My Life

My Life

4.7 11
by Mary J. Blige
     
 

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On My Life, Mary J. Blige trades in the jeep bumping beats and shallow vocals of 1992's What's the 411? for sophisticated jazz chords, rich harmonies, funk grooves and soul jams such as on the title track, which reinterprets the Roy Ayers favorite, "Sunshine." Produced by Sean "Puffy" Combs and Andre Harrell, My Life adds New Jill swing toSee more details below

Overview

On My Life, Mary J. Blige trades in the jeep bumping beats and shallow vocals of 1992's What's the 411? for sophisticated jazz chords, rich harmonies, funk grooves and soul jams such as on the title track, which reinterprets the Roy Ayers favorite, "Sunshine." Produced by Sean "Puffy" Combs and Andre Harrell, My Life adds New Jill swing to classic '70s R&B. Take "Be Happy," for instance, which samples the Mary Jane Girls' hit "All Night Long." Throughout My Life Blige's moody vocals often evoke the kindred spirits of Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and Mavis Staples, especially on ballads such as "Gotta Believe" and "I'm Goin' Down." Still, Blige never loses her ghetto street vibe while paying homage to her musical influences.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stanton Swihart
Perhaps the single finest moment in Sean "Puffy" Combs' musical career has been the production on this, Mary J. Blige's second proper album. The production is not exactly original, and there is evidence here of him borrowing wholesale from other songs. The melodic sources this time around, though, are so expertly incorporated into the music that they never seem to be intrusions, instead playing like inspired dialogues with soulsters from the past, connecting past legacies with a new one. This certainly isn't your parents' (or grandparents') soul. But it is some of the finest modern soul of the '90s, backing away to a certain extent from the hip-hop/soul consolidation that Blige introduced on her debut album. The hip-hop part of the combination takes a few steps into the background, allowing Blige's tortured soul to carry the album completely, and it does so with heartwrenching authority. My Life is, from beginning to end, a brilliant, wistful individual plea of desire. Blige took a huge leap in artistry by penning almost everything herself (the major exception being Norman Whitfield's "I'm Going Down") in collaboration with co-producers Combs and multi-instrumentalist Chucky Thompson, and everything seems to leap directly from her gut. Blige's strain is sleekly modern and urban, and the grit in it comes from being streetwise and thoroughly realistic about the travails of life. My Life, nevertheless, emanates from some deep, dark place where both sadness and happiness cohabitate and turn into one single, beautiful sorrow.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/29/1994
Label:
Mca
UPC:
0008811115623
catalogNumber:
11156
Rank:
5153

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mary J. Blige   Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals
Paul Pesco   Guitar
Victor Bailey   Bass
Vincent Henry   Alto Saxophone
Bruce Purse   Trumpet
Big Bub   Background Vocals
Gloria Agostini   Harp
Regina Carter   Violin
Frank Colon   Percussion
Eileen Folson   Cello
Mark Ledford   Trumpet
Fred McFarlane   Keyboards
Herb Middleton   Keyboards,Multi Instruments
Darryl Pearson   Bass
Lenny Underwood   Piano
Faith Evans   Background Vocals
Lesa Terry   Violin
Diane Monroe   Violin
Dalvin DeGrate   Multi Instruments
K-Ci & JoJo   Background Vocals
Charles "Prince Charles" Alexander   Flute,Piccolo,Tenor Saxophone
Bob Brockmann   Keyboards
Chucky Thompson   Keyboards,Multi Instruments
Latonya J. Blige   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Sean "Puffy" Combs   Producer,Executive Producer
André Harrell   Executive Producer
Tony Maserati   Engineer
Rob Paustian   Engineer
Herb Powers   Mastering
Richard Travali   Engineer
Nasheim Myrick   Programming,Engineer
Dalvin DeGrate   Arranger
K-Ci & JoJo   Arranger
Charles "Prince Charles" Alexander   Producer,Engineer
Bob Brockmann   Engineer
Chucky Thompson   Producer
Tim Dawg   Associate Executive Producer

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