Merry Christmas is a holiday album and fourth studio album by American singer Mariah Carey. Released by Columbia Records on November 1, 1994, the album features both cover versions of popular Christmas tunes, including some original material. On the album, Carey worked with Walter Afanasieff, with whom she wrote all of the original tracks, as well as producing Carey's interpretations of many holiday classics. With the release of Merry Christmas, Carey proved herself to be an entertainer, not just a pop-singer, as many began to speculate. The album contained a contemporary holiday theme, and featured an "authentic, gospel flavored background vocals."
The album features instrumentation from keyboards, bass guitars, drums, percussion and heavy backing vocals. The main reason for the album's use of these instruments was to capture a "real and authentic church vibe," giving most of the songs a real Christmas and holiday sound. After its release, the album received generally positive reviews and became a worldwide success. Critics praised Carey's uplifting and flavored vocals, as well as her skilled songwriting alongside Afanasieff. Many singles were released from the album, being sent...