Mariah Carey – The Remixes (Columbia 2003)
These are the true greatest hits of Mariah: short on the early work, true, but there’s not much you need from her first three albums anyway (“Vision of Love,” “Make It Happen,” and – what else?), and the bulk of her early ballads really dragged those albums down, too. Split into two discs – one of club (read: dance) mixes, one hip-hop – this is how Mariah’s best consumed; once she started veering more towards hip-hop (circa “Honey,” her real Year 1 A.D.) her music immediately got more interesting, as this proves in spades. This also serves as a de facto best-of for Da Brat, as her best work pretty much always revolved around 16-bar contributions to JD’s remixes (cf. “Heartbreaker,” “Honey,” “Loverboy,” “Always Be My Baby”). Most of the club mixes are truly epic (“Heartbreaker/If You Should Ever Be Lonely” is probably Junior Vasquez’s crowning achievement, and the Morales-Mariah pairing was always an inspired one), and the hip-hop mixes are such a natural fit it’s ridiculous it took her (or more accurately, Tommy Mottola) so long.