’90s No. 1s Revisited: “Someday”

The thirty-second No. 1 song of the 1990s was “Someday” by Mariah Carey. Prior to “Someday,” Carey had sent her first two releases to No. 1  — “Vision Of Love” and “Love Takes Time.” As both of those were ballads, “Someday” provided listeners with their first opportunity to witness Carey try to go upper-tempo. “Someday” was the first of three songs Carey would send to No.1 in 1991, the other two being “I Don’t Wanna Cry,” the fourth and final release from her eponymous debut album, and “Emotions,” the title track and only No. 1 hit off her second album. Carey would turn out to be the only artist to have three No. 1 hits in 1991.

“Someday” is a post-breakup song about a woman who believes her lover will regret dumping her. It was a cool, mildly sassy, percussion-happy track, rooted in somewhat generic songwriting. It was successful largely — if not entirely — because Carey at this point was the hottest new artist on the music scene.

Let’s listen to “Someday”:

This is a cute song. It was in heavy rotation on MTV and VH1, thanks in part to its accessible and fun video, and its production was radio-friendly. This song also is significant because, after Carey’s debut album, she would release up-tempo songs as the lead singles off her next five studio albums, and all those songs would hit No. 1. So while at the time, “Someday” seemed like a young balladeer’s foray into dance, in time we would see Carey as a multifaceted artist at home in a variety of genres and tempos.

This song didn’t exactly push the boundaries of music as we know it, but it was a capably written and performed Pop number.

Does it hold up? The instrumental seems a bit dated today, and time has shown that some of Carey’s other hits have more modern-day appeal (e.g., “Always Be My Baby,” “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” “Hero”). But if you’ve put together a playlist of Carey’s hits, this should be on it, and you probably won’t skip this song when it comes on.

Dopeness: 3 out of 5 Birkenstocks


Mariah Carey
2 weeks at No. 1, starting March 9, 1991
Preceded by: “All The Man That I Need,” Whitney Houston
Followed by: “One More Try,” Timmy T

’90s No. 1s Revisited is a regular feature on “Was It Dope?” where we walk through every No. 1 song of the 1990s on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in order, give it another listen, and answer two critical questions: Was it dope? And does it hold up?

– John

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