was supposed to be.
“I still believe, someday you and me...Will find ourselves in love again.”
In the second verse, she has regretted leaving him for someone else. Then, she considered it independence and playing the field. But she ended up making a huge mistake. She wants to be able go back to the day she told him, “I want to see other people” and stay with him.
“Each day of my life..To have a second chance.”
In the bridge, the saxophone is gone. Strings are used instead. She wails their love is forever and it will overcome anything.
“No, no, no, no, no, nooo I need you baby..Then we must know that we will love again.”
Like the original, the second chorus is sung twice to close the single. The only change is Carey adlibs more.
“I still believe, someday you and me/Will find ourselves in love again/Oh baby, yeah yeah/I had a dream, you and me/Will find ourselves in love/Again (I still believe)/Oh baby I do (Someday you and me/Just give me one more time/And love/Again/I had a dream, someday you and me/Will find ourselves in love/Again.”
Unlike Brenda K. Starr, Carey and her boyfriend were adults when they were decided to part ways. She presented it as a logical ending (she wasn’t ready for a long-term commitment). However, after series of relationships after him didn’t work, she was devastated about losing him.
Carey’s whimpering vocals grip to the fantasy until her voice breaks from despondency. It’s not going to happen and she can’t admit it to herself. Carey adds a little emotional complexity by blaming herself. Unlike Starr, the breakup changed her and she’s the pessimist type.
The weepy arrangement is barely updated with only strings and lacks the saxophone. Other than those elements, the song is exactly the same. Every lyric is intact and Carey imitates Starr’s phrasing. Nothing new is done at all.
Her tribute to the singer who gave her start is well-intentioned. However, her slavish loyalty to the song is a burden.
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