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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary's Masterpiece
Following her platinum debut, "What's the 411," Mary J. Blige eliminated any and all speculation of the sophomore slump with 1994's "My Life," a startling album of raw, spirit-baring soul. If there's another album from a female vocalist that's this honest and soul-searching, it must be from Aretha. Blige pulls no punches and conveys emotion and...
Published on July 27, 2002 by The Groove

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MY LIFE is the best cut on the CD
Two or three good songs, does not a GREAT album make. I do like her work but was a bit disappointed.
Published 5 months ago by Michelle Rizzo


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary's Masterpiece, July 27, 2002
By 
This review is from: My Life (Audio CD)
Following her platinum debut, "What's the 411," Mary J. Blige eliminated any and all speculation of the sophomore slump with 1994's "My Life," a startling album of raw, spirit-baring soul. If there's another album from a female vocalist that's this honest and soul-searching, it must be from Aretha. Blige pulls no punches and conveys emotion and urgency on each track, which leans back and forth from old-school 70's soul to modern hip hop. Killer cuts are "Mary Jane," "You Give Me Joy," and her formidable cover, "I'm Goin' Down." But the album's showstopper, in my opinion, is the straight-to-the-heart jam, "I Love You," which is an often-overlooked breakup song. Unlike other r&b records that grow stale after a good 18 months, "My Life" still sounds remarkably fresh and vibrant after all these years. It's the great r&b record Ashanti and Beyonce can only hope to make. A verified classic, "My Life" remains Mary J. Blige's best and most satisfying album, and it fulfills the promise of her impressive debut.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the best CD ever made!!!!, July 26, 2003
This review is from: My Life (Audio CD)
I am not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the best CDs ever made! Mary J. Blige's sophomore album "My Life" is a classic in the R&B world, and the epitomy of soul and depth. No other album, except the late Aaliyah's "One In A Million," is as complete as "My Life" is. Every song on here is enjoyable, whether the song is painful or uplifting. Mary's melodious, yet powerful voice is at its best. I recommend this album to anyone who enjoys music with profundity and soul. Those who are new to Mary J. Blige's music should definately check this album out, and I guarantee that they will enjoy it. I will provide an in-depth critique of each of the songs on "My Life."
TRACK-BY-TRACK CRITIQUE
2. Mary Jane (All Night Long) - *EXCELLENT SONG* great lyrics; great vocals; happy song; a favorite song
3. You Bring Me Joy - *GREAT SONG* (SINGLE) excellent background music and vocals; another favorite song
5. I'm The Only Woman - *GREAT SONG* I especially like Mary J. Blige's vocals in this song.
7. My Life - *EXCELLENT SONG* (SINGLE) My favorite song on the album; stellar vocals; very thought-provoking lyrics; just haunting!
8. You Gotta Believe - *GREAT SONG* nice chorus; good instrumentals
9. I Never Wanna Live Without You - *EXCELLENT SONG* Mary's voice on this song is absolutely fabulous; another favorite
10. I'm Going Down - *EXCELLENT SONG* (SINGLE) a remake of an older song which I believe Mary does a sensational job; excellent vocals; my second favorite song
12. Be With You - *GREAT SONG* great instrumentals; beautiful vocals
13. Mary's Joint - *EXCELLENT SONG* Has great lyrics, vocals, and instrumentals; another favorite
14. Don't Go - *GOOD SONG* This track is a good track, but does not stand out like the rest of the songs on the album.
15. I Love You - *EXCELLENT SONG* (SINGLE) Very touching lyrics; great vocals; a favorite song
16. No One Else - *EXCELLENT SONG* could have easily been a single; great background instrumentals
17. Be Happy - *GREAT SONG* (SINGLE) Its not my favorite single that Mary J. Blige released, but it is still a great song.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her Personal Best, and Within the Top 5 Best of the 90's!, April 8, 2002
This review is from: My Life (Audio CD)
Less pop-ish than "What's the 411?", and "Share My World", and more mature and more focused than her live and remix albums, and even (at times) "No More Drama), "My Life" is simply Mary's greatest musical accomplishment to date. Easily her most balanced work, the album is 2 steps less upbeat than "..411?" and not as slow paced or spiritual as "Mary", but has more replay value than, say, her live album (which, btw, is a novelty album good for true Mary fans ONLY, barely worth a second listen...).
"My Life" was planned well before most of us were born; its foundation was created on the soulful sounds of Curtis Mayfield, Barry White, and Rick James among others. The blend of the tracks she sampled combined with the harmony she pours into "You Bring Me Joy", "Be Happy", "I'm Going Down", "I'm the Only Woman", and "Mary Jane" almost shame the originals. Other cuts like "I Love You", "No One Else", and the title track all show her coming to an emotional level that she never came close to on her first album and, to this day, will only tip-toe around on occasion (save the "Mary" album).
All in all, this was a monumental album back in 1994, and the singles kept fans satisfied until she released "Share My World" around 3 years later. In `92, her first album put her in the spotlight, but this is the album that KEPT her there. Replay value is A+++; you'll play this album more than anything else she released. Trust me. Check it out; you won't be disappointed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Album for Anyone's Music Collection, March 25, 2006
This review is from: My Life (Audio CD)
Regardless of what kind of music you like, Mary J. Blige's album, MY LIFE is a must have CD. The sophomore effort of New York's favorite songbird, MY LIFE is a haunting collection of what may be best described as torch songs.

With hints of the legendary female jazz singers like Sarah Vaughn and Billie Holiday and more contemporary pop artists like Chaka Kahn, Brenda Russell and Anita Baker, in MY LIFE, Blige delivers a musical self-portrait of a woman scorned. Bearing her soul and broken heart, Blige makes you feel her pain and recognize the troubling nature of finding love as a young woman.

Those not familiar with Blige's prolific career will probably catch the Mary fever on Track 2 (Mary Jane). With a very loose sampling of Rick James's song by the same name, "Mary Jane" is actually more reminiscent of Sarah Vaughn's take on the jazz standard "Lullaby of Birdland" with its gentle melody and Mary's giggling attempts at skat.

Having said that, the real genius of MY LIFE begins with Track 7 (My Life). Downright haunting, this - the title track - is one of the most emotionally devastating songs ever. With swirling sounds that create a dreamy aura, with every word and every note, the listener is dragged into the profound sadness of a troubled woman trying to convince her emotionally absent lover to give their relationship another chance.

Track 8 (You Gotta Believe) is also spectacular. One of the hallmarks of Mary's work is the order of the songs on her albums. All flow perfect into each other, making it hard initially to distinguish between the beginning of one and the end of the other. Like "My Life," this song is another look at Mary's heart-wrenching attempt to reconcile a hopeless love affair that leaves her and the listener devastated. But rather than exclusively depressing, "You Gotta Believe," is more cathartic than anything else, which partially explains why so many Mary devotees consider listening to her music a form of therapy.

MY LIFE is so jam packed with hits that it is impossible to accurately write about this album without typing for hours. Virtually every track is emotionally stunning and a rare and honest look into a woman's inner life. But I do want to say that some of my other favorites are "Mary's Joint," "I Never Wanna Live Without You," and "Be With You.

Though her handler have named her the Queen of Hip Hop Soul, this moniker is far too limited to capture who Mary J. Blige is and her role in the history of music. At the very least she is the Aretha Franklin of my generation, but in truth she is more than that. Mary J. Blige is music itself - not a representative of one small slice of it.

Having said that, I will say the MY LIFE album is her best ever which is really saying something considering the fact that year after year, album after album, Mary has always delivered greatness.

- Regina McMenamin
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!, April 22, 2006
This review is from: My Life (Audio CD)
I'm an old school guy (70's, 80's soul) and got into Mary J. very late in the game, this being the first CD I bought of her's. Truly outstanding. I love her voice, it sounds so true and honest ... and from what I've read about her, I just like her, period.

Mary J. is just an outstanding performer and singer and for me, better late than never in buying her music. I look forward to many more purchases.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite album of all time... Would give it 100 STARS if I could!, August 21, 2006
By 
This review is from: My Life (Audio CD)
Having been listening to the masterpiece also know as The Breakthrough almost exclusively for 7 months straight, I decided to take it back to the old school... to My Life, where it all began for me. I was already a Mary fan from What's the 411 and the Remix album, but My Life sealed the deal. Twelve years later, the music on this album still sounds as fresh and new as the day I unwrapped it as a Christmas gift (along with my new CD player) when I was a sophmore in HS. Back then, I was in love with the persona of Mary. The clothes, the hair, the look... Her whole package was slamming, and I wanted to be just like her. But this album followed me, into adulthood, through love and heartbreak, happiness and pain. Now it means so much more. My Life speaks to my heart, my soul, and my whole being. I feel you Mary! I Never Want to Live Without him either, but he's got me Going Down! I feel you! Thank you Mary, for letting me look into your Life, for it allowed me to see more clearly into my own. Thank you Mary, 12 years later, for this gift to my soul.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Epitome of Soul and R&B, December 27, 2005
By 
This review is from: My Life (Audio CD)
Many young female singers claim that Mary J. Blige has been a big influence, and I have to ask myself how so. There is a sincerity Mary delivers through her music, which is not present in these younger, less gifted singers. I'm not too crazy about sampling, but I have always made an exception when it came to Mary J. Blige. She has a phenomenal voice and her style has been consistent over the years. A 5-star rating cannot measure just how excellent "My Life" is.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS ALBUM IS DEFINITELY A CLASSIC., March 13, 2004
By 
Music Fanatic (Florida, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: My Life (Audio CD)
I am not going to list my favorite songs from this album b/c I would be naming all of them. If you haven't heard this album yet and you are a fan of R&B, GO COP THAT DISC! If you don't remember which songs were singles, they were "You Bring Me Joy," "My Life," "Be Happy," "I'm Goin' Down," and "Mary Jane (All Night Long)"-----which were all instant hits.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Blue, August 28, 2003
By 
This review is from: My Life (Audio CD)
I was going to give this 4 stars but I forgot my #1 favourite Mary J. Blige song is on here (I Never Want 2 Live Without U). To start with, I love the irredescent blue cover (vinyl copy). I like the overall vibe of this album. I love the bouncy beat of "Mary Jane". This song has got an icredible cool vibe that I can't explain, and Mary goes off on this song. She can thank Rick James for the inspo. I love "My Life". It's a slow, drawn out jam with excellent lyrics and the end results leave a lasting impression. I also love "Be Happy". Great beat and great vocals. Classic Mary J. Blige. And last but not least, the best Mary J. Blige song 4 me. "I Never Want 2 Live Without U". This song has got alot of sadness surrounding it, you can hear it in her voice. It's perfect for any rainy day. One thing I did notice about the song is it's similarity of Gino Vanelli's 70's hit "I Don't Wanna Stop". (good song too). I don't want to give away the song's secret. but oh well, maybe other people noticed this too. Last thoughts: A good offering by Mary J. Blige in her prime.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the greatest Mary J. Blige CD of all time., February 10, 2000
By 
J. Highsmith (Mitchellville, Maryland United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: My Life (Audio CD)
If it were possible this CD would get 10 stars. Puff Daddy might not be the best influence on artists that he has worked with in the past, present or future but other than "Ready To Die" and "Life After Death", Mary J.'s "My Life" was his best work. Mary J. Blige redefined R&B in the 90's with this release. Tracks 1-17 play just like a musical soundtrack of Mary's life. A lot of people call her the remake queen, but you can't not take the credit from her for making "Quality" CDs. The best examples on this CD are "I Never Wanna Live Without You", "Be With You", "Be Happy", "I'm The Only Woman", "You Gotta Believe", and "You Bring Me Joy". Mary till this day is contuing to make "Quality" CDs in the year 2000, but she can make CDs until she is 60 years old, but "My Life" will always be her finest work. The queen of hip/hop r&b will reign forever.
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My Life
My Life by Mary J. Blige (Audio CD - 1994)
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