Mary J. Blige: 25/8

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Posted September 14, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0
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Mary J’s auspicious return to basics

The components heard throughout Mary J. Blige’s “25/8” are strongly identifiable: ‘70’s symphonic soul and some of that big Jay-Z hip-hop aggression. With Blige adding a new chapter to her 1994 best-selling breakout album My Life with My Life II, she wraps her big Aretha-tingling gospel pipes around big drum deliveries, studio-designed strings and a musical aura that screams for a Kanye West cameo. But Blige carries most of the song on her own, even working up a spirited handclap breakdown and enough fire to hold down some of the most memorable lyrics: “And I don’t want to have to rush/ but 24/7 ain’t enough.” The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul might just have a satisfying winner on her hands. It’s a very typical Mary J. track, but it’s one that invigorates her street formula and revives some of the funk that’s been billowing underneath some of her biggest R&B anthems.

J MATTHEW COBB

LISTEN TO:
MARY J. BLIGE – 25/8

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About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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