Dial back 17 years and relative unknown Mary J. Blige released her album My Life. Today (or more precisely in November) she releases the thematic follow up to it. The first album the work of a woman in pain and not really understanding why. My Life II: The Journey Continues, Act 1 is the work of an R&B diva who knows who she is and where she comes from. In other words this is a mature and fully fleshed out piece of work. On her 11th studio album she has brought on Kanye West, Stargate and Swizz Beatz as producers and guest rappers like Sean Combs and Busta Rhymes. Unlike other R&B female performers Blige records songs that are timeless and not products of the moment. That voice! Seventeen years later and it might be better than ever. Distinctive, dominating and able to perfectly communicate the emotions involved in her songs. Filled with stellar tracks like “Don’t Mind”, “Love of a Woman”, “Need Someone”, and “Mr. Wrong” this is an album that you will be listening to years from now.