My Life II...The Journey Continues (Act 1)
Mary J. Blige can never recreate the experience that was My Life. The Queen of Soul has evolved since that 1994 classic, and nowadays she sings quiet storm ballads more often than hip-hop soul. That said, My Life II is her most vital album in years. It's hard not to get a rush of giddiness when she teams with Nas for "Feel Inside" and its Wu-Tang-sampling beat, and "Ain't Nobody" and "Next Level" recall Mary in her prime. Yes, there are plenty of sappy self-help numbers like "The Living Proof," but after two decades in the business, this R&B legend has earned the right to make them.