4. MY LIFE (1995)
Artist: Mary J. Blige
Production: Sean “Diddy” Combs, Chucky Thompson
Acclaim: Mary’s imperfect vocals form a union with Thompson’s rhythm-hop production, which provides enough space for her transparent depression. You want to buy into her message on “You Bring Me Joy” but her tones are that of a suffering soul.
Peak moment: “Be Happy,” where MJB self-reflects, “How can I, love somebody else/If I can’t, love myself enough/to know/When it’s time, time to let go.” Sad.