4 Reasons To Buy Mary J. Blige’s New Album ‘The London Sessions’

London-SessionsMary J. Blige will release her 13th studio album The London Sessions on December 2. The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul fled to London this summer to soak up the music scene after the massive response to her club remix of Disclosure’s “F For You” last January.

The R&B siren enlisted the UK’s brightest stars including Sam Smith, Disclosure, Sam Romans, Emeli Sandé, Naughty Boy and Eg White, among others to help write and produce the 12-track set. The project was written and recorded in three weeks while living overseas.

The idea of recording an entire album that mirrored the London culture was not that unusual for the singer-songwriter. Blige probably has one of the most diverse discography among her peers and contemporaries. From collaborating with Elton John and U2 to Sting and Barbara Streisand, she is not afraid to step outside of her comfort zone as an artist.

However, some of Blige’s fans have issues adjusting to her evolved musical taste. As early as 1999’s Mary album, Blige’s followers have rattled the fence with accepting music out of the hip-hop soul norm.

Although The London Sessions still has Blige’s DNA embedded in each song, the album’s title and direction may still have fans skeptical about accepting the new sound.

Therefore, we would like to share four reasons on why it is safe to trust Blige as an artist and buy her new album.

MJB-Studio

1. She’s musically reborn

It is almost inevitable that a true artist does not lose his or her mojo when they’ve released multiple albums over the years. Blige has two hiccup albums to her credit — 2009’s Stronger With Each Tear and 2011’s My Life II: The Journey Continues (Act 1).

What’s The 411? The State Of Mary J. Blige’s Music And Steps To Improve Substance

The direction and sound of those projects didn’t feel authentic as the present London Sessions album. In recent interviews, the “Next Level” singer has cited the lack of artistic freedom as contributing factors to the flaws in her last two projects. However, while recording the new album, she regained that musical independence. The liberation of singing the new music is a feeling that she hasn’t felt since she cut her debut album What’s the 411? .

The new-found inspiration has led to Blige to sign with Capitol Records. In turn, it has allowed her to sing and write the type of songs she wants and not feel forced to stick in a sound that she’s outgrown.

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4 Comments

  1. Its an awesome album. Like you said her best work in years. True fans will not be disappointed. I can’t stop listening, her vocals are nothing short of amazing. Great job Mary!

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Bruno Mars, Mary J. Blige and others Win at 49th NAACP Image Awards

The winners of the 49th NAACP Image Awards were announced on Monday night during the live broadcast from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, which aired on TV One.

The two-hour live special was hosted by Anthony Anderson and opened with a powerful moment in support of #TIMESUP featuring Angela Robinson, Kerry Washington, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Laverne Cox, Lena Waithe and Tracee Ellis Ross. There was a live pre-show from the red carpet hosted by Terrence J with special correspondent, Tanika Ray.

Among the winners were R&B acts SZA (Outstanding New Artist), Bruno Mars (Outstanding Male Artist, Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album, Outstanding Song) and Mary J. Blige (Outstanding Female Artist). R&B legend Charlie Wilson was honored with the Music Makes a Difference Award.

Mary J. Blige Releases New Uplifting Track ‘Bounce Back’

In celebration of her 47th birthday (Jan. 11), Mary J. Blige released a brand new track titled “Bounce Back.” On the uplifting track, Blige sings about how she pulls through during the difficult times in her life.

“What I been through (yeah) / All I the suffering and the fighting but I still pull through (yeah) / Still we rise and we fall every time,” Blige sings. “You I know I always bounce back / Never turn back / Love is like that,” she continues.

“Bounce Back” appears to be a treat to Blige’s fans. The song is currently only available to stream on Soundcloud.

This is been an eventful week for Blige. On her birthday, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “I’m so grateful for this star right now because I’ve earned it probably three times,” she said. “I say that with confidence and not arrogance. I say it because I know that now, and I know my worth, and what this means.”

5 UK R&B Artists to Watch in 2018

Here at Rated R&B, our mission is to deliver interesting and engaging content on the R&B genre of music. R&B talent comes in many different shapes and sizes and sometimes comes from different countries as well. You’ve heard of Jessie J, Marsha Ambrosius, and Daley, but in this piece, we’re going to put you on the game to the most exciting up-and-coming R&B artists in the United Kingdom. With voices that liken to Ariana Grande and Eric Bellinger, there’s surely an artist on this shortlist that’ll pique your interest. Check out our list of the 5 R&B UK Artists to Watch in 2018 below:

Mabel McVey UK R&B Artist 2018

Mabel McVey

Polydor Records-signee Mabel came in with a bang in 2017 when her hit single “Finder’s Keepers” reached the Top 10 on the UK Singles chart. The song, which features rapper Kojo Funds, also peaked at No. 2 on the UK R&B Singles Chart. Her breezy vocals, pop radio appeal, and charming style are on trend, and she already has found Top 40 success in her latest collaboration with UK artist Not3s entitled “My Lover (Remix).” If you like what you hear in the video below, check out Mabel’s 2017 EP Bedroom, which is available on all digital platforms.

Angel UK R&B Artist 2018

Angel

Angel’s career blasted off with a string of hits in 2012, including UK Singles Top 10 earner and UK R&B Songs chart-topper “Wonderful.” Now signed to Motown Records, the London-born singer dropped consistently catchy tunes in 2017, including the SWV-interpolated and Eugene Wilde-sampled “Take You Home.” If he can continue this upward trajectory and his formula of mainstream sounds with a 90s R&B twist, Angel could very well land a solid radio hit by year’s end.

Jorja Smith UK R&B Artist 2018

Jorja Smith

Jorja Smith was one of the buzziest artists of 2017 thanks to her features on Canadian rapper Drake’s multi-platinum album More Life. In addition to her criminally underrated summer collaboration with Kali Uchis called “Tyrant,” Smith also made some noise this past year with her 90s underground-esque banger “On My Mind.” Her knack for showing vulnerability whilst keeping her alluring mystique has set her up for riding off into the sunset of success in 2018!

Jacob Banks UK R&B Artist 2018

Jacob Banks

Banks broke big in 2014 for his assist of Chase and Status’ “Alive,” which peaked at No. 21 on the UK Singles Chart. Banks’ gruff and smoky vocals have been used in promotions across the globe, including popular sports game “FIFA 15” and popular TV shows like STARZ’s Power and USA’s Suits. After the release of his 2017 EP The Boy Who Cried Freedom, Banks is more confident than ever and ready to make a splash in 2018.

Ella Mai UK R&B Artist 2018

Ella Mai

Ella Mai might be the most recognizable name on this list, and that’s because this woman has been working! After a stint on the 11th series of X Factor UK in 2014, the singer signed with DJ Mustard’s 10 Summers label. She’s released not one, not two, but three EPs in a year’s time, and was recently one of the featured acts on Kehlani’s 2017 “SweetSexySavage World Tour,” which ended its run in November. Now working on her debut album and kicking off 2018 with a fresh single, Ella Mai is just one hit away from her big break, and if her current sound and relatable lyrics have anything to do with it, then she is well on her way.

Who’s your favorite artist on this shortlist? Let us know in the comment section below!

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