I was thinking about what cd to feature for my second Classic Music post. The artist was easy: Mary J. Blige. I have been a fan since the first time I heard her voice and saw her video on The Box. I may be showing my age with that reference but oh well. Mary has always been a favorite of mine. There was a rawness in her voice that pulled me in. She was ratable. Picking a cd was hard. I narrowed it down to two cds: "My Life" and "Share My World." These are my two favorite Mary cds. I went through them track by track to finally chose one. "My Life" won out slightly on tracks that I absolutely love.
Mary's sophomore cd was epic in so many ways. "My Life" was dark and moody and filled with heartbreak. The songs were just awesome. I was only 14 when this cd was released. I had not felt any of the emotions Mary was singing about but that did not stop me from feeling her words. Her singles were all wonderful. But, I always seem to love the unreleased tracks on cds. They are the hidden gems to me. I would play this album from beginning to end almost daily. It played an integral part in my sophomore year of high school. I would play "My Life" and write this deep, dark poetry. I was very empathetic to what Mary was feeling. Outside of Teena Marie, Mary was my favorite singer.
"My Life" was definitive to Mary's career. I believe it positioned her firmly in her role as the "Queen of Hip Hop Soul." There hasn't been another soulful singer that possessed everything that Mary has. Granted, she wasn't the best live singer in the beginning and her drug/alcohol problems didn't help. But, here we are almost 20 years after her debut, and she is still here. She gives a great show nowadays. I have seen her many times. I like the newer songs but live for the early Mary tracks. They always get me so hyped. "My Life" may have been a dark time in Mary's life, it's great that she came through to the other side. Below are a few of my favorite songs from that cd. Listen to some vintage Mary J. Blige and enjoy!