Mariah Carey finds someone to count on in the refined ballad “Vision of Love.” The single opens with flowing keyboards that glide and stay on the high note, which creates a tone of awakening. In the first verse, she describes how the person was friendly. The relationship seemed happen purely by fate. The person helped her through some troubling times. It gave her hope the person would remain in her life. “Treated me kind/Sweet destiny/Carried me through desperation/To the one that was waiting for me/It took so long/Still I believed/Somehow the one that I needed/Would find me eventually.”
In the chorus, though, she notes the person wasn’t who she thought they were. She’s disillusioned, cynical about friendship. “I had a vision of love/And it was all that you’ve given to me.”
She prayed to whatever deity she identifies with to provide answers. She didn’t feel like she could talk to anyone else. People were brushing off her pain, forcing her to deal with the burden alone. The only way she could get through it was to be determined and hopeful. She had to believe she would be comfortable with herself again. She accomplishes it and finds it within herself to be confident. “Prayed through the nights/Felt so alone/Suffered from alienation/Carried the weight on my own/Had to be strong/
So I believed/And now I know I’ve succeeded/In finding the place I conceived.”
After the chorus, is the bridge. Her goal was to be a stronger woman and to love herself. It rejunvates her. Her faith, not friends, aided her and led to the realization she could be herself. “I’ve realized a dream/
And I visualized/The love that came to be/Feel so alive/I’m so thankful that I’ve received/The answer that heaven has/Sent down to me.”
The first verse is repeated again. However, the tone has changed. Carey is speaking to her deity of choice. She’s appreciative of the guidance. Her deity is someone who has become dear to her. “You treated me kind/Sweet destiny/And I’ll be eternally grateful/Holding you so close to me/Prayed through the nights/ So faithfully/Knowing the one that I needed/Would find me eventually.”
The chorus is sung twice to end the single, with Carey holding out the word “be” for about 15 seconds as the background singers “ahhhh.”
The strength of “Vision of Love” is in the songwriting. On the surface, it’s a power ballad about a woman being heartbroken. However, it’s actually about a woman’s finding herself through her spirituality.
Carey’s vocals are also excellent. She’s clear, assertive, and controlled.
Album: Mariah Carey
12 June 1990