Mary J Blige “The London Sessions”

Date Mon, November 24 2014

I wouldn’t be entirely honest if I said that I was the biggest fan of Mary J Blige before participating in this review thanks to One2One Network. However, I can definitely say that I am a bigger fan after getting the chance to listen to “The London Sessions.”

You might known R&B performer Blige, who has been making music for over twenty years, for songs such a “Real Love,” “Not Gon’ Cry” and “You Remind Me.” Blig has been known for her soulful and genuine sound.

The “The London Sessions,” Mary J headed to London, which isn’t exactly known for its R&B sound — at least, not to Americans. Blige wanted to work with different talent, including names such as Sam Smith & Emeli Sandé, to get a fresh perspective for this album, and I think it worked! This is also Blige’s first album on Capitol records.

The 12-track album is every bit as soulful and genuine as you’d expect from her, and there are a few poppier, party mixes thrown in, too.

The tracklist is as follows:

1. Therapy
2. Doubt
3. Not Loving You
4. When You’re Gone
5. Right Now
6. My Loving
7.Long Hard Look
8. Whole Damn Year
9. Nobody But You
10. Pick Me Up
11. Follow
12. Worth My Time

You may have heard a few of the singles that have already been released to Mary J Blige’s YouTube channel, including “Therapy” (below), “Right Now” and “Whole Damn Year.” “Therapy” is the song that seems to have gotten the most airplay; although, I haven’t heard any of these new songs on my local radio station.

“Right Now” is one of the peppier songs. I enjoy it, but I don’t love it the way that I like “Whole Damn Year” or even “Not Loving You.” I think this is because all of those songs are still a little slower. Several times during my listen-throughs, I thought to myself that I would really enjoy some songs if they were remixed and faster. “Nobody But You” is an example of that, but it grows on me every time I listen to it.

The slower and more honest songs stand on their own, however. In fact, “Whole Damn Year” is actually the song that encouraged me to sign up for this review opp. I heard it a few weeks back and loved the sound and lyrics. It talks about Mary J taking a year to recuperate. It is one of several songs that have a theme of growth and recovery on “The London Sessions.” Mary J Blige has been known for her struggled with drugs, and I’ve no doubt she is talking about recovering from addicting in some songs.

In others, like “Not Loving You,” she’s clearly talking to a previous or potential lover. Those songs especially sing to me as I’m in the midst of a heartbreak. The lyrics of not loving you talk about how Mary can’t “love you when you’re not loving you.” Boy, have I been there! Blige has writing credits on every song except for “Nothing Loving You,” which was co-written by Sam Smith and James Napier. This song seems well-picked to go with the rest of the album, however.

I also rather enjoyed “Doubt,” “Nobody but You” and “Worth My Time.”

“The London Sessions” is timely in my own life, and I hope that Mary J Blige experienced as much catharsis writing and recording it as I did listening it. There are definitely some songs that will get replayed on my iPod, but not all of them resonated with me.

“The London Sessions” will be available in just a few days on December 2. You’ll be able to buy it on iTunes and Amazon in physical format and digital download.

Thanks to One2One Network for the opportunity to review this album. All opinions are mine.

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