Track Review: Mary J. Blige, ‘U + Me (Love Lesson)’
Mary J. Blige uses a bad relationship as ‘fuel for the fire’ on “U + Me (Love Lesson),” a single from her upcoming divorce album.
Keeping it 100, Mary J. Blige is at her best when she’s been through pain. There have been exceptions – The Breakthrough had its fair share of jubilant moments – but she excels through hardship. On her latest single, “U + Me (Love Lesson),” MJB schools her ex…Kendu Isaacs…Anyways… No, she doesn’t explicit name her ex-hubby, but her divorce serves as ‘fuel for the fire’ of her forthcoming album. Also, “U + Me” is a fine follow-up to the brilliant October 2016 single, “Thick of It.”
Blige drops the bomb early on during “U + Me (Love Lesson).” She keeps it 100 on the first verse, singing:
“Must’ve been crazy to think that you loved me / I saw all the signs but I just couldn’t say nothing.”
Essentially, she sees the errors of his ways, not to mention her own delusion of love. She expands upon what her experience was on the chorus.
“You plus me was a love lesson / In too deep without perfection / Not always good, but I stayed on my feet / You had me, should’ve never questioned.”
On the second verse, she continues her love lesson, which is more of the same delusion and realization that the union is imperfect – “We don’t belong together.” By the bridge, Blige picks herself up, showing off her resolve.
“Gotta keep on pushing and love myself through the hard times / Gotta keep my patience, still a long way to go now / There’s so much to learn / When we trust the love that’s deep in us, then love will return / Boy this thing was, a love lesson.”
All in all, “U + Me (Love Lesson)” plays the way a Mary J. Blige song should. Worth noting in addition to the concept and lyrics is excellent production work. It’s contemporary enough, but also suitable for a singer now 46 years old. Vocally, she remains tough, even if “U + Me” isn’t the valedictory moment of her career.
Mary J. Blige • U + Me (Love Lesson) – single • Capitol • Release: 2.17.17
Photo Credit: Capitol