Queen of Hip-Hop Soul and nine time Grammy Award winning artist Mary J. Blige is back with a new album. The soulful singer, who is known for pouring her heart, soul and vulnerability out through her music is providing her fans with new music and some new sounds. I was provided her new album, The London Sessions, to review before it drops on December 2 as a member of One2One Network.
Mary’s music has spoken to me on a personal level and I have been a fan since her album, “What’s the 411?”. She’s so raw and shares her story through her music whether you are ready or not. This album does it again. But that’s just one thing that draws you in.
The song “Doubt” was one of my immediate favorites. It speaks to being strong and victorious, which we can all use at some point in our lives. My favorite lyrics/lines in the song, “You think you know. But you don’t know the half. You think you beat me down. But I’ll have the last laugh.”
I believe that MJB reflects struggles and accomplishments through her songs and that is why so many people can relate! When she sings happy songs you feel happy and when she sings songs that can make you cry, you do. With this album, you can add dance songs to the list. The beat gets you moving and stays with you long after the song has ended.
Mary recorded the album in three weeks in London with some of London’s best talent, including Sam Smith, Disclosure and Emile Sandé. Most people know Mary J. Blige for her more sad and heartbroken tracks. This album is not that exactly. They are fun, therapeutic and yet soulful.
While I like this album, it took a couple of listens for me to get into The London Sessions. I didn’t skip any songs. I just let them play and listened to the beat, then the lyrics and then them together. However, for a couple songs, all I needed was one play because they resonated instantaneously.
The song playing on the radio, “Whole Damn Year”, is one of those and one of the reasons I wanted to get a first listen to the album before it was released.
“Right Now” and “Nobody But You” are two that had me grooving to the beat between sets at the gym last night. The lyrics are strong and thought provoking. And the beat was what I needed to keep going.
And then there is “When You’re Gone.” I am still dealing with the loss of a good friend and this hits on it. Being away from anything or anyone you care about gives you clarity and reminds you why they are important in your life.
The London Sessions has been on repeat since this weekend. You can get your own when it’s released on December 2. It’s available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon. You can also tune into Mary’s YouTube channel to have a listen to some of the songs and watch a couple videos from the album.