EditorialFor the love of music


For when you’re feeling social


Kelly Patterson

April 28, 2017

Mary J. Blige returns in perfect form with her new album Strength of a Woman. The Grammy winning soultress is no stranger to rocking her vulnerability over dope beats with angst, revelation and sanguine lyrics and her latest project does not disappoint. From the self-care anthem “Love yourself” featuring a vintage Kanye West to the super sexy schooling of “U + Me (Love Lesson),” Blige proves why she has accumulated so many accolades and sustained longevity. Strength of a Woman is her 13th studio album, following The London Sessions (2014), where she showcased her signature vocals over British electronic beats. There is so much heat on this album that it’s hard to just pick one standout. She perfectly combines classic and trap soul on “Thick of it,” without sounding out of place and “Set Me Free” is reminiscent of 1995’s heartbreaking, but exultant “Not Gone Cry.” If you thought a ‘prime’ Mary was somewhere around “411,” “My Life” or “No More Drama,” Strength of a Woman makes a strong case for inclusion among her best. Don’t call it the divorce album because it has a multitude of layers beyond a woman scorned. Yes, there was a bit of shade thrown at her ex-husband, but this Mary doesn’t really participate in the ‘hateration’. Strength of a Woman is an album about survival, gratitude and redemption and she sings emphatically and fearlessly over the course of 14 tracks to tell her story beautifully.

Love Yourself

U + Me (Love Lesson)

Thick of It

Set Me Free