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G&B: Apologies to Sting

It's been a blast, folks. The Worlds Most Popular Podcast is signing off. Truth to be told, there's not enough hours in the day for ...

Monday, November 21, 2011

the soundtrack of my life..

In the soundtrack of my life, there's a few artists that are on the album a few times. They spoke to me and I used it to get by. Mary J Blige's 1994 cornerstone, My Life is one of those albums where a bunch of the songs are on my soundtrack. I remember I would listen to that CD everyday. For at least 4 months. The release spoke to me. She spoke to me. It was only later when I found where Mary was coming from with the release that I felt even more honoured to have felt her pain. Or at least tried to. I think I came close. I still shed a couple of tears when I hear a couple of the singles. I hold that album in such high regard, it's hard to duplicate that feeling. The feeling I still have when listening to My Life.

And I know I'm not the only one who says that about the mid-90s landmark classic. 

No one can ever recreate a classic. They can't duplicate the scene. The smell. The feelings. That's why most of the time, sequels are disappointments. 

When I heard that Mary J Blige will be doing a follow-up to My Life, I was interested in what would it sound like. Blige hasn't released anything close to classic like My LIfe in years. Why now? How will she make that magic again? She did a live concert via Youtube last week and it looked like the old Mary. She didn't loose a step. She was on point and sounding great. This is when I got even more curious. Has Mary returned? She back for another dope joint? I was hoping so.

As I listened to My Life II: The Journey Continues for the first time, I was waiting for that something more. That umph. But it wasn't there. It sounded like just a bunch of commercial jams that didn't have the magic. The chemistry. The soul. I realized that unlike the first album, Puff nor Chucky Thompson are doing any production. That could be it. That could been why it wasn't just not sounding like the classic I love.  At first, she tried to recreate the sound with the lead-off joint, Feel Inside featuring Nas. The song was average. Nas' feature was warm. Nothing special. This was the same deal for the next few tracks. Even  Next Level  featuring Busta Rhymes. Then I heard 28/8. The song gave me hope. Seemed like the album needed some times to pick up steam. Slowly but surely. Mary will get there. It started to pick up and I started to nod my head. A joint with Drake called Mr. Wrong and the banger with Rick Ross, Why, got me thinking that there could be something good to come out of this. Even if the joints just sound like any other RnB single on the radio. At least they had some type of groove to get down to. The clincher came with the final three tracks. The slow tempo ballads were beautiful insight to the diva's current day thought process that I was waiting for.  This is  what made the first My Life. What I wanted more of on this one. Finally, I thought. This was the Mary I want. Too bad it was too late. The album finished strong but wasn't something to be put on the soundtrack of My Life....