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Mariah Carey - Anytime You Need A Friend

"Anytime You Need a Friend" is a song by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey. The song was written and produced by Carey and Walter Afanasieff, for her third studio album, Music Box (1993). It was released on May 24, 1994, through Columbia Records, as the fifth and final single from the album. The song is influenced by pop, R&B and gospel genres. While the album focused heavily on pop oriented and radio friendly material, "Anytime You Need a Friend" deviated from the formula, finishing as the only gospel-infused song on Music Box. Lyrically, the song's protagonist tells her love interest that anytime he may need a friend, she will be there unconditionally for him. Throughout the song's bridge and climax, critics noted the lyrics altering from those of a friend, to those of a lover.

Mariah Carey - Anytime You Need A Friend

For her third studio effort, Columbia Records decided to market Carey in a similar fashion to that of her debut, only having her produce a more commercial and radio-friendly album. Their plans were to tone down Carey's vocals, and soften the album's production, leaving a more contemporary pop record.[1] Agreeing to the change, Carey and Afanasieff began writing and recording material for her third studio effort, Music Box (1993). On the album's first track "Dreamlover", Carey worked with Dave Hall throughout the song's entire production.[2][3] To help with some of the song's arrangements, Mottola enrolled the help of Walter Afanasieff, who took on the completed track and transformed it into a more commercial hit.[3] Music Box received mixed critical response from contemporary critics, who suggested that in lowering Carey's vocal bombast, her energy level decreased and felt the album had an "absence of passion."[4][5] The only song that was not subject to the common criticism was "Anytime You Need a Friend," which some called the album's only real glimpse of Carey's upper vocal registers, and one of the only passionate and gospel moments on Music Box.[6] In an interview, Carey described that although the album's main goal was to be more commercial and radio-friendly than her previous release, she felt the need to include at least one song that featured a church choir and traces of the music that influenced her growing up as a child.[6]

"Anytime You Need a Friend" is a mid-tempo song which draws influence from pop, R&B and gospel musical genres. It has a "moderately slow" tempo of 69 beats per minute.[7] The song was written by Carey and Afanasieff, with production helmed by the pair as well. After the song's bridge, a church choir is introduced and featured throughout its final chorus and climax.[8] Carey's vocals are layered over the background gospel-styled vocals on the final chorus, after which she uses the whistle register to close the song.[8] The song's lyrics describe a relationship the protagonist has with another individual, telling them that anytime they need a friend, she will be there unconditionally.[8]

Throughout the song, the lyrics seemingly show the evolving relationship between the couple.[8] Carey sings Anytime you need a friend / I will be here / You'll never be alone again / So don't you fear / Even if you're miles away / I'm by your side / So don't you ever be lonely / Love will make it alright, which hints at a current friendship where more still uncovered emotions are present.[8] Author Chris Nickson explains on the song's switch in relationship, as the lyrics change to If you just believe in me / I will love you endlessly / Take my hand / Take me into your heart / I'll be there forever baby / I won't let go / I'll never let go.[8] The protagonist is willing to accept the relationship as only a friend, but tells her partner that no matter his feelings for her, she loves him and still wishes to be loved by him, something she will never forget or "let go".[8]

The accompanying music video for "Anytime You Need a Friend" was directed by Danielle Federici and filmed during the early summer of 1994.[6] It was filmed in black-and-white, and features Carey walking along the streets of New York, watching several people, ranging from a small child to an elderly man, lonely and in need of a friend. Additionally, aside from several scenes of Carey and a large church choir in a large antechamber, the video is known as the first video in which Carey appears with straightened hair.[6] Throughout her career up until that point, Carey had famously sported long, auburn curls. However, the video presented Carey's first image makeover, where she appears with bangs and a long straightened hairstyle.[6] The video begins with scenes of Carey walking down a long New York street, with the addition of close ups of Carey's face. As she stares down the road, she witnesses a small girl, sitting alone in an alley corner, glaring into the sky. As the first chorus begins, Carey enters a large foyer, with a choir dressed in black singing perched atop a large staircase. During the second verse, she similarly witnesses an older man, who is sitting on a withered stoop. 041b061a72


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