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Soul - Verschenen op 1 januari 1995 | Geffen*

Onderscheidingen The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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R&B - Verschenen op 1 december 2014 | Capitol Records (CAP)

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Mary J. Blige had a productive 2014. Early in the year, she linked with Disclosure for an alternate version of the U.K. duo's "F for You" and performed with them in New York. A few months later, there was the release of the all-Blige soundtrack for the comedy Think Like a Man Too, which consisted of new material but was neither presented nor promoted like one of her standard releases. At some point, Blige signed to Capitol, and she took longtime collaborator Rodney Jerkins to England to work more with Disclosure, as well as with other emerging songwriters and producers, including Vibe cover star Sam Smith, Naughty Boy, and Emeli Sandé. The move was evidently significant enough to warrant the album's title and the placement of the collaborators' names on the cover. It's not that the changeup revitalized Blige. The London Sessions just happens to have her best round of songs, productions, and performances since The Breakthrough, the 2005 album Smith references in one of several unnecessary testimonials and interview snippets placed throughout the sequence of songs. A couple moments are stilted and there's some substandard songwriting, such as the woeful "I'll keep gettin' up, 'cause that's what I'm goin' to do/Gonna be the best me, I'm sorry if it kills you," from the otherwise fine "Doubt." The London Sessions nonetheless offers a sharp mix of duly aching ballads and substantive, highly detailed club tracks that are in the soul-rooted lineage of classics she has referenced, covered, and emulated throughout her career. Blige sounds as comfortable as ever over the scuffing percussion, prodding synthesizers, and even the noodling clarinet heard, at various points, in the likes of "Right Now," "My Loving," "Pick Me Up," and "Follow." The songs explore themes familiar to Blige's listeners, yet little is less than fresh. Among the ballads, the Sandé collaboration "Whole Damn Year" is the most striking, disarming in its depiction of recovering from emotional and physical abuse, while "Therapy," one of four songs made with Smith, is surprisingly understated, seemingly inspired more by Anthony Hamilton's Southern gospel-soul. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Verschenen op 1 januari 2001 | Uptown

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R&B - Verschenen op 1 januari 1992 | Uptown

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Ambient / New Age / Easy Listening - Verschenen op 18 november 2013 | Mary J Blige PS

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A truly Mary Christmas would match the distraught look on the cover. Blige's first Christmas album, guided by David Foster and Jochem van der Saag, doesn't feature sad or embittered chestnuts like "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" or "Fairytale of New York" (was Method Man busy?). Instead, it contains a mix of standard holiday songs -- a couple playful, many solemn, all dramatic. It's a big production; an orchestra backs Blige on most of the songs. She pours herself into all of the material, even when she's joined by Jessie J (of all people) for a version of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" that is overcooked. It could use a couple more joyous songs in the vein of Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas," which is a delight despite so many versions since the original 1970 version. A Mary Christmas won't likely reach the high status of, say, Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas, but it's a full-effort holiday release that many of her fans should be able to enjoy for several years. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rock - Verschenen op 1 januari 2005 | Geffen*

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R&B - Verschenen op 26 juni 2006 | Geffen*

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Pop - Verschenen op 1 januari 1997 | Geffen*

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Pop - Verschenen op 1 januari 2002 | Uptown

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R&B - Verschenen op 1 januari 2006 | Geffen*

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R&B - Verschenen op 28 april 2017 | Capitol Records (CAP)

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On Strength of a Woman, Mary J. Blige covers a lot of lyrical ground familiar to anyone who has heard her 11 previous studio albums. A significant fraction of this set's sentiments are clichéd. There are self-help platitudes such as "You gotta love yourself before you love someone else," along with timeworn redemptive declarations like "I was lost but now I'm found" and "Now I'm finally free to be me." In fairness, the stock phrases are delivered with conviction, understandably weighed with a sense of "Not this bull again." The alleged extramarital antics that dragged Blige back into this darkness, after all, are as clichéd as it gets. Clearly the time wasn't right for Blige to record a bunch of feel-good jams, but in the listener's favor, the anguish has also inspired the singer and her co-writers and producers -- Brandon Hodge, Darhyl Camper, Jr., Prince Charlez, and Jazmine Sullivan, along with many others -- to illustrate these ballads of confrontation and perseverance with enough specifics to distinguish them from the past work. Take "Set Me Free," where a swanky, winding backdrop supports stinging "hmph" lines like "You musta lost it -- n*gga, you won't get a dime," followed by "There's a special place in hell for you" in dismissive high register. A clinking Kaytranada collaboration ("Telling the Truth"), a back-stabbed weeper that bares Sullivan's unmistakable touch ("Thank You"), and a machine-soul ballad worthy of an extended 12" mix ("U + Me [Love Lesson]") likewise could not have been made at any other point in Blige's career. A few songs do depart from expressing pain and the documentation of recovery. Brightest of all is "Find the Love," pure early-'80s boogie throwback. Just beneath that is the title track, a theatrical empowerment anthem that would likely close just about any other album. Instead, extra punctuation is provided by "Hello Father," another gem. It contains one of the hour's best grooves, provided by Hit-Boy, and is all devotional finesse. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Ambient / New Age / Easy Listening - Verschenen op 18 november 2013 | Mary J Blige PS

A truly Mary Christmas would match the distraught look on the cover. Blige's first Christmas album, guided by David Foster and Jochem van der Saag, doesn't feature sad or embittered chestnuts like "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" or "Fairytale of New York" (was Method Man busy?). Instead, it contains a mix of standard holiday songs -- a couple playful, many solemn, all dramatic. It's a big production; an orchestra backs Blige on most of the songs. She pours herself into all of the material, even when she's joined by Jessie J (of all people) for a version of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" that is overcooked. It could use a couple more joyous songs in the vein of Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas," which is a delight despite so many versions since the original 1970 version. A Mary Christmas won't likely reach the high status of, say, Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas, but it's a full-effort holiday release that many of her fans should be able to enjoy for several years. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Verschenen op 16 oktober 2020 | Mary Jane Productions, Inc

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Pop - Verschenen op 1 januari 1999 | Geffen

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R&B - Verschenen op 1 januari 2007 | Geffen*

Het is geen toeval dat Mary J. Blige een icoon is op de hedendaagse urban scene, grotendeels is dit te wijten aan het feit dat ze op ieder nieuw album een nog zelfverzekerder zangeres, tekstschrijver, en persoon is. De bikkelharde, confessionele aarde van haar werk is nog steeds waardoor het zich onderscheid, maar Bliges sonische palet blijft groeien. Van het zeer door hiphop gekleurde “Work That,” tot het naar jaren 80 pop klinkende “Fade Away,” en het wervelende ballad werk op “Work in Progress (Growing Pains),” is Growing Pains niet bang om tussen genres te hoppen. Namen als Ne-Yo, the Neptunes, Ludacris, Usher en Jazze Pha, om er maar een paar te noemen, geeft deze set ster allure, maar dit is Bliges show: haar stem, haar stijl en haar persoonlijke gevoel van overtuiging schijnen luid en duidelijk door alles heen. © Anthony Tognazzini /TiVo
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R&B - Verschenen op 6 december 2019 | Universal Music Enterprises

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Pop - Verschenen op 1 januari 2003 | Geffen*

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R&B - Verschenen op 1 januari 2011 | Geffen*

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R&B - Verschenen op 1 januari 2009 | Geffen*

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R&B - Verschenen op 1 januari 2001 | Universal Records

Artiest

Mary J. Blige in het magazine
  • De Qobuz minuut #21
    De Qobuz minuut #21 Deze week presenteert De Qobuz Minuut de volgende muziek releases: 5 minuten, 5 artiesten, 5 albums met Leonard Cohen, Mary J. Blige, Flanders Recorder Quartet, Keith Jarrett, AC/DC en de retrospec...