Love & Life (Mary J. Blige album)
|Love & Life|
|Studio album by Mary J. Blige|
|Released||August 25, 2003|
|Mary J. Blige chronology|
|Singles from Love & Life|
|Yahoo! Music UK||8/10|
Love & Life is the sixth studio album by American R&B singer-songwriter Mary J. Blige. It marked the first collaboration with former one-time producer Sean "Diddy" Combs since he produced her debut, What's the 411? (1992), and her second album, My Life (1994). The album was released by Geffen Records on August 25, 2003, in the United Kingdom, and on August 26 in the United States.
Blige heavily collaborated with her one-time producer Sean Combs for this set. Due to the history between them on What's the 411? and My Life and Blige having just come off of a successful fifth album No More Drama, expectations were high for the reunion effort.
Love & Life's lead-off single, the Diddy-produced "Love @ 1st Sight", which featured Method Man, barely cracked the top ten on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. It altogether missing the top twenty on the Hot 100 (although peaking inside the UK top twenty). The following singles, "Ooh!", "Not Today" featuring Eve, "Whenever I Say Your Name"featuring Sting on the international re-release, and "It's a Wrap" fared worse.
Blige and Combs reportedly struggled and clashed during the making of this album, and again parted ways upon the completion of it.
Love & Life received generally positive and mixed reviews from music critics. It holds a score of 72 out of 100 at Metacritic. Allmusic gave it 4 stars and said the album "beamed with joy". Rolling Stone gave it three stars, saying "You may not always love Blige's music, but you will feel her"". Robert Christgau, writing in The Village Voice, remarked that the album's highlight is the catchy production of a rejuvenated P. Diddy and that Love & Life peaks in the middle, although he felt that Method Man's lyrics on "Love @ 1st Sight" are the best on an album that favors Blige's usual themes. Fans largely panned the disc, citing a lack of consistency and noticeable ploys to recapture the early Blige/Combs glory.
The album became Blige's first album in six years to debut at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 285,298 copies in first week. It became Blige's second number-one album on the US Billboard 200 album chart. It also opened at the top spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart respectively, making this Blige's sixth album to top the latter chart.
It became Blige's fourth consecutive UK top ten album. The album also debuted in the top ten on the charts in countries such as Canada, Switzerland; with similar charting in France and Germany, where it charted in top twenty.
The album was eventually certified Platinum by the RIAA for shipping one million copies, and more than two million copies worldwide by the RIAA. Although the album was certified platinum, it became Blige's lowest-selling to date.
Awards and accolades
Despite the mixed/lukewarm reception of the album, Love & Life and its two singles received three Grammy Award nominations at the 46th Grammy Awards. Love & Life received a nomination for Best Contemporary R&B Album, losing to Dangerously In Love by Beyoncé. The album's second single, "Ooh!" received a nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, also losing to "Dangerously In Love 2" by Beyoncé. The album's international fourth single, the Sting-featured "Whenever I Say Your Name" won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
|1.||"Love & Life Intro" (featuring Diddy and Jay-Z)||Mary J. Blige, Shawn Carter, Dimitri Christo, Sean "Diddy" Combs, L. McCann||Sean "Diddy" Combs for The Hitmen||2:48|
|2.||"Don't Go"||Blige, B. Miller, Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, Combs, J. Williams, J. Mercer||Sean "Diddy" Combs & Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie for The Hitmen||4:28|
|3.||"When We"||Blige, Mechalie Jamison, A. Creamer, Mario Winans, Combs, Marvin Gaye, Anna Gordy Gaye, Elgie Stover||Sean "Diddy" Combs for The Hitmen||3:36|
|4.||"Not Today" (featuring Eve)||Blige, Miller, Andre Young, R. Feemster, Mike Elizondo, Eve Jeffers||Dr. Dre||4:13|
|5.||"Finally Made It (Interlude)"||Blige, Angelettie, Combs, R. Holland||Sean "Diddy" Combs & Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie for The Hitmen||1:39|
|6.||"Ooh!"||Blige, Jamison, Christo, Combs, Hamilton Bohannon||Sean "Diddy" Combs for The Hitmen||4:07|
|7.||"Let Me Be the 1" (featuring 50 Cent)||Blige, Jamison, Curtis Jackson, M. Crosby, C. Sanchez, Combs, S. Barnes, George Clinton, T. Lindsey||Sean "Diddy" Combs for The Hitmen||4:40|
|8.||"Love @ 1st Sight" (featuring Method Man)||Blige, Jamison, Winans, Combs, Clifford Smith, S. Jordan, Kamaal Fareed, Ali Jones-Muhammed, Malik Taylor||Sean "Diddy" Combs, Mario Winans, & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen||5:18|
|9.||"Willing & Waiting"||Blige, Jamison, Creamer, D. Lewis, W. Lewis||Sean "Diddy" Combs for The Hitmen||4:19|
|10.||"Free (Interlude)"||Blige, Winans||Sean "Diddy" Combs & Mario Winans for The Hitmen||2:04|
|11.||"Friends"||Blige, S. Foote, M. Hasan, T. Brock, R. Taylor, B. White||Sean "Diddy" Combs & Mario Winans for The Hitmen||4:02|
|12.||"Press On"||Blige, K. Gist, C. Cofield, D. Crofts, J. Seals||Sean "Diddy" Combs for The Hitmen||4:17|
|13.||"Feel Like Makin' Love"||Blige, Jamison, S. Jordan, Combs||Sean "Diddy" Combs & Steven "Stevie J" Jordan for The Hitmen||4:42|
|14.||"It's A Wrap"||Blige, Winans, Combs||Sean "Diddy" Combs & Mario Winans for The Hitmen||4:20|
|15.||"Message in Our Music (Interlude)"||Blige, Robert Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown, Robert Mickens, Claydes Smith, A. Taylor, Dennis Thomas, Rick Westfield||Sean "Diddy" Combs for The Hitmen||2:14|
|16.||"All My Love"||Blige, Miller, D. Christo, Combs, D. Addrisi, R. Addrisi||Sean "Diddy" Combs for The Hitmen||4:16|
|17.||"Special Part of Me"||Blige, Combs, Winans||Sean "Diddy" Combs & Mario Winans for The Hitmen||4:33|
|18.||"Ultimate Relationship (A.M.)"||D. Lawrence, S. White||Sean "Diddy" Combs for The Hitmen||5:05|
|Japan bonus track|
|UK and Brazil bonus track|
|19.||"Didn't Mean" (also appears on the soundtrack to Bad Boys II)||Blige, Combs, Winans, Fareed, Taylor, Muhammad, J. Yancey||Combs, Winans||3:43|
|International bonus track|
|19.||"Whenever I Say Your Name (with Sting)" (also appears on Sting's album Sacred Love)||Sting, Kupper||5:25|
|Japan and UK reissue bonus track|
|19.||"If I Don't Love You This Way"|
Bonus US Limited Edition DVD:
- A look at making the album.
|Australian Albums Chart||62|
|Canadian Albums Chart||6|
|German Albums Chart||21|
|French Albums Chart||18|
|Italian Albums Chart||62|
|Swiss Albums Chart||3|
|UK Albums Chart||8|
|US R&B/Hip-Hop Albums||1|
|US Billboard 200||1|
Chart procession and succession
The Neptunes Present... Clones by Various artists
|Billboard 200 number-one album
September 7, 2003
Metamorphosis by Hilary Duff
- Allmusic review
- Blender review[dead link]
- Scholtes, Peter S. (November 16, 2010). "Mary J. Blige, Love & Life". eMusic. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- Entertainment Weekly review
- Mary J. Blige: Love & Life (2003): Reviews Metacritic. Accessed 2007-11-08.
- Rolling Stone review
- Cinquemani, Sal (September 3, 2003). "Mary J. Blige: Love & Life". Slant Magazine. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- Vibe review
- Yahoo! Music UK review at the Wayback Machine (archived October 13, 2004)
- Pride, Felicia (September 12, 2003). "Mary J. Blige: Love & Life". PopMatters. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- Christgau, Robert (2003-09-23). "The Commoner Queen". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
- "Previous Album Sales Chart". HITS Daily Double. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
- http://fanofmusic.free.fr/BestSellers.php?Act=MaryJBlige[dead link]
- [dead link]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mary J. Blige.|