Friday, December 8, 2006

What's the 411 point?

Mary JThis week, Mary J Blige released a greatest hits album. As with many artists releasing such compilations this year, she's hoping to make it stand out from the crowd by employing a 'theme'. U2 chose their 18 favourite singles; Oasis selected the songs they feel best represent their career (basically everything they recorded between 1994 and 1995 and about two other tracks); and the Beatles released the sort of megamix album that was popular for about ten minutes in 1986.

Mary J, however, hit on a truly unique marketing ploy: She left off all of her hit singles.

Okay, that's not quite true, Family Affair and No More Drama are on there. But the rest? Oh, dear. Four dreary new songs, an unnecessary duet with Wyclef and a re-recorded version of My Life where she replaces all the angsty drama of the original with a "I've been to therapy and I'm okay now, really" lyric.

Of the hits she's chosen to include, we get the one where she ruins Stevie Wonder's As and the one where she ruins U2's One. We do not get the one where she doesn't ruin Aretha's You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman) and there is no sign of actual classics like Everything, Love Is All We Need and Mary Jane.

Perhaps this is all a stunning admission that you can buy all her best bits off iTunes and burn your own CD. But, frankly, you'd be better off with Jamiroquai's album instead.

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