Recorded in 2004 and released on the 28th of August this year, ‘An Intimate Evening with Mary J Blige’ is, as the name might suggest, an intimate evening with-bet you can’t guess what’s coming- Mary J Blige.
The original sister of soul performed to a packed out House of Blues night club in Los Angeles. In the audience were countless celebrities-whom Mary J was only too happy to name drop during the proceedings-proving that her appeal is far reaching.
And there’s a reason for that: she’s a three times Grammy award winning diva who has sold around twenty-five million albums world wide. Her experimental style-mixing rap, hip-hop, soul and r’n’b-has garnered her huge respect from within the music industry and earned her the glamourous title of ‘Queen of Hip Hop Soul’.
This DVD perfectly showcases her unique voice and undeniable talent. The energy and emotion in her songs is incredible, and one gets the impression on watching her do her thing, that she really is singing from her soul, that every single note, every single lyric is built upon sincerity. Lacklustre and apathetic are obviously not words found in Mary J Blige’s vocabulary.
But this wearing her heart on her sleeve approach can be a little discomfiting at times. At one particular point it feels as if she’s using her time in the spotlight as a substitute for a session on the therapist’s couch, except she’s not the one paying: her audience are. She clearly felt an overwhelming urge to get some issues out, and girl has a lot of issues. All a bit voyeuristic to say the least.
Then, as if remembering that she’s actually in the middle of her own concert, she gets herself together again, and it’s on with the show.
And what a show it is. Her rich soulful voice takes us on a tour of her hits. With seven studio albums under her belt, there’s a lot to get through. She’s joined by Sting and Elton John respectively on two duets. The Sting duet not so memorable. The Elton John duet: sublime. They perform a beautiful arrangement of Elton’s ‘I Guess That’s why they call it the Blues’. Probably the highlight of the whole set: Mary J’s voice perfectly complementing the lyrics.
If you’re already a fan of Ms Blige’s music, then this DVD is a definite must own item. And, even if you’re not, if you just appreciate talent and good music then this is well worth checking out.
Written for Entertainment Wise