Trying to recapture some of her earlier mojo soul singer Mary J Blige changed her surroundings. Some of the best soul music of recent years has been recorded not in Detroit or anywhere in the U.S. rather across the pond in London, England. Willing to try it out Mary J Blige decided to record her latest album with the help of young British artists like Sam Smith, Disclosure, Naughty Boy and Emeli Sande. It seems like the combination of youth and a British twist on dance/soul/R&B has reinvigorated Blige on her thirteenth album. Disclosure helps her with an injection of a younger sound and garage house. “Right Now” is probably the catchiest song she has done since “Family Affair”. The red hot Sam Smith co-wrote four of the tracks on the album including the wonderful gospel sounding “Therapy”. On a “Whole Damn Year” Blige showcases her scintillating vocals on one of two tracks co-written by the underappreciated on this side of the Atlantic, Emeli Sande. It is a trademark big emotional Blige ballad. The London Sessions cannot be called a comeback album because she was never really away but it does qualify as her best work in many a year. Proof that she continues to evolve as an artist.
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