Album Review: Mary J. Blige – My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1)

Since her 1992 debut with ‘What’s the 411?’ multi Grammy award winning singer/songwriter, actress and producer Mary J. Blige has sold over 50 million albums worldwide. Blige is the co-founder of the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN), whose mission is to empower women from all walks of life to reach their full individual potential and boy is she setting one hell of an example to follow!

Her much anticipated album release is set to be one of her most revealing yet. With a distinct personal and autobiographical feel to it Blige describes it as “a reflection of the times and lives of people all around me”.

Fans will already be familiar with the album with the release of singles ‘25/8’ and ‘Someone to Love Me (naked)’. Her track ‘The Living Proof”  has also been used as the leading track for Touchstone Picture’s ‘The Help’.  It is also an album packed with guest appearances by Beyonce, Busta Rhymes and Drake to name a few.

While tracks such as ‘Someone to Love Me (naked)’ and ‘Love a Woman’ (feat. Beyonce) stand out as stellar tracks others have been met with mixed reception. For example, her track ‘Mr Wrong’ has been criticised for sounding too much like Kelly Rowland’s ‘Motivation’. My favourite track has to be ‘The Living Proof’ but I have always been a sucker for deep emotional ballads…

While Blige is still undoubtedly a front runner in the R&B market, album sales have not managed to beat off the competition. Particularly from the Rihanna camp which seems to be holding the crown for the current title of R&B Queen…

Review by Melissa Phillips