Mary has done it again. Somehow, someway she is able to confidently and courageously pour her soul out into the words and melodies we are blessed to have her share with us.
Mary J. Blige is known for using the lessons of her life to inspire the projects she has created and released since 1993 when she released her debut LP entitled, “What’s the 411?”.
Her latest work entitled, “Strength of a Woman” comes to us amidst her divorce from her first and only husband, Kendu Issacs. A man whose name we only know because he married Mary J. Blige, as she strongly implies in the song, “Set Me Free” when she says, “…all this time to think you were just here for my name…”
I cannot imagine the troubles associated with living your life exposed to the public. I do not want to imagine it either. I don’t want folks in my business to that degree. People seem to think that because you are in the spot light for your talent that suddenly your personal life is their personal life. Folks need to let that go, forever. Mary seems to handle it well. She takes her tribulations and turns them into a beautiful artistic expression. But, her personal life is still her business and not ours, don’t get it messed up.
Maybe the pain of her past has prepared her for the trials she has faced recently. It has certainly manifested in her music as a situation from which she is drawing strength and motivation. The songs on this album have no hint of feeling ‘sorry’ for herself or her choices.
So many of the circumstances she sings about are unfortunately universal drama for many in our society. Strong relationships in this day and age are not our strong point in this country.
“U + Me” (Love Lesson) and “Thick of It”, the first singles released from “Strength of a Woman” had us waiting on the release of the full project. Both singles are memorable while balancing classic Mary with fresh production.
Released on April 28, 2017, “Strength of a Woman” is an ode the process of turning pain into productivity. Mary J. Blige continues to represent resilience to women worldwide who continue to face the lack luster effort of those who claim to love them for life.
It brings up a plethora of questions as how and why we do things in relationships the way we do them. How many people actually have experienced a truly monogamous relationship? Is monogamy realistic in our society? Why do we get married?
I hope you are not looking for answers from me cause I have WAY more questions than answers. My main squeeze and I have been sticking through our ups and downs, break ups and make ups since 2005, and while we choose not to marry we also choose to continue working through this journey together. Neither of us are anywhere near perfect and both of us make mistakes, regularly. Still, the good outweighs the bad enough for both of us to keep coming back to each other. He is my best friend. It is not easy to walk away from emotional attachments no matter the circumstance.
A message of love after pain permeates ‘Strength of a Woman”, reassuring listeners that the loss of one relationship is not the loss of all love. The hopeful tones of tracks like “Indestructible”, “Find the Love”, and “Survivor” focus on buoyancy and endurance.
“I’ve come such a long way from really feeling like I’m gonna lose it, now I’m helping somebody get through it, yeah I felt pain but I use it to break the confusion, that has nothing to do with where I’m going, cause I’m determined to win, there’s no losing. No that can’t be, heart of a fighter, so no you can’t break me, lock me out if you wanna, already found the key, you try, but don’t be surprised, cause I’m a survivor.” Survivor by Mary J. Blige
The song “Glow Up” featuring Quavo, DJ Khaled and Missy Elliot has summer banger potential. You will likely here it in the bbq, beach playlist rotations.
Check out the full project at http://www.maryjblige.com/ where you can also find her tour dates, most of which are abroad at this time, I sure wouldn’t mind seeing her at the Nice Jazz Festival in France this July…