Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Album Review: My Life II... The Journey Continues (Act 1)

At 23 Mary J Blige put out her second album My Life. Her first album What's the 411? had been a big hit and the quality of My Life and its success setup Blige as the new big female R&B star of the early 90's. Well 17 years later at the age of 40 she's made a sequel that has a ridiculously long title. Not sure why it's not just called My Life II.

The album can be broken up into three parts. There is the modern R&B pop stuff with featured guests all over the place. There is the throwback R&B stuff that is just Mary J Blige, and then there is the ballad stuff. The album is almost split up that way and makes for an odd listen as you move from one segment to the next. As a contained piece that is focusing on the life of a 40 year old woman and what she's learned over time, it's not happening. This is in essence a modern day R&B pop album with a miriad of producers, writers, etc.

If she had really wanted to make a smart, focused album on what her life is now at 40 she should have teamed up with a single producer, Sean Combs, and writer, R Kelly, and made just that. As it is the album comes and goes with what you like or don't like, it is in essence a collection of songs.

By far the best part of the album is the throwback section which starts with a cover of "Ain't Nobody" and goes through "No Condition." There are four songs in that section of the album and they are the best four. "Don't Mind" is a fun song and one of the best songs to run to I've heard in a while.

On the strength of those four songs I give it 2 out of 5 stars for Not Bad.

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