This live performance is the perfect peek into the life of rising pop/soul vocal sensation Mariah Carey at a youthful and innocent age in an intimate, acoustic setting. Throughout this performance, recorded live for MTV's Unplugged, Carey is quite electric and charismatic within her vocal presence and succeeds in enlightening the already engaged audience from the get-go. The audience certainly feels the warmth and sincerity of Carey's lyrical messages of longing, loss, friendships, and love. Carey's supporting cast of gifted group musicians back her up with soulful melodiousness, spontaneity, and enriching percussion. Gradually, the power and esteem of these tales lift to new heights and remain at a peak with the breathtaking, moment-making performance of "I'll Be There," a charming song first cut by the Jackson 5. All and all, this is an inspiring event, though still simple enough for the listener to catch those musical places that need to be polished. "Can't Let Go," Carey's radio single for the album, makes it as the seventh and final track, though the cameras are shut off for the Unplugged episode. Certainly, this is a record of hope, virtue, and the possibilities of newfound love.
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AllMusic Review by Shawn M. Haney