By Christopher Harris
Longevity is no easy feat in the music world. It takes a special individual to endure the highs and lows of the industry, and Mary J. Blige has had her fair share of both.
The Queen of R&B has returned to the throne with her latest album, The London Sessions. Over the course of 20 days, Mary recorded the 12-track project at studios in London, exclusively.
For fans hoping to hear remnants of "the old Mary," don't hold your breath. The London Sessions is all about the evolution of Mary J. Blige. And this time around, she's got some help from U.K. standouts like Sam Smith, Disclosure and Naughty Boy.
iTunes is currently streaming The London Sessions for free via its "First Play" series. "Right Now," "Therapy" and "Whole Damn Year" have already hit the airwaves, but here are three additional must-hear tracks from Mary's 13th studio album.
"Doubt" is a motivational song with a beautiful melody. Mary speaks to making sacrifices to accomplish her goals. "I made it to the top, I can't keep doubting myself anymore," she sings. Her harmony is unmatched. The song is followed by a brief interlude that features Sam Smith commenting on his experience working with Mary.
2. "My Loving"
Mary reunites with long-time collaborator Rodney Jerkins on the upbeat song. Here, she sings about a familiar topic -- love. Hopefully, this one will be released as a single sometime soon. It's a dance track, with a catchy chorus that's easy to sing along to.
This is the second track on the album produced by electronic music duo Disclosure, and it may actually be funkier than the first,"Right Now." The chemistry between Mary and the talented producers truly shows. Mary warns a love interest, "Don't waste your time, play with my mind or you'll regret it," she sings. It's the perfect blend of soul and EDM.
Stream The London Sessions on iTunes now, before it's released on December 2.