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



Rather than taking a break after being on the scene for over ten years, Mary J Blige shows no signs of slowing down collaborating with DJ Khaled and Diddy Dirty Money earlier on in the year. The queen of R&B went back into the studio to create a few more tear-jerking ballads and foot-moving jams for her tenth studio album My Life II: The Journey Continues – the sequel to her album My Life released in 1994.

We hear the songstress collaborate with New York rapper Nas and take it back to the ’90s with “Feel Inside,” produced by Jerry ‘Wonda’ Duplessis [the man behind Diddy-Dirty Money’s “Someone To Love Me (Naked)” and Lupe Fiasco’s “Out of My Head” featuring Trey Songz]. Always able to keep listeners moving, Busta Rhymes gets his mellow groove back on “Next Level” alongside an upbeat Mary J.

The album keeps the collaborations going with someone closer to home on “Midnight Run,” featuring Brook Lynn – the singer’s ‘rapping’ alter ego, who hasn’t been heard in a while since 2005 The Breakthrough LP cut “Enough Crying.” The soul singer pays tribute to another legend Chaka Khan with her own Darkchild produced rendition of the hit “Ain’t Nobody”.

The project does well in reflecting the journey the singer has had since the early ’90s, that fans both young and old will certainly appreciate, but the big steal of the album comes in the form of “Love A Woman” featuring fellow star songstress Beyonce Knowles, combining both of their talents teaching men how to satisfy the opposite sex behind an electro R&B Sean Garrett beat.

Never short of heartfelt love songs, producer Danja [responsible for Keri Hilson & Kanye West’s “Knock You Down”] is on call for “No Condition,” co-written by Kevin Cossom. The track that shows off the growth of the artist most would have to be “Empty Prayers” that gives off the Mary J Blige we know from past hits such as “No More,” whilst Canadian star Drake makes an appearance on “Mr Wrong” – the second single to be taken from the album.

With two decades of music industry expertise as well as her well-documented trials and tribulations, the songstress can still put together a commendable album with a set of renowned producers (Tricky Stewart, Rico Love and The Underdogs) and fellow artists – and whilst it may not be as much of a classic in comparison to the original My Life LP (1994), My Life II: The Journey Continues does the job by reflecting the modern Mary J Blige.

Mary J Blige – My Life II: The Journey Continues (Act 1)
Released: November 21, 2011
Label: Geffen/Matriarch
Buy: iTunes UK / iTunes US / Amazon UK / Amazon US

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