Album Review: Mary J. Blige -- "The London Sessions" (8/10)

mary-j-blige-the-london-sessionsThe longtime queen of hip-hop soul hops across the pond for a sensationally diverse, eminently grooving romp with the U.K.’s hippest artists and songwriters. Exec produced by Rodney Jerkins and featuring edgier than ever twists on her passions for pop, R&B and gospel, The London Sessions is a dramatic leap of faith that pays off. In a whirlwind 20-day period, she forged powerful creative connections with Emili Sandé, Jimmy Napes, Naughty Boy and Sam Smith. This means more deserved U.S. exposure for them and one of Blige’s most relevant sets in years. – Jonathan Widran