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The London Sessions

Soul star has a midcareer breakthrough across the pond

Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige’s 2011 album My Life II didn’t exactly recapture the mojo of her classic 1994 original. So, after a Christmas album and a soundtrack, the R&B royal headed to London to record this proper follow-up – a smart move, considering that Brits from Amy Winehouse to Adele to Sam Smith have made some of the best soul music of the past decade. The reboot works: Disclosure take Mary to the club with deep-house grooves on “Right Now” and “Follow,” while the gospel-blues testimony “Therapy” (one of four songs co-written by Smith) takes her to church. And on tracks like the Emeli Sandé collaboration “Whole Damn Year” – a classic MJB ballad – Blige brings a little bit of Yonkers to the U.K.

In This Article: Mary J. Blige

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