Should Have Been Bigger: Mariah Carey’s Soaring “Almost Home”
In this franchise, we look back on songs that deserved a little more love and attention.
From “Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” to “A No No,” every song Mariah Carey released in the 2010s should have been bigger. However, one injustice hurts a little bit more than the others. And that’s “Almost Home.” Mimi’s soaring contribution to the Oz The Great And Powerful soundtrack is one of the loveliest songs in the 19-time chart-topper’s discography. Produced by Stargate, the synth-dappled power ballad was an olive branch of sorts to fans stuck in the Music Box era (of which there are many). In that it was a vocal showcase with heart and harmony.
“I’ve held hope in my two hands, that there would be another chance,” the pop icon begins the song. “To find the kingdom, I’m believing in my heart.” She then pulls the vocal trigger on the goosebump-inducing chorus. “When you’re almost there and you’re almost home, just open up your eyes and go,” Mariah belts. “Know you’re not alone, you’re almost home.” It seemed custom-made for pop radio — a format that has rudely ignored the 5-octave angel since the mid ’00s — and was attached to a box office blockbuster. The stars seemed to be aligned for a major comeback hit, but it didn’t quite happen.
In the end, “Almost Home” never reached the ears of Mimi nostalgics. The elderly Lambs or Mutton, as I like to call them, only really discover music via TV performances and drive-time airplay — both of which were lacking. “Almost Home” ultimately peaked outside the Billboard Hot 100, but faired considerably better on the Adult Contemporary chart where it cracked the top 20. Oh, and the glamorous black-and-white visual won Best Video at the World Music Awards in 2013, so that’s something I guess.
Revisit Mariah’s still-great, sorely-underrated “Almost Home” below.