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Bill Lamb

Mariah Carey "I Want To Know What Love Is" Goes to European Radio - She Hits It Out of the Park

By August 28, 2009

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What do you do when you are one of the top pop recording artists of all time and still possess much of the original talent that got you there? If you are Mariah Carey, you keep reaching for new sonic achievements in music. The new single from Carey's upcoming Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel album is a remake of Foreigner's #1 smash hit single "I Want to Know What Love Is." The original version hit #1 on the US pop singles chart for two weeks in 1985. Mariah Carey's new version could leave you speechless.

The diversity of vocal coloring expressed in this recording is stunning. While the single "Obsessed" remains disappointing, this single is a reminder of just how formidable Carey's talents are given a strong production and arrangement. The production here is courtesy Christopher "Tricky" Stewart and James "Big Jim" Wright. The official release of "I Want to Know What Love Is" is not scheduled until September 29, 2009 when the album hits stores. However, the song goes to European radio today and has already leaked online. Listen to a snippet below.

  • Listen to "I Want to Know What Love Is"

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Photo by Bryan Bedder / Getty Images


August 28, 2009 at 1:37 am
(1) nic says:

i think that this is a nice song, i wonder if it will be successful at radio

August 28, 2009 at 2:56 am
(2) Jadd says:

She has masterfully recreated this song in an inspirational way while showcasing her vocal ability to reach notes one could not fathom even in dreams. It is truly a privilege to hear Mariah Carey doing what she’s the best at.

August 28, 2009 at 5:05 am
(3) Barn says:

Here is an article worth reading. Thanks you for doing what other people, supposedly “writers”, are averse doing these days: actually appreciating the work that goes into producing and recording a song. I love the new Mariah Carey single, I Wanna Know What Love Is.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you

August 28, 2009 at 6:02 am
(4) KillTheLAMBS says:

Mariah is dead with this song officially. Not only did she kill it she butchered it too. Please, MASTERFUL and INSPIRATIONAL does not even worthy of a description of this song to begin with. You those, listen to the original instead. Mariah cover this song just to show she has the vocal chops. (I don’t even call the wailing and dog whistling singing) Truth is she don’t. If she still does, she wouldn’t be whispering through all her song these days. You want singing? Listen to Vision of Love and If It’s Over. Those are MASTERFUL and INSPIRATIONAL!

August 28, 2009 at 6:39 am
(5) Pete says:

I agree with Killthelambs, this is an awful version!!!! I’m not a Mariah fan, really can’t stand her. I saw her being interviewed on TV over here and she has absolutely 0 personality with facial expressions that were non existant (botox??). Very rare to take a classic song and make it better. In fact i can’t think of one example.

August 28, 2009 at 9:19 am
(6) Emilee says:

This song was beautifully re-done.. Haters need to lay off of mariah!

August 28, 2009 at 9:28 am
(7) viciuzurban says:

The remake is quite good. It isnt great but you can’t knock it. For now, at least because we have yet to hear the finished product in the context of the album. Too many people jumped to conclusions and were quick to dismiss this remake even before it premiered. Lets not get it twisted people.

Some have queried the fact that the first chorus is rather breathy – there have been countless versions of this remake, youtube is scattered with them by different artists – but for me the airy chorus adds an ethereal dreamy quality which is missing from other interpretations. Her interpretation is reflective and understated.

“Very rare to take a classic song and make it better. In fact i canít think of one example.”

There are plenty. I don’t have time to educate you. You can tell a lot from a person by what they focus on, instead of the music – “has absolutely 0 personality with facial expressions that were non existant (botox??)”

August 28, 2009 at 9:39 am
(8) joey says:

great song, love it. relax people.

August 28, 2009 at 1:51 pm
(9) Alex says:

I agree with KillTheLAMBS and Pete.

First off, Mariah doesn’t deserve any points for reviving this overblown ballad from the ’80s. “Let’s see–I’ll pick a schmaltzy ballad that was a big hit 25 years ago and see if I can get a big hit out of it too.” I mean, how original is that?

Mariah tends to butcher originals. She ruined “Endless Love,” and she seems to be doing the same thing with IWTKWLI. Basically, she puts in too many vocal acrobatics and frills. In her case, she would be better off if she sang the song *exactly* like the original. Furthermore, Mariah no longer has much soul, and her cover of this song doesn’t sound particularly compelling.

In a nutshell, this song appears to be an OK rendition of the original. It’s not awful, but it’s just not exciting or memorable.

Will it flop? I don’t know. But I don’t expect it to be the huge hit that many are predicting.

August 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm
(10) Alex says:

OK, I just searched the Web and found the entire song, instead of just the 45-second snippet we heard at the link above.

Having heard the whole thing, I think that, basically, Mariah’s remake lacks electricity and magic. Even though the original was cheesy, it was extremely charismatic. Mariah’s version is serviceable, but there’s no special spark to it. To me, it comes across as just another ballad.

I will say that I thought “We Belong Together” was amazing. However, Mariah’s IWTKWLI doesn’t belong in that league IMO.

August 28, 2009 at 8:15 pm
(11) KillTheHATERS says:

You think it’s not singing? You think that whispering is a bad thing? Mariah knows how to structure a song.. as yelling at every point in a song gives it no direction and is just annoying. Mariah makes a story out of the song as she builds to the climax. She’s pleased internationally with this cover.. and face it, it’s been hard for Mariah to be as successful in Europe as she is in the US. Even the UK Daily Star gave it 5 of 5.

August 28, 2009 at 10:30 pm
(12) Angel says:

You all NEED to stop HATING! I agree with KILL THE HATERS…. This song is GREAT! I love her vocals and it is a masterd remake! I can’t stop replaying it!! IT’ll do great on the radios! #1! Mariah is a Queen! LOVE U MARIAH!!

August 28, 2009 at 11:57 pm
(13) WhateverLosers says:

Mariah totally did justice to this song. Those that have negative things to say are first off not fans, and not reviewing the song, they are speaking from a dislike of Mariah. It was not “butchered”. For the person that said she butchered “Endless Love” that is just ignorance…Luther Vandross sang featuring Mariah, and it was a remarkable song both Luther and Mariah made magic with that song. Mariah has always used her “whispery voice” from the first album to now, although it is more pronounced now, she still sings circles around many today, not only that her range is still untouchable, while just about anyone can hit a high note, very few people can actually color the notes, there is more to a high note than just hitting it, and the talent Mariah owns indeed special. Very few have the technique that Mariah, Minnie, Lisa Fischer and a few others have, in fact Mariah and Lisa have the such vocal skill they can sing deeply in their alto high into soprano and beyond….try listening to all Mariah’s music in particular her non released stuff, before you try and judge what she can or cannot do with her voice.

August 29, 2009 at 1:59 am
(14) TheHaterHater says:

You know…that ending killed me with all the amazing runs and heavenly high notes…..i think she’s showcasing her vocals to prove-wrong to the people who have been saying that she totally “lost it”….when she obviously still has it…..and with all the hating and stuff….it’s a waste of your time…cuz ur hate doesn’t affect mariah in any way but only makes her stronger….

August 29, 2009 at 4:16 am
(15) 1980 says:

IWTWLI, omg, i cant stop to play it IN MP3 PLAYER, i stil played it on and on and on and on.

August 29, 2009 at 4:49 am
(16) 1980 says:

“This aint a dance club track this is a power ballad that will move you. Mariah vocals are popping in this track set to be the second single off of Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel this record is destine to be mariah 19 number one single”.
i agree 100%.

August 29, 2009 at 4:52 am
(17) 1980 says:

mariah i want to know what love is” made me melting.

August 29, 2009 at 7:19 am
(18) samueldidi says:

it is very decent song,although it is not the best song.i like it and can’t stop listening it.

August 29, 2009 at 6:59 pm
(19) Brian says:

I think this is a brilliant remake. Very radio friendly and really addicting. A song’s true potential is never evident until it has been played and heard over and over. It’s a hit in my oppinion!

August 30, 2009 at 5:35 pm
(20) anonymous says:

Mariah Carey Massacred Foreigner Song

August 30, 2009 at 8:45 pm
(21) candice says:

I love it….it’s uplifting!

August 31, 2009 at 2:44 am
(22) Jesse_M'sia says:

Standing O’s from all over Asia…salute’ to Mariah…

Definately a hit for sure…remake gives live to the song with Mariah’s beautiful vocals brings up the fire in the song!

Memoirs…gonna be perfect…

September 2, 2009 at 7:29 am
(23) cityscream says:

The ending was fanciful; great in a sense. She showed of not only her powerful chest voice, but the legendary whistle reguster and high falsettos. Everytime when she does a remake, she never fails to deliver it better than the previous one. Though her voice may not be as vibrant, the range is definitely still there. She’s prepared to battle with Whitney while Celine takes a break.

September 4, 2009 at 4:53 am
(24) Aron says:

those “haters”, you don’t know what you are saying, i may be just 16 yrs old and i mean it, still i know how to judge a song, “good” or “bad”, and i think this is not just good, it’s AMAZING. how dare you say something bad, judge and accuse against someone who had proven themselves worthy.

every singer has their “OWN STYLE”,”OWN SKILLS” and “TALENTS”…

September 5, 2009 at 2:51 pm
(25) twitter.com/MrToxicAJ says:

@cityscream Mariah is not prepared to battle Whitney because there is no battle. Mariah’s vocals on IWTKWLI are better than Whitney’s vocals on her new album. Mariah wins the battle and she is going to continue to dominate when her album comes out.
Everyone visit http://www.mariahdaily.com to find out how to download Obsessed off of Amazon for FREE! It counts towards Billboard Hot 100!

September 7, 2009 at 12:26 pm
(26) I'll Pass says:

It sounds as if she is just reading words off a piece of paper, no emotion or feeling. If this cover version is any indication of the hype on this album, then it will definitely a leftover from Rainbow album.

2 out of 5..

September 7, 2009 at 12:31 pm
(27) Retire Please says:

Can someone shove this old lady’s mouth with a cucumber, please! She is so annoying either to listen or watch.

September 7, 2009 at 12:36 pm
(28) Leona Happy says:

She ruins this beautiful ballad. Mariah’s version is dreadful.


September 9, 2009 at 11:17 pm
(29) I NEED EARPLUGS says:

Oh My GOD!!!!! You people are joking right? This is such a massacre of a good song. No emotion whatsoever, very bland, a complete joke. FLOP, FLOP, FLOP, FLOP……

September 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm
(30) perazi says:

very nice song!!! love it

September 18, 2009 at 12:11 am
(31) MB says:

WOW. Have any of you hear the original? Recently? Not twenty years ago when you were high off hair spray. The original was good for that time and realistically, whether you like Mariah or not, her version will probably be a hit. So you guys take your geritol and make sure your depends are fasten she’s got the most #1 hits of any recording artist in history. Lets judge the music for what it is. If she belted out the entire thing exactly like the original then people would be criticizing her for it. She did it like Mariah would and she’s criticized for it. criticize away. I’m sure you’re all experts in the music industry. Oh.. I am.

September 21, 2009 at 10:12 am
(32) Missy says:

Mariah butchered many songs, I’ll be there, Against all odds, endless love, without you, I still believe, and now I want to know what love is? what is she doing? proving that she can sing better than other/ i dont give a damn who sings better, but you dont just take anyone songs and butcher them. Oh Mariah massacre them. This will not top the chart for sure. Guarantee..why because she never had a number one song of a remake!!!

September 23, 2009 at 11:03 am
(33) jon says:

Lol!!!! I’ve read some comments…how can anyone say she
Butchered ENDLESS LOVE or AGAINST ALL Odds, I get why
But those two LORD, (people hate remakes),

Let her do her thing and btw count on this maybe
Being the next WBT mariah fans know where I’m
Going with this lol 14 weeks…lol

September 29, 2009 at 2:34 pm
(34) JSP says:

Mariah has done it again – absolutely slaughtered a perfectly good song by overpowering the melody with her ridiculous trills. Give it a rest, Mariah, and let’s hear something understated for once.

October 1, 2009 at 2:33 pm
(35) Lips On IT says:

I think you people are HATING beacuse she still has it !! I agree with KillTheHaters Why does she have to belt and yell all the time ?? This song is truely a story that she vocaly builds up soft whispers to high Whistle Notes Is amazing. I think she did a good job i dont think we will hear a better remake from anyother artist……(Britany, Beyonce)….:)

October 12, 2009 at 1:14 am
(36) batosalangit69 says:

I’ts a simple logic. If you are not a fan of Mariah, never listen to her music. Because if you do, you will never appreciate her and instead say negative comments. It’s the same thing as other people get rid of you because you are not their type. Anyway, you are just a dust of millions of fans she has today that you may not have even one.

October 12, 2009 at 3:11 pm
(37) Michelle says:

Missy, get your facts straight……I’ll Be There was number 1 for two weeks and it was the LIVE version.

October 17, 2009 at 10:14 am
(38) Zoran MCfan says:

God this song is amazing,the very beginning and her voice beautiful,fresh,nice so colourful and the best like before!Mariah Carey is the best singer that ever lived!PEOPLE WHO HATE AND WTIRE 20 SENTENCES ON MARIAH ARE SO STUPID!BUT ALL THIS WR WRITE PROVES SHE IS BACH!HOPE TO HEAR HER SOON…LOVE YOU MARIAH
BTW..Whitney is nowdays just another drug addict even thou she was one of the best singers and Celine is just to white to be the best;)))

October 17, 2009 at 10:17 am
(39) Zoran MCfan says:

This song….oh my God she is back!thank you Mariah for being out there for us all these years and obsessed performance with Nick talk after and all the dancers is amazing!

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