Thursday, June 19, 2008

Classic Album Revisited

Mary displayed a vocal maturity that had not been heard on her previous releases. Mary abandoned the elements of hip hop and made a conscious effort to create an album that combined the elements of soul and jazz. Reclusive musical genius Lauryn Hill contributed to the project and wrote the smooth and uplifting track 'All That I Can Say.' Elton John played the piano intro to his hit song "Beenie and The Jets" for the song 'Deep Inside' in which Mary confesses "the problem is for many years I've lived my life publicly so it's hard for me to find a man I trust.....deep inside I wish that you could see that I'm just plain ol' Mary...." The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, joins Mary on the track "Don't Waste Your Time" and offers The Queen of Hip Hop Soul a little sound advice. Mary's ex-lover K-Ci Hailey duets with Mary on the emotionally charged song 'Not Lookin'', Mary defiantly declares "I'm not impressed by your honesty, oh no no, I don't need you to tell me I look good, I don't need it...cause I've been hearin' that around my hood...." It is obvious on tracks like ' No Happy Holidays' and 'The Love I Never Had' that Mary was going through some changes and trying to find her way out of all the drama. Mary's rich voice, polished production, sophisticated songwriting, and the elements of soul and jazz help to make Mary a classic album.