The queen returns. I have a sneaking suspicion that 6 months from now, this will have snuck into my 2016 top 10. I really, really, really hope that her forthcoming Strength of a Woman is full of songs like this.
TSJ: Much has been made of the fact that Jazmine Sullivan, arguably one of MJB’s finest disciples, is a co-writer on “Thick of It,” Blige’s return to her R&B home after the ill-fitting Disclosure collabs of The London Sessions — and that’s apt, because this is a very Sullivan-esque single. Which also means it fits Blige like a glove: lyrically, this is a spiritual cousin to the all-time classic “Not Gon’ Cry.” DJ Camper’s production knows exactly when to step up and when to stay out of Blige’s way, amping up the drama as all of her best singles do. This hit #1 on the Adult R&B chart in only 4 weeks, the fastest such climb in 21 years, and the reason is simple: this is one of MJB’s best singles in a long time, and precisely what her legions of fans want. Myself very much included.