#8. Mary J. Blige – ‘The London Sessions’
It’s been over 20 years since the talented Mary J. Blige released her debut album and just like fine wine, she gets better with time. Previously noted as the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, the legendary singer-songwriter took a different approach to her most recent album, The London Sessions.
While she technically delivered two full-length albums this year with the soundtrack to Will Packard’s Think Like A Man Too being her first, MJB tapped into an unheard area of interest when it came to her music catalog. Calling upon some of today’s hottest writers and producers out of the UK to assist in bringing her vision to life, Mary worked with Sam Smith, Disclosure, Emeli Sandé, and more to bring us one of most interesting collaborations of the year.
With standout tracks such as “Whole Damn Year,” where she sings of a broken heart, and “When You’re Gone,” where she pleads for her love to come home, it’s incredible to see Mary’s ability to completely change her sound and still come out on top. While longevity is one of the many things that MJB can list on her résumé, another is creating one of the best albums that 2014 had to offer. – K.P.