Although cherished and much-loved amongst Carey’s loyal fanbase, this song is not on the radar of many casual fans due to it not receiving a full release back in 1997 when its parent album, ‘Butterfly’, was released. Despite the album being considered her magnum opus, conflicts with her record label at the time meant only two songs were ever officially released from the album (‘Honey’ and ‘My All’) causing other gems such as ‘Breakdown’ to tragically drift from the public consciousness. The track was praised at the time by many critics, with Rich Juzwiak from Slant Magazine even going as far as saying it was “the song of Carey’s career”.
Sadly, Mariah has only occasionally given the song a live showing over the last 20 years, although I’ve no doubt audiences would go crazy for it. One can only hope that with the sound of her latest album ‘Caution’ being very much mid-tempo R&B, perhaps there is a place for ‘Breakdown’ in the setlist of her upcoming Caution World Tour. It’s probably just a sweet sweet fantasy, but one can daydream.